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Miracle on 34th Street

It’s one of the classic movies for the holiday!  Of course, when I grew up there was only the one version, black and white, starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and a young Natalie Wood.  This was one of the heavily promoted movies on WGN-TV in Chicago along with “Sink the Bismarck”  and others and for this reason is heavily embedded in my memory.

I took it upon myself to read up on the history of the movie for the first time.  I didn’t realize it was award winning and was nominated for Best Picture in 1947.

To this day, I can’t get through the scene where Santa speaks and sings with a young orphan girl in Dutch, dispelling the child’s doubts that he is the real Santa.

Of course, whether this person is or isn’t Santa Claus is the point the entire movie revolves around.  In this version, the “proof” comes from the fact that the Post Office, an official government agency, sends all of the letters addressed to Santa at the North Pole, which collect in the dead letter office, over to the court house where Kris Kringles’ authenticity is being argued.

There are other movie versions of “Miracle on 34th St” which I have seen bits and pieces of and it seems to me that the “proof” was somehow different in these but I really don’t recall. Any takers?

I mention this movie/play now because I’m taking my son to see it at the Lander’s Theater with some of his preschool classmates on Wednesday.  I’m looking forward to seeing it with him!

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