There are two great versions of the movie Miracle on 34th Street. In the 1947 version, the movie is set in New York and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is ready to take place. One of the characters, Kris Kringle, discovers that the man who is supposed to be in the parade as Santa is drunk.
Kris is hired by Doris, a young divorced woman and becomes the replacement for the drunken Santa (who was played brilliantly by Percy Helton) and he is later hired to work at the Macy’s store.
Instead of automatically getting people to buy things at Macy’s, Kris sends customers to shop at the competitor stores to find better deals on items if he knows about them. Doris? neighbor, Fred, an attorney, brings her daughter, Susan (played by a young Natalie Wood), who dreams of a home and a family to visit Kris at the store and hears him speaking in a different language to another child.
Doris asks him to make sure he tells her daughter that he’s an ordinary man, but Kris tells her that he is Santa Claus. When Julian arranges for Kris to take psychological test with Granville Sawyer, Kris passes – but later discovers that the man who gave him the test has causes another employee (Alfred) to think Alfred has mental problems.
This upsets Kris, who hits Granville over the head. Because of this incident, Kris gets locked up in a mental hospital and Fred needs to prove that Kris is Santa. He?s released and the judge tosses out the case after Fred proves that Kris is Santa Claus. Susan gets her wish when she gets the house she?d dreamed of and her family.
In the 1994 version of the movie, the name of the store has been changed from Macy?s to a store called Cole’s. Dorey (played by Elizabeth Perkins) hires Kris Kringle to be the Cole’s store Santa after he ends up taking the place of a drunken Santa in the annual parade.
He?s so convincing in his role as Santa that children start to think he?s the real deal. But Susan, Dorey’s adorable daughter (played by Mara Wilson) refuses to believe despite her mother?s boyfriend Bryan (played by Dylan McDermott) trying to convince her otherwise.
When Kris asks her what it will take for her to believe in Santa, she gives him her wish list. She wants a father, the house she saw in an advertisement and a little brother. During the movie, Kris is arrested on false charges and Bryan, who?s an attorney, must help free him – but in order to do that, he has the gigantic task of proving to the judge that Kris is indeed the real Santa.
He gets Susan to help him and the charges against Kris are tossed out. When Bryan and Dorey marry and they end up with Susan’s dream house as well as the baby brother on the way, Susan?s Christmas wish has come true.