Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Just in time to be too late for Christmas!

There have been three Television adaptations of "Miracle On 34th Street" over the years:

1955 - with Thomas Mitchell as Kris Kringle
1959 - with Ed Wynn as Kris Kringle
1973 - with Sebastian Cabot as Kris Kringle

Since it's customary (although not set in stone) that the "first broadcast" rule should determine which televersion gets into Earth Prime-Time, then it's the 1955 version that can be found in the main Toobworld.

The fact that Thomas Mitchell doesn't resemble Charles Durning, the "official" face of Santa Claus in the TV Universe, isn't one of great concern. Santa is a magical being and he appears as people expect him to look. (This splains away the two different Santas during the run of 'Bewitched'.)

The confrontation with the drunken Santa Claus at the Thanksgiving Day Parade has been cut, Doris takes a more active role in the Post Office's role in the proceedings, and the sequence of events at the very end have been flipped. The one major character to be lost entirely in the transition through the dimensional vortex is young Alfred, Santa's Helper at Macy's. Otherwise it's a very faithful adaptation of the original.

Joining Mr. Mitchell are MacDonald Carey as the lawyer Fred, Hans Conreid as the toy department manager, Ray Collins as the judge, and Teresa Wright in the Maureen O'Hara role. (Pictured below are MacDonald Carey and Thomas Mitchell, with Teresa Wright and Hans Conreid in the background.)
Ed Wynn's Kris Kringle would be then located to the dimension of Television Remakes with such shows as 'The New Lassie' and the new 'Battlestar Galactica'. (The televersion of 'Sherlock Holmes' which starred Ronald Howard is also here because the Jeremy Brett version was not only more detailed but stuck totally to the works of Conan Doyle.)

As for that 1973 TV movie, which until recently I thought was the only version on the Toob, it was a fairly classy production. So why not give it a home in the dimension where 'The West Wing' has taken up residence? Why shouldn't Jed Bartlet have a Santa Claus in his life as well?

Toby OB

1 comment:

Edward Ott said...

I had no idea that there were so many versions of this. i do believe that i have only seen the original.