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Miracle on 34th Street
DVD disk
11.23.2006 By: Sturdy
Miracle on 34th Street order
Director:
George Seaton

Actors:
Edmund Gwenn
Maureen OíHara
Natalie Wood

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A department store Santa Clause challenges his bossís beliefs about Santa. Soon, heís declared insane and is put on trial to defend his claims. His love and cheer make everyone question whether or not they believe in Santa Clause.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I think there would be something inherently wrong with writing a negative review about a cherished Christmas classic. Luckily, Iím not tempted to write one about MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET because in conjunction with being a holiday classic, itís actually a really good film. Itís one Christmas movie that really is synonymous with the holiday season. Itís a classic tale and one most of us grew up watching at least once every year. To me, Miracle is more about childhood innocents and leave the deep, meaning of life questions for ITíS A WONDERFUL LIFE.

As a movie, it accomplishes what it set out to do. It avoids the modern day pitfalls of being too sappy and preachy and just tells you a happy little tale about Christmas and Santa Clause. The performances all around are great. Natalie Wood is too adorable for words and she sparkles on the screen as the skeptical little girl. The adult cast plays their parts well and the directing was fine. The story is what makes this film and despite being copied many times before, itís nice to see it done well and for the first time.

If you havenít seen it in a while, then do yourself a favor and pick it up this Holiday season. One thing I was surprised at is how many movies and TV shows steal from this original story. In my book, this is the one and only story about a kid not believing in Santa Clause. All other stories and films pale in comparison.

I would also like to take a moment to advise everyone to avoid the colorized version of the movie. I donít know why they bothered adding color into a classic black and white film, but they did. I really find this to be a disgrace to the film and it just ďfeelsĒ better watching it in the original black and white transfer.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Maureen OíHara: There are several long pauses throughout this commentary, but itís worth it. Maureen OíHara is a Hollywood legend and her comments and insight into this film is wonderful. It was great listening to what she had to say.

AMC Backstory (22:06): This is a pretty typical AMC backstory, so it has a lot of interviews intermixed with clips from the film. It does provide enough extra tidbits to make it worthwhile, but only for big fans of the film.

Fox Movietone News Footage (1:42): This is kind of neat from a historical point of view, but itís nothing more than a novelty item now. Itís one of the news clips that used to play in theaters.

TV Version (46:02): I thought this was going to be a shorter, edited version of the film for TV, but instead, itís a shorter version with different actors. I think a lot of people might remember this one more than the actual movie since it used to play all the time in December.

Macyís Thanksgiving Day Parade Floating in History (15:31): Macyís was featured heavily in the film and now they get their time on the DVD. This is basically a featurette on the history of the film with a slant towards Macyís.

There is also a Poster gallery.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Go ahead and give into the holiday season. Light a fire, make some hot cocoa and throw in the 34th Street DVD and enjoy yourself. Itís a good film that just makes you feel good.
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