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Entries in Miracle on 34th Street (3)

Monday
Sep 26 2016

Gangster Chic & Patriarchy Toppling?Tell Me About It, Stud.

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1877Edmund Gwenn is born.Wins the Oscar seventy years or so later as Kris Kringle,helping adults to believe in Santa Claus again in Miracle on 34th Street (and yes,that's one of the all time best wins in Supporting Actor.Do you agree?)
1888T.S.Eliot,one of the 20th century's great poets,is born.Though few movies are made from his work he did lead toCatson Broadway.He was played by Willem Dafoe in the movieTom & Viv(1994)
1898A true musical genius George Gershwin is born in Brooklyn.Movies and TV shows still use his music today.

gangsters and musicals after the jump

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Tuesday
Nov 04 2014

The Honoraries: Maureen O'Hara in Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

In "The Honoraries"we're looking at the careers of this year's Honorary Oscar recipients including Maureen O'Hara.Here'sAndrewon a holiday favorite...

A common criticism meted out against Maureen O'Hara is that she's often in good films but hardly ever thereasonthe films are great.In this vein,it's almost wicked that I chose to write on her work inMiracle on 34th Street,in our celebration.Maureen O'Hara is probably not the first image that comes to mind when you think of this immortal Christmas classic.Your mind probably went instantly to holiday charm,Macy's consumerism,Natalie Wood's lovely child star turnor Edmund Gwenn's Oscar-winning Kris Kringle performance.

Still,I find Maureen's place in the movie significant.

A little background: before shootingMiracle on 34th Street,O'Hara had recently moved to Ireland and was essentially forced into taking the role of Doris Walker,the mother who encourages her daughter not to believe in Santa Clause.The film was calledThe Big Heartat the time and she was not enthusiastic about returning to North America to shoot it.However,once she read the script her sentiments changed and she was immediately keen to co-star.Justwhatit was about the role that made Maureen so immediately enthusiastic to be a part of the project?[More...]

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Thursday
Jul 18 2013

Young Natalie: Thoughts on one of the great child performances of all time

Hi all,it's Tim.With Natalie Wood Week upon us,there will be much talk of the actress's run of films as a beautifully virginal ingénue,or her transition into roles as troubled adults and young women.But I want to pause on the threshold of all thoseSplendor in the GrassesandWest Side Storiesto pay tribute to the an earlier era in the Life of Natalie,when she became one of the best-loved child actors of the 1940s (and a good time it was for child actors,too).

The film that put her on the map wasMiracle on 34thStreet,of course,released when the actress was a mere eight years old in 1947.It wasn't her first credited role (that would be the Claudette Colbert/Orson Welles vehicleTomorrow Is Forever,from 1946),nor even the first movie to showcase her to good effect;earlier that same year,she'd been a solid presence in the supernatural melodramaThe Ghost and Mrs.Muir,though that film ultimately didn't ask very much of her besides being cherubic and innocent (this would remain true of a frustrating number of her vehicles throughout her later career).Simple,even if the simple ability to be a dazzlingly cute kid without it spilling over into tackiness was already enough to mark Wood out as more than just one more saccharine little girl ready to fill the void left by Shirley Temple's ascendance into her late teens.

Miracle on 34thStreetwas something entirely different.

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