Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

miracle on 34th street poster 1994 movie richard attenborough mara wilson
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good story

Not much need for a remake

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Miracle on 34th Street

Studio: Hughes Entertainment

Genre(s):  Drama/Family/Seasonal

Release Date(s): November 18, 1994

MPAA Rating: PG

miracle on 34th street 1994 parade santa richard attenborough

I’m bringing Christmas now!!!

Santa Claus (Richard Attenborough) is real and working for a department store in New York City.  When a rival department store forces Santa Claus to attack a man, Kris Kringle is arrested and put on trial.  Now the State of New York is forced to determine if Kris is insane or if there really is a Santa Claus…All the while, Kris is trying to prove to Susan (Mara Wilson), her mother Dorey (Elizabeth Perkins), and her friend Bryan (Dylan McDermott) that miracles can happen and the spirit of Christmas is alive.

Directed by Les Mayfield, Miracle on 34th St. is a remake of the classic Oscar nominated film 1947 film with a script by John Hughes.  Surprisingly well received despite being a remake of a classic, Miracle on 34th St. also did reasonably well at the box office.

miracle on 34th street santa court richard attenborough dylan mcdermott

Oh…I forgot to tell you I killed eight people in Florida

Miracle on 34th St. is a classic.  The story of a man claiming to be the real Santa Claus and fighting for the right to call himself Santa (without being deemed insane) is a holiday tradition that is often on throughout the Christmas season.  The idea of remaking it seems insane…but the movie does a surprisingly good job.

Miracle on 34th St. is a pretty straight forward remake but adds enough twists to make it a somewhat new movie.  The first movie was edgy and sometimes dark, this one is no different.  From the way Santa Claus is provoked to attack and the dark place he ends up when institutionalized, the movie isn’t afraid to push the boundaries a little.  Also the movie put a spin on the “final solution” to the story by changing how Santa Claus is proven innocent.

miracle on 34th street mara wilson susan

I’m filled with Christmas glee!!!

Like the first movie, the actors do a nice job with their roles. Richard Attenborough is a good Santa Claus…though somewhat creepy in my opinion.  I don’t think he’s the perfect Santa Claus as he is portrayed in the movie, but he is a good Santa Claus.  Mara Wilson is no Natalie Woods, but her character is also a bit different and less cynical than Wood’s Susan.  Both McDermott and Perkins are good in the smaller less flashy roles as Susan’s parent and her boyfriend.

Is Miracle on 34th St. as good as the original?  No.  Is it bad?  No. Is it different?  Yes.  It is a nice accompanying piece to the original and it is interesting to see how much (or how little) time changes a story.  Plus it goes to show how timeless a good story is.  If you have to choose, stick to the original, but if you have time both films are worth holiday fare.

Related Links:

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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