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Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Year, country:
Les Mayfield
Richard AttenboroughElizabeth PerkinsDylan McDermott
1h 54m

Cole's Department Store's special events director Dorey Walker fires the Cole's Department Store's Santa Claus Tony Falacchi after he gets drunk before taking part in the Thanksgiving parade. Immediately trying to find a replacement, she spots an elderly man who had been berating the inebriated Santa before the parade. When Dorey begs him to take over, he introduces himself as Kris Kringle. Kris does so well during the parade that he is immediately hired by Cole's, despite his apparent belief that he is the real Santa Claus.

Kris is lauded by the children and parents who come to visit him, and his unusual proclivity to direct shoppers to other stores where toys can be bought more cheaply is turned into a successful marketing campaign for Cole's. The sudden turnaround of Cole's, which had only recently survived a hostile takeover bid by Victor Landberg, enrages executives at rival firm Shopper's Express, who are led by Jim Duff.

Dorey has persuaded her six-year-old daughter, Susan, that Santa Claus does not exist, and is concerned by Kris's influence on her. Dorey's boyfriend, attorney Bryan Bedford, does his best to convince Susan to believe. While being babysat one night by Kris, Susan shares with him her Christmas wish: she would like a dad, a house pictured in the Cole's Christmas catalogue, and a baby brother. Kris asks if she would begin to believe in Santa if she got all those things, and Susan agrees that she would.

Landberg and Duff realize that Kris believes himself to be Santa Claus and leads a plot to destroy his credibility. Duff and his fellow executives pay Falacchi to antagonize Kris in the street and feign an injury when Kris raises his walking stick, leading to Kris's arrest. Bryan provides Kris with legal support and arranges for a court hearing where Kris can make his case. Dorey convinces the chairman of Cole's to show solidarity with Kris, drumming up support from the public. At the court hearing, prosecutor Ed Collins makes the case that Kris is mentally unfit for society, allowing him to state to the court that he is the real Santa Claus.

That evening, Judge Henry Harper privately confides to Bryan that despite Kris's genuine goodwill, he feels he has no choice but to declare him insane. The next morning, just before he can announce his ruling, Susan approaches the judge with a Christmas card containing a $1 bill. On the back, the words In God We Trust are circled. The judge realizes that if the US Department of Treasury can put its official faith in God on US currency with no required standard of evidence, then the people of New York can place their faith in Santa Claus in the same way. Judge Harper dismisses the case, declaring that Santa is real, existing in the person of Kris Kringle.

Following the court case, Dorey and Bryan are maneuvered by Kris into realizing their true feelings for each other, and are married in a small ceremony after the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.

On Christmas morning, Susan wakes to the news of the marriage and is elated to find that she has received one part of her Christmas wish. Together, Susan, Dorey, and Bryan drive out to the catalogue house and find that Kris - who has now departed 'overseas' - has arranged for them to purchase it, which they can now afford due to the size of Dorey's Christmas bonus.

With two of Susan's wishes fulfilled, Dorey asks her what the third one was, and she triumphantly announces that it was a baby brother. Dorey and Bryan both look at each other, shocked, before glancing down at Dorey's stomach and sharing a kiss.

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