Monday, December 13, 2010

#3 Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th Street [Blu-ray]This is simply a wonderful movie about restoring the Christmas spirit within us. It was filmed a little more than one year after the end of World War II, and the public wanted to see an uplifting movie where people's faith in the basic goodness of humanity is restored.

Every Thanksgiving Day, my family would watch this movie. That was the only day you could watch it because there was no such thing as videotaping or DVDs. If you missed it, you had to wait a whole year to see it again. Although I grew up ten miles off the George Washington Bridge, I never went to the parade. My husband, who grew up on Long Island, did, and he said he nearly froze his little keister off. The same thing happened in 1946, when they were filming most of the movie in New York (at the  real 1946 Macy's Day parade) and in the Long Island suburbs. Because of the freezing weather, in Port Washington, NY, the suburb where Susan finds her dream house, a neighbor opened her home to Maureen O'Hara and the crew so they could get warm.

The cast is first rate. Maureen O'Hara is gorgeous (even in black and white--but there is a colorized version) with handsome John Payne, a 1940s heartthrob, as her co-star. Edwin Gwenn was perfectly cast as Kris Kringle and won an Oscar for his role, and Natalie Wood was adorable. This was the young actress's fourth role, and she was already on her way to becoming a star.

There is more backstory here and the trailer is here. The trailer is interesting because A Miracle on 34th Street was released in the summer, and the studio wanted to keep that fact from the public, fearing people would not attend a holiday movie during summer vacation.

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