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YMMV / Miracle on 34th Street

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  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Seeing the Macy's people so worried about Gimbels, knowing that Macy's was eventually the big winner of that rivalry.
    • In the 1947 version, Susan compares Kris to the previous year's Santa, saying, "at least this one doesn't wear glasses". Kris himself wears glasses in the 1994 version.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: Doris, even at the beginning of the film, despite her cynicism and skepticism, ultimately still believes in doing things the right way and making people happy. Even though she's no longer an idealist, she never gave up her idealism entirely to become a Straw Nihilist. You can see this in the opening of the film when she fires the first Santa for being a drunk who didn't care about anything but a paycheck.
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  • Uncanny Valley: The colorized version gives everyone a rather "off" skin tone, making everyone look a bit like either they are made of paper or plastic.
  • Values Dissonance: Everyone is perfectly fine with a little girl being left in the care of the dashing stranger across the hall. To be fair, Cleo the Housekeeper mentions that she can keep an eye on Susan through the apartment windows to ensure she's safe, but the idea of a man not well known to a child's legal guardian befriending said child has different connotations today (in the 1947 version, he admits he was befriending Susan in order to woo Doris.) The 1994 remake alters the storyline to have Dorey Walker and Brian Bedford already in a serious relationship, thus ducking this altogether.
  • Values Resonance: This film seems really ahead of its time with Doris Walker being a successful business executive whose delegated authority no one disputes and there is no mention of her ever giving up her career for Fred Gailey. Furthermore, her role as a single career mother is never questioned, only the very cold worldview she has adopted and taught to her daughter.
    • The Catholic Legion of Decency did give the film a "B" (morally objectionable in part) rating due to Doris being a divorcee.
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    • The film's critique of commercialism replacing the spiritual elements of Christmas and society as a whole is one that is continually echoed in the modern era. Amusingly, this critique was left out of the 1994 remake - likely due to the remake's excessive use of product tie-ins and promotions.
    • In addition, the film's view of the mentally ill is extremely on-point almost a century later. It correctly states that most people who are mentally ill are not a threat to anyone. Furthermore, even as Kris believes himself to be Santa Claus, he's still perfectly cognizant and capable of taking care of himself; he doesn't need to be constantly monitored or kept in an asylum.


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