Since "Miracle on 34th Street" begins with the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving Day, it is the obvious movie to watch on Turkey Day to begin the Christmas season (when you watch "White Christmas," your favorite version of "A Christmas Carol," and "It's a Wonderful Life" is up to you). I know am not alone in my belief that Edmund Gwenn IS Kris Kringle, which means he IS Santa Claus. Of course they gave Gwenn the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1948, but the film also won Oscars for Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay (George Seaton). Maureen O'Hara plays Doris Walker, a single mom who insists on bringing up her daughter Susan, played by adorable Natalie Wood in one of the great childhood performances of all time, in a no-nonsense manner, which means no fantasy, no fairy tales and certainly no Santa Claus. Boy, is she ever wrong, although it takes Kris longer to convince the mother than it does to work his magic on the daughter.
This version of this classic holiday film offers up the long trailer in which the publicity department tries to figure out how to market the film to the masses, which is a nice added bonus. You have to remember that the head of the studio had the delusion idea that since this was a good movie it should be released in May because that is when more people watched movie. However, the point of owning "Miracle on 34th Street" is to be able to watch it when it best fits your holiday schedule and cry over your favorites scenes. The best times to cry during this movie are as follows: (1) When Susan overhears Kris talking Dutch to the little refugee girl; (2) When Mr. Macy admits under oath on the witness stand that he believes Kris to be Santa Claus; (3) When Susan writes "I believe in you too" on Susan's letter to Kris; (4) When Susan yells, "Stop, Uncle Fred! Stop!" and (5) when Fred sees the cane in the corner and realizes that the magic might not have been his own after all. Please feel free to add others to this list as you see fit. Now, excuse me, as I have to go dry my eyes and remember that some films have become holiday classics for good reasons and that remaking something in color does not mean just because it is new it is improved. Happy Turkey Day, everyone!