10 Facts About “Miracle on 34th Street” You May Not Have Known

The holiday season is best spent cozying up on the couch and watching your favorite Christmas movies. With that in mind, Mental Floss has compiled this list of 10 facts about Miracle on 34th Street:

  • The movie was originally called The Big Heart. It didn’t stick with American audiences, but it was first released under that title in the U.K.
  • Valentine Davies was inspired to write the story while standing in a long line at a department store. Davies got the idea for the film during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, which left him to wonder what Santa would’ve thought about such commercialization. 
  • The studio didn’t get the consent of Macy’s and Gimbels until after filming was over. The studio made the companies aware they were going into production, but refused to share footage until filming was completed. 
  • Edmund Gwenn actually played Santa in the 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The parade scene was entirely real, and Maureen O’Hara’s autobiography proves it.
  • The film was released in the summer. In fact, the publicity campaign barely talked about Christmas at all. 
  • Natalie Wood still believed in Santa. Wood was 8 while filming Miracle on 34th Street and still “vaguely believed.” 
  • The saying Kris Kringle lists on his Macy’s job application is by Jonathan Swift.He writes: “I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.” The saying famously comes from Irish satirist Swift. 
  • The cameras froze during the scene in which Susan spots her dream house.While filming the final scene, the weather was so cold that production had to stop to let the cameras thaw. 
  • John Payne wrote a sequel that was never produced. He loved the film so much he wanted to make a follow-up, but died before he could get around to it. 
  • Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and Payne would hang out together on nights they weren’t filming. O’Hara recalled in her memoir, “We stopped and window-shopped at all the stores, which were beautifully decorated for the holidays.”
 
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