34th Street has Another Miracle
After spotting that the Santa in the parade is inebriated, Kris Kringle (Sebastian Cabot) comes to the aid of parade organizer Karen Walker (Jane Alexander) and replaces him, becoming a hit with the crowds in doing so. Kris is so good that Karen persuades him to be Santa in the Macy's department store where he is just as much of a hit with the customers, even Karen's daughter Susan (Suzanne Davidson). But after Kris advises some customers to go to another store where goods are cheaper Dr. Sawyer (Roddy McDowall), a psychiatrist employed by the store, has him committed to an institution for saying he really is Santa Claus. Fortunately Karen's neighbour Bill (David Hartman) is a lawyer and is willing to defend Kris for free when he ends up in court.
You learn many things as you work your way through life but you will never know everything. For a while I thought that there was only two "Miracle on 34th Street" movies the original 1947 version and then the 1994 version with Richard Attenborough but then I stumbled across this 1973 made for TV version which was a surprise. But not as much as then discovering this was the third remake of "Miracle on 34th Street" and there is another made for TV version before this one. And another surprise for some will be the fact that this TV movie of "Miracle on 34th Street" from 1973 is not half bad, not up there for me with either the original or 90s remake but still an entertaining Christmas movie.
Now I am sure anyone who is here looking for more information on the 1973 version of "Miracle on 34th Street" is not here wondering what the movie is about but more interested in how it differs and compares to those better known versions. Well the heart of the movie is still the same but with some minor changes such as it is a psychiatrist employed by Macy's department store who tries to prove Kris is crazy rather than Santa whilst neighbour Bill has another woman who is interested in him. But whilst these changes, including some musical elements, allow for some entertaining updated scenes such as comical discussion between Dr. Sawyer and Kris it still remains familiar.
Of course there is also the not so little matter of Kris Kringle himself and Sebastian Cabot does a fantastic job of playing him giving his a real softness which makes him appealing. And Cabot pulls of the musical element as he sings a song to young Susan which is actually quite pleasant.
What this all boils down to is that this 1973 version of "Miracle on 34th Street" is still a good movie and well worth a watch even if you have a general dislike of any movie which has been made for TV. Whilst personally it isn't as good as the better known versions I am sure those who saw this in 1973 or was a child during the early 70s and have fond memories of Christmas back then will find this a bit of nostalgic fun.