Miracle on 34th Street film paired with NYC Christmas recipes

Starring Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn & Natalie Wood

Rating 8/10

Plot:
– Old fella, Kris Kringle (Gwenn) meets an intoxicated Santa who is about to take part in the super-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Kris is horrified that Santa is drunk and complains to single mum and parade organiser, Doris Walker (O’Hara) who asks Kris if he’ll play Santa instead. He’s a hit and gets a job at Macy’s as their Santa.
– He moves in with Doris’ neighbour, Fred Gailey  (John Payne) and strikes up a friendship with her daughter, Susan (Wood). When Kris starts telling recommends other stores, the manager initially gets upset but the customers love it and pledge their undying love (well, sort of) to Macy’s.
– Meanwhile Fred takes her Susan to see Santa. Only Susan doesn’t believe in Santa but after her encounter with Kris, she starts to change her mind. Doris isn’t happy about it though and orders Kris to tell her daughter that he’s not, in fact, Santa. When he refuses she threatens to fire him but Mr Macy tells her not to so she decides to get a psychological evaluation with store Granville Sawyer.
– Kris passes but when he confronts Sawyer about his treatment of a young Macy’s employee and pops him on the head with an umbrella, Kris is taken to a hospital.
– Then the court case starts. Is he really Santa or is he not? Find out…

Entree:

How cool is New York City? Very! So let’s get all hip and happening with some delicious, gourmet, yummy Christmas food, worthy of this amazing city and movie. We’ll start with Smoked Garlic and Melted Mozzarella Bread recipe from Delicious Magazine.

Review:

I must say my expectations were rather high with this classic Christmas movie. I watched it with my kids and thought they’d get bored half-way through. It is a tad slow. But, to their credit and the movie’s credit, they didn’t! They actually loved it! And so did I. It wasn’t as jaw-droppingly amazing as I thought it would be but it was sweet, intriguing and festive! Win-win-win.

Edmund Gwenn plays Kris Kringle perfectly and I loved seeing Natalie Wood as a smart, cluey little girl. The idea of having to prove someone really was Santa was a bit of a stretch but as my Christmas spirit is in high gear, my imagination took over and just went with it.

Not only is it a great Christmas movie but a fascinating look at New York City in the 1940s/50s. It features a few controversial topics of the day such as divorce, single parenting and teaching kids to think practically rather than allowing them to go crazy using their imagination; how dare they!

All in all it’s a great movie. Well worth watching with your favourite Christmas snacks or a fully fledged festive meal! Go crazy, Christmas-style. Enjoy.

Main meal:

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, there’s nothing yummier than tucking into a roast. But rather than going fully traditional with a turkey, let’s dig into some of this New York City deliciousness… Yogurt-Marinated Leg of Lamb with Cardamom and Orange from The New York Times.

Miracle on 34th Street trivia:

  • Budget – $630,000, bargain!
  • Edmund Gwenn actually played Santa in the 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and no one knew until he was introduced at the end.
  • O’Hara was forced to play this role and was not happy about it until she read the script. Then she loved it!
  • Natalie Wood was eight when she made this movie.
  • The parade scene was the actual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
  • The actual Macy’s store was used but there was trouble with demands on electricity so they had to bring in more power supply.
  • While making this movie, Wood really thought Gwenn was Santa until she saw him out of his costume.

Dessert:

Now for dessert we’re going for a slight twist on a classic because that’s what New York City is about, people. It’s about upholding tradition while being super-creative! So, with that in mind, our dessert of choice is… Chocolate Cranberry and Cream Cheese Mousse Trifle from Baking Obsession.

Do you prefer the modern version of this film or this lovely classic?

More great film and food matches to try:

Elf movie matched with super-sweet sugary elvish food
* Top 10 Christmas films matched with my fave Christmas recipes 
* Top 10 Christmas kids’ films matched with festive flavours

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