Didn’t we all want Santa to be real when we were kids? Wasn’t life so much simpler and easier then? It certainly was for Virginia. “Yes, Virginia…there is a Santa Claus” became a famous quote from the Oscar winning film Miracle on 34th Street.
First released as The Big Heart in the United Kingdom, in 1947 Miracle on 34th Street was written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn. Taking place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, the story focuses on the impact of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa and the film has become a Christmas favorite.
Miracle on 34th Street won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Edmund Gwenn), Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Picture, losing to Gentleman’s Agreement.
Davies also penned a short novelization of the tale, which was published by Harcourt Brace simultaneously with the film’s release.
Let’s take a look back a a very young Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara (who was also Jane in the Tarzan flicks…remember?) in Miracle on 34th Street…