If you've been following the chronology of these uploads, you undoubtedly realize this page is being posted on July 25, 2003; colloquially known (at least to certain retailers and the occasional cable television network) as "Christmas In July".

So what better film to feature at this time than the original "Miracle On 34thStreet"?

"What?", you may well be saying to yourself.  "Why wouldn't Thanksgiving be a more appropriate time to post this page?"

Ok, you've got a point.  And a darn fine point it is.  Nonetheless, this really isn't such an inappropriate time, as at this point in 1947, it was playing in theaters across America.

As was reported in an AMC documentary on the film, the studio really didn't know what to do with the thing.  Couldn't figure out how to market it.  Couldn't figure out how to categorize it.  They were completely baffled by it.  How unusual for Hollywood, eh...???

So, they decided to bury it, releasing it May 2, 1947.  Then the phenonmenon that studios try desperately to buy, but all too often can't - word of mouth - kicked in.  And the movie hit.  Ran through the summer, through the fall, through the holiday season.

"God bless us, every one", indeed...

(I know it's the wrong movie...haven't you people ever heard of creative license?  Geez...)

Don't know why they were confused, though.  I mean, really, how can you go wrong in a Christmas-themed movie when you start out with a shot of this face?

Edmund Gwenn, in his award-winning performance

Edmund Gwenn took home an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Kris Kringle.  This was no sugary Santa, though...Gwenn's Kringle had no qualms about getting in your face - with or without his omnipresent cane - if he thinks you've been extremely naughty, as here with a drunken Claus at the Macy's Parade.

Raising (the) cane...part one...


Have you ever played Santa Claus?
I'm sure Mr. Gailey has other plans, dear...
Angry as he might be, Kris can't resist helping out parade organaizer Doris Walker, played by Maureen O'Hara.

Apparently, Kris isn't the only one who finds Mrs. Walker irresistable.  Her neighbor, attorney Fred Gailey, played by John Payne, seems to be focused on her charms.


 
So much so, that he conspires with Doris' daughter Suzie, played by Natalie Wood, to get closer to her.

As I grew up before the onset of the VCR, I wasn't really exposed much to many classic movies until my late twenties/early thirties.  This film was no exception.  Thus, I hadn't realized that Natalie Wood had been a child star; I'd known her only from some of her work as an adult.

So it's more than a little bittersweet to see her as a much-too-cute youngster, knowing as one watches that this little girl grew up to be quite the beauty...and sadly, is no longer with us...

But I digress...back to the movie...

 

It was a clown last year...
Is this kid too cute, or what?

 
 
The traditional conclusion of the parade...
GIMBLE'S?!?!?!?!?!?
An unprecedented photo op...
Kris turned out to be the hit of the parade.  Everyone was delighted with him, at least until he alternatively amazed/horrified Macy's customers and staff by sending shoppers to other stores.

Even Gimble's...if you don't understand how unheard of that is, imagine you're down here in Orlando, you're at a ticket booth at Universal Studios, and you ask for a ticket to the Magic Kingdom.

It ain't gonna happen.

Same thing here with Macy's and Gimble's.  Pretty much an impossibility.  One wonders, after succeeding so admirably here, what could go wrong?


 
 
Oh, maybe a forced exam administered by the store's so-called psychologist...
 
 
 
 

A caneshot to the head to that same quack...
 
 
 
 
 

Next stop...Bellevue...

You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your...never mind...
Raising (the) cane...part two...
You fixed yourself but good...

 
 
Gene Lockhart presides in yet another holiday classic
You've Got Mail...
Next thing you know, there's a trial...
 
 

Then postmen going wild....

Then things end happily ever after...but with the mysterious reappearance of a certain cane...hmmm...

Raising (the) cane...part three...

Yes, I've left a lot out of this review.  Tons, in fact.  Purposely.

As in:  I don't care how hot it is out there, go out, find this, and watch it to see what I'm not telling you.

Hey, if it was good enough for audiences during Summer 1947, it's good enough for you now...





All images used on this page are property of the appropriate copyright holder(s), used for purposes of commentary only, without challenge to those copyrights.
 

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