Miracle on 34th Street (1994 film)
|Miracle on 34th Street|
One of original theatrical posters
|Directed by||Les Mayfield|
|Produced by||John Hughes
William S. Beasley
|Screenplay by||George Seaton
|Based on||Miracle on 34th Street, story by Valentine Davies, original screenplay by George Seaton|
J. T. Walsh
|Music by||Bruce Broughton|
|Editing by||Raja Gosnell|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||114 minutes|
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy film written and produced by John Hughes, and directed by Les Mayfield. It stars Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott and Horatio Sanz, and is the fourth remake (and the second theatrical version) of the original 1947 film. Like the original, this film was released by 20th Century Fox. However, the New York City-based Macy's department store did not want any part of this remake, which meant the fictitious "Cole's" had to be used as its replacement.
When the Cole's Santa Claus gets drunk before taking part in the Thanksgiving parade, Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins), Cole's director of special events, fires him and must find a replacement immediately. She spots an old man (Richard Attenborough) berating the inebriated Santa, and begs him to take over. He claims his name is Kris Kringle. Kris does so well during the parade that he is immediately hired to be Cole's main Santa for the holiday period. All the children in New York begin to believe that he is the real Santa, with the exception of Dorey's six-year-old daughter Susan (Mara Wilson). Dorey's boyfriend, Bryan Bedford (Dylan McDermott), does his best to convince Susan to believe. While being babysat one night by Kris, Susan shares with him her Christmas wish, she would like a dad, a house (used every year for the Cole's catalogue photoshoot) and a baby brother. Kris asks if she would begin to believe in Santa if she got all those things. Susan agrees that she would.
Kris is credited with bringing in many more sales to Cole's than previous years, until one night, when he is arrested, then sanctioned for supposedly assaulting a man on the street. Later, the truth emerges, that the man he assaulted was the original drunk Santa, who set up Kris to be arrested, with the help of members of staff from a rival of Cole's. With the help of Bryan, Dorey takes Kris's case to court, and drums up support for him from the public. It soon becomes clear that to get Kris acquitted and freed, Bryan must prove that not only does Santa exist, but that Kris is the real one. It is a seemingly impossible task until Bryan comes up with a plan that requires some help from Susan.
Just as the judge is about to make his decision – and it seems he was going to rule against Kris – Susan walks up to the judge with a Christmas card containing a $1 bill. On the back, the words In God We Trust are circled. The judge realizes that, since the U.S. Department of Treasury can believe in God with no hard evidence, then the people of New York can believe in Santa Claus in the same way. This leaves the elated judge no other choice but to declare that Santa is real, thus freeing Kris.
Following the court case, Dorey and Bryan are maneuvered by Kris into realizing their true feelings for each other, and are married in a very small ceremony right after the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. On Christmas morning, Susan wakes to the news of the marriage and is elated to see that she has part one of her Christmas wish, a dad. Together, Susan, Dorey and Bryan drive out to the catalogue house and upon arrival, find that Kris has arranged for them to purchase the house. Susan, now having got two out of three of her wishes, excitedly runs upstairs in the house to look at her bedroom. Dorey and Bryan ask her what the last part of her Christmas wish was, and she triumphantly announces that it was a baby brother. Dorey and Bryan both look at each other, shocked, before glancing down at Dorey's stomach and sharing a kiss. The film ends with the belief that Susan has now gotten all she asked for.
- Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle, said to be the real Santa Claus.
- Mara Wilson as Susan Walker, Dorey's 6-year-old daughter.
- Elizabeth Perkins as Dorey Walker, Susan's mother. She is the director of special events for Cole's, and Bryan Bedford's girlfriend.
- Dylan McDermott as Bryan Bedford, Dorey's boyfriend and neighbor.
- J. T. Walsh as Ed Collins, a lawyer
- Simon Jones as Donald Shellhammer, a director for Cole's special events.
- James Remar as Jack Duff
- Jane Leeves as Alberta Leonard
- Robert Prosky as Judge Henry Harper
- Allison Janney as Brazen Woman in Cole's Christmas Shopping Center
- Jack McGee as Tony Falacchi, the Drunk Santa
- Joss Ackland (uncredited) as Victor Landberg, Store Competitor
As shown on the front of the movie's home video release, it was given two thumbs up by noted critics Siskel & Ebert. Michael Medved of Sneak Previews said "This is the new holiday classic America has been waiting for." Medved's quote is also on the back of the case.
- Miracle on 34th Street at the Internet Movie Database
- Miracle on 34th Street at AllRovi
- Miracle on 34th Street at Box Office Mojo
- Miracle on 34th Street at Rotten Tomatoes