Miracle on 34th Street has a lot going for it: it's a Christmas movie, a romance, a courtroom drama, and it has the adorable 8-year-old Natalie Wood. The 1947 film starts out with a boatload of cynicism and gradually fills each character with the spirit of Christmas before it's over. If Miracle on 34th Street is one of your favorite Christmas memories, you'll want to learn more about its production.
2. VALENTINE DAVIES WAS INSPIRED TO WRITE THE STORY WHILE STANDING IN A LONG LINE AT A DEPARTMENT STORE.
According to TCM, Davies got the idea for the film during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The long lines and chaos left him to wonder what Santa would’ve thought about such commercialization. After writing the story, he gave the idea to [director George] Seaton to turn into a script. In 1947, when the film was released in theaters, Davies also released his novella version of the story.
3. THE STUDIO DIDN’T GET THE CONSENT OF MACY’S AND GIMBELS UNTIL AFTER FILMING HAD CONCLUDED.
Despite the fact that both Macy’s and Gimbels figure prominently in the story, the studio took a gamble by not getting the companies to sign off before using their names. According to TCM, the studio made the companies aware they were going into production, but refused to share footage until filming was completed. Luckily, both department stores were satisfied with the final product.
Learn more about Miracle on 34th Street, some of it straight from the memories of its starring cast, at Mental Floss.