Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Santa Claus is real everybody! I knew it! I just knew it! But get with the times Kris Kringle, we need you on a vegan gluten-free diet. No carbs on Fridays. And for all of our sakes, I’ve signed you up for Hot Yoga class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday…and P90x every other day.

I loved Miracle on 34th Street.

Miracle on 34th StreetLet’s get this little detail off first. Miracle on 34th Street is a 3 time Academy Award Winning movie! Santa won Best Actor in a Supporting Role while the writers collected Best Writing, Original Story and Best Writing, Screenplay. Congratulations Miracle on 34th Street, you are a magical movie. (But I’m assuming they cheated by having Santa use his magic Christmas powers on the Oscars.)

Miracle on 34th StreetWho has seen this movie? Raise your hand. Oh, a lot of you. One, two….three….okay, okay. That’s a good number. Now, who thinks I actually peeked through the internet and counted your hands? Oh. One, two…three…you guys never learn do you. No worries my friends, Christmas is not a time to bully other people. It’s just a time for laughter and mistletoes. Miracle on 34th Street was released in 1947 and even all those decades ago were they trying to rid of the commercialism behind Christmas. It really is supposed to be about good will towards men and faith in the unseen. Funny how that still applies today, but let’s avoid the preachy soap box. Let’s focus on what we’re hear to talk about, furbies. No wait…

Miracle on 34th StreetI loved Miracle on 34th Street. It was a solid and well done movie. I certainly loved seeing Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, there was just something pleasantly cheery about his scenes. The rest of the actors were fine, the story was solid, the overall feel of the film was….dated. I love Christmas movies, any of you avid readers know that by now. And I did like Miracle, but the moving struggle that your heart is supposed to be attached to is bland. I know I know, I’m a product of a different generation. I’m from an era of film making where the capabilities in the studios has made the 1940s look juvenile. But I still respect and admire those films, it’s just a little more difficult to get swept up in those that don’t hit the mark. And here’s the funny thing, my absolute favorite Christmas movie was released one year earlier in 1946! It’s a Wonderful Life! Which only leads me to believe that it’s NOT the time period that made me feel this way! It’s the movie!

…highly regarded as one of the best Christmas movies of all time.

Miracle on 34th StreetDon’t get me wrong, I will add Miracle on 34th Street to my collection. (My wife is annoyed by my movie collection, takes up too much space. That’s okay, she doesn’t need a kitchen…right?) Miracle will always rank way up on the list of Christmas movies because of its classic stature and plot points. But knowing what It’s a Wonderful Life accomplished, both technically with all the camera work and magically by it’s message and heartfelt feeling that comes through the screen, I don’t feel like Miracle really lived up to what it could have been. Funny thing about this whole thing though is that Miracle was amazing and landed Oscars while It’s a Wonderful Life was not well reviewed and shelved. Then decades later it was sold off to be shown repeatedly on TV. Here we are several more decades later and it is highly regarded as one of the best Christmas movies of all time. While Miracle has been shelved and only sold for hopeful nostalgics shopping through Walmart.

Miracle on 34th StreetYou may have noticed how many times I keep repeating “magic” or “magical”. That’s what the season is all about. To be thankful for our lives. To get swept up in the goodwill around us. (It’s mostly about celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus, but all those other things still apply.) And last and certainly not least, it’s about sharing time with one another…specifically around a large flat screen TV with plenty of ugly Xmas sweaters and eggnog to go around while everyone’s favorite Christmas flick is on. (Is that too specific?) Miracle on 34th Street definitely shares it’s dosage of magic and shouldn’t be missed this season. Oh! Did I mention that the movie came out in the summer and they didn’t want to reveal that it had anything to do with Christmas?



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