Hughes Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, J.T. Walsh, James Renmar, Jane Leeves, Simon Jones, William Windom, Mara Wilson, Robert Prosky

A very ambitious remake of the original 1947 film that starred Natalie Wood, this film was very well done.  However it’s hard to improve on something as fantastic as the original.  It is a classic Christmas story that has endeared everybody for generations.  However as I stated this is an ambitious attempt.  Kris Kringle is good.  Richard Attenborough is an excellent choice for Santa.   I don’t really care much for the casting of Dorey and Bryan (Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott) but Mara Wilson is so adorable as the unbelieving little girl.  One of the classiest moments in this version of the story is when a mother brings a little deaf girl to meet Santa.  She tells him that she can’t hear so he doesn’t have to talk to her, but she just wants to meet him.   Santa can sign, so he welcomes her and has a conversation with her in sign language.  The story is that the purposefully did not tell her that he could sign, so the look of delight and sheer joy on her face was absolutely real.  It’s such a tender moment.

The ending was not nearly a nice as the original one.  They made it a little too hip for my liking.  Not sure why they changed that.  In the original the lawyer proved his case much to everyone’s chagrin.  In this version,  the judge is just looking for any way out of declaring Santa Claus insane.   See if you agree.

Also, I wondered why the store’s name was changed from Macy’s in the original to Cole’s (no, not Kohl’s) in this version.  Rumor is that Macy’s refused to let their name be used in this remake.  So if you want to see a nice new update on the original story of the Department Store Santa who thinks he’s really Santa Claus, this is it!

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Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)
** Miracle on 34th Street (1994), 3.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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