Taglines: Experience the Miracle.
The film opens with an elderly man (Richard Attenborough) sporting a fedora, glasses, and a brown coat with a cane, walking on the street as his morning routine. As he stops at a crosswalk, a young boy named Ryan pleads to his grandfather, Judge Henry Harper, to “ask him”. Henry, knowing that the man overheard Ryan, clears up the misunderstanding by saying that Ryan thinks he is Santa Claus. After an exchange of laughs, the elderly man surprises Ryan by saying, “I am”. After he leaves, a dismayed and contented Ryan states that he “should have got his autograph”.
On the same day, Cole’s Department Store’s special events director Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) fires Tony Falacchi from being the store’s Santa after he gets drunk before taking part in the Thanksgiving parade. Immediately trying to find a replacement, she spots the elderly man from the film’s opening who was berating the inebriated Tony before the parade. When Dorey begs him to take over, he introduces himself as Kris Kringle. He does so well in the parade that he is immediately hired to be the store’s Santa for the holiday period.
All the children begin to believe that he is the real Santa, with the exception of Dorey’s six-year-old daughter, Susan (Mara Wilson). Dorey’s boyfriend and neighbor, Bryan Bedford (Dylan McDermott), does his best to convince Susan to believe. While being babysat one night by Kris, she shares her Christmas wish with him. She would like a dad, a house (used every year for the Cole’s catalog photoshoot) and a baby brother. He asks if she would begin to believe in Santa if she got all those things. She agrees that she would.
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy film written and produced by John Hughes, and directed by Les Mayfield (they would reunite for 1997’s Flubber). It stars Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson, Elizabeth Perkins, and Dylan McDermott, and is the fourth remake (and the second theatrical version) of the original 1947 film. Like the original, it was released by 20th Century Fox, to mixed to positive reception.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Directed by: Les Mayfield
Starring: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, J. T. Walsh, James Remar, Mara Wilson, Robert Prosky, Simon Jones, Kathrine Narducci, Allison Janney
Screenplay by: George Seaton, John Hughes
Production Design by: Doug Kraner
Cinematography by: Julio Macat
Film Editing by: Raja Gosnell
Costume Design by: Kathy O’Rear
Set Decoration by: Leslie E. Rollins
Art Direction by: Steve Arnold
Music by: Bruce Broughton
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild language.
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: November 18, 1994