Friday, March 6, 2009

Movie - Miracle on 34th Street

Miracle on 34th
Comparative :
*1947 version starring Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, Maureen O’Hara as Doris Walker, Natalie Wood as Susan & John Payne as Fredrick Gailey
*1994 version Starring: Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle, Elizabeth Perkins as Dorey Walker, Mara Wilson as Susan & Dylan McDermott as Bryan Bedford

Finding the Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa Claus drunk, anther Santa had to step in. This one turned out to be great, taking the job as Department store Santa was just the job for Kris Kringle, he seemed to have all the information needed on the toys that the kids asked for, going as far as telling the parents to go to other stores to find the right one. He takes on the challenge to try to convince one little girl, Susan and her mother, Ms. Walker, that they should believe in Santa Claus. When Mr. Kringle is accused of violence, and then fails a competency test, the state of New York has to step in. A hearing to decide if Santa Claus exists and if Kris Kringle is him begins, the real question is if you believe.

*Differences: There are several obvious ones, Department Stores Macy’s vs. Cole’s, and the drinking and smoking is much more prominent in the 1947 version.
* Little things: Santa speaks Dutch in 1947, and Sign Language in the 1994 to impress Susan, he also chews bubble gum and teaches her to pretend to be a monkey in 1947 and does shadow puppets in 1994.

(1947) The ’rap’ on the head came in a private argument about the janitor, Alfred, and the way Mr. Sawyer, the Stores ’psychologist’ was treating him. Doris and Fredrick started as strangers and went quickly to ‘darling‘. At the trial it was conceded that there is a Santa Claus and ask it to be proven that Kris Kringle was the one and only. The US Post Office happily gave them that proof.
(1994) The ‘rap’ on the head came as a set up to get Kris Kringle into trouble and publicly disgrace Santa. Doris seemed to already be in a relationship that ended in marriage. At the trial, the question was if Santa Claus existed, a dollar bill with the words ‘In God We Trust’ was enough to show that if the Government believes in something that cannot be proven, so can the State of New York.

In my opinion, this is one of the best holiday movies, which ever you decide to watch. I happen to own both versions and was watching the 1994 version with my kids (they like Mara Wilson) and I made a comment about missing seeing the mail delivery and the cane in the corner of the house. Enough of a tease, they agreed to watch the 1947 version with me. Although they really seemed to enjoy pointing out the differences, in the end, they liked the 1994 version better. I am torn, I will just have to make sure I always have both versions available to me.

Dec 26, 2008

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