-Miracle on 34th Street

Wed 15 December 2021
Time 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Price £5

Director: George Seaton (United States, 1947)

Certification:  U  | 1 h 36 min | Drama, Comedy | Language: English

The story takes place in New York City between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and focuses on the story of a Santa who works in a department store and is taken to court after claiming he is the real Father Christmas.

The film was initially released in the United Kingdom as ‘The Big Heart’. It was written and directed by George Seaton, based on a story by Valentine Davies. In 1948 won three Academy Awards, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Edmund Gwenn), Best Writing, Original Story (Valentine Davies) and Best Writing, Screenplay (George Seaton). Also was nominated for Best Picture. 

When Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) recruits a last minute replacement for a drunken Santa (Percy Helton) for Macy’s Christmas parade, he seems ideal for the job. The new Santa (Edmund Gwenn) says his name is Kris Kringle and is the real Santa Claus . At the department store, he is getting very popular, seems to be able to speak many languages and knows just what kids would like. When Kris has a problem with a jealous fellow employee, he is taken to a mental institution, leading to a court case where he tries to prove that he is the real Santa, but more importantly over everything is that Doris and her daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) believe in him.

The original story has been adapted several times for theatre, television and cinema and it has been a seasonal favorite for decades and for many generations. 

+ Christmas in the UK through the years (1900-1928, 6 minutes)

A selection of six documentary short films from the BFI National Archive giving us an insight into the Christmas and winter traditions in the UK covering a series of seasonal traditions through almost three decades. The 6-minute compilation of silent films curated by Lorena Pino is part of the BFI National Archive collection available on BFI Player and it was formed from different sources.
The archive material offers a glimpse into the outdoor winter games of Victorian boys, the Allied troops enjoying their Christmas rations during WWI, a turkey farm and fashionable mechanical toys in the 20s. A rare and invaluable collection of images to reflect on the seasonal traditions and how much those have changed or not over the decades.

With support from the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) awarding funds from The National Lottery and special support from the BFI National Archive team

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