“Miracle on 34th Street”

It’s not Xmas, but it will be soon.

This 1947 ‘comedy’ is one of my favourite films.

There is no way that it could take place anywhere but New York. Macy’s big store is the centre of attention but others are mentioned.

The plot is simple: the genuine Santa Claus is employed by Macy’s to talk to children and learn about their gifts. But the in-store ‘psychiatrist’ seeks to prove he is not really Santa, just a crazy old man. Is he really Santa or not?

The film features a very young Natalie Wood. She plays the rather obnoxious child of Mrs Walker, Maureen O’Hara, who has always told her that Santa does not exist.

The story covers a lot about mental health. The role of the psychiatrist is very prominent. He undermines people’s confidence, tells them they have problems and offers to ‘treat’ them.

In the end, the truth about Kris Kringle, Edmund Gwenn, has to come out. In a court case, can be be proved legally that he really is Santa?

No spoilers here. Watch the film.

Of course, Gwenn is just wonderful in the roll. It is well documented that the cast and crew got on extremely well. And the film has some wonderful moments, one being when Santa talks to the little orphan girl in Dutch and they sing a little song (and there are no subtitles). Sublime!

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