Review: Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street screens on Fri 21 and Sun 23 December. Book your tickets here.

And here is a film that needs no introduction, a festive family favourite that never ceases to move an audience to laughter and tears. Miracle on 34th Street is up there with It’s A Wonderful Life and Meet Me in St Louis as one of the finest of its kind – a feel-good, family friendly masterpiece, aimed specifically at spreading Christmas cheer.

The beloved story involves a young girl, daughter of non-believer Doris Walker (played by Maureen O’Hara), whose scepticism about the existence of Santa Claus is challenged when Edmund O’Brien becomes the in-shop Santa at the department store where her mother works. The question is: is he the real thing?

Remade in 1994 with Richard Attenborough taking the role of Kris Kringle, both versions have now entered into Christmas cinema history. It is interesting to consider that the original was actually released in May on its first run in the US, as the studio head at the time insisted more people went to the cinema then. How ironic that it is now a Christmas classic!

Yet, thankfully, it is. Here, then, is a chance to see this small cinematic miracle back on the big screen with the whole family – and it is as warm and tender as ever!!!

U certificate

Review by LiveWire Young Film Critic, James Martin (December ’12)