Miracle on 34th Street
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Product Description An adwoman's lawyer boyfriend proves Macy's Santa Claus is the real thing. Directed by George Seaton. Best supporting Oscar for Gwenn. Amazon.com Beyond Miracle on 34th Street Miracle on 34th Street (1994) Christmas Classics Box Set Horton Hears a Who! Stills from Miracle on 34th Street (Click for larger image) Additional Features You'd have to be the world's biggest Scrooge to dislike a holiday classic like Miracle on 34th Street, but genuine movie lovers will insist on watching this perennial favorite in its original black-and-white theatrical release version. It's included on disc 2 of this two-disc set, and those who insist on watching the blandly colorized version (oh, the shame of it all!) can restrict their viewing to disc 1. Both versions offer the same commentary track by Maureen O'Hara, recorded at O'Hara's home in Ireland on August 24, 2006. O'Hara's congenial commentary reflects her career in the studio system of Hollywood's golden age; she's a consummate lady, praising her fellow cast members (especially Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood, whom she refers to as "total professionals") and making occasional behind-the-scenes observations while offering her perspective on why Miracle is such an enduring dose of holiday sentiment. O'Hara's comments are not heard throughout the film, but her silences are relatively brief, and it's a real treat to hear O'Hara reminiscing nearly 60 years after the film was made. On disc 2, an episode of the American Movie Classics "Backstory" series is devoted to the writing, production history, and lasting impact of Miracle on 34th Street, featuring clips from several later remakes created for movies and television. The "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" featurette delves further into the movie's long-term association with Macy's department story in Manhattan, with vintage film clips and interviews showing how Miracle on 34th Street is still a vital part of Macy's holiday celebrations. Also included is an amusing promotional short that shows how 20th Century Fox cleverly marketed Miracle on 34th Street to appeal to all age groups, including what could very well be the earliest use of the word "groovy" (in this case "groovie") in a movie promotional trailer. Rounding out the disc is a colorful gallery of Miracle movie posters, including original and re-release versions. Overall, the two-disc set of Miracle on 34th Street offers a revealing look at the way movies were produced and promoted in the late 1940s, and O'Hara's commentary serves as a classy reminder that studio-contracted movie stars played an important role in that promotional machinery. --Jeff Shannon