Miracle on 34th Street

*Holiday Favorite*
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It's a Miracle...

I'll confess that when the 1994 version of Miracle On 34th Street first came out, I was a bit puzzled. I mean seriously,--how could you possibly improve on the timeless classic created in 1947--and why would you want to? Who can match the graceful Maurine O-Hara as the stoic, heartbroken mother who has no room for Christmas fantasy or magic in either her own life or that of her young daughter? The entire cast was perfect--so leave it alone. That was my thinking, until I actually broke down and saw the 'new' version. Reluctantly, I had to admit that not only was it a beautiful rendition of my dear old favorite, but...it was...good...really good. That part was unexpected.

First of all we positively love the characters--Elizabeth Perkins is lovely as Dorey Walker, and Dylan McDermott will melt you heart--as the love struck Brian Bedford--but the best surprise of all turned out to be 6 year old Susan Walker--played by the adorable Mara Wilson. Oh. My. Goodness. She is so perfect in this part. Now, don't get me wrong--I loved Natalie Wood from the 1947 version, but little Mara, is an amazingly lovable child with a 60 year old vocabulary, who desperately wants to 'believe'.

The other engaging factor to this movie is the timeless quality of the setting and the costumes. It is obviously shot in a New York type place--but in what era? It's look and feel are totally modern, and yet, if you look closely, you'll notice that all the women and little girls are in beautiful dresses--always. In fact, all the character's except the bad guy--are all dressed for a holiday party at all times. It's really quite a lovely touch.
Out of loyalty, we do take out the original and play it now and then...to remind ourselves of the good things that can still come in black and white packages. But in the end--it's unanimous--the new version wins.

Launi-Who Would Make the Perfect Mrs. Claus Because I Will Believe...and I Make Really Good Cookies
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