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on December 31, 1998
Few remakes do justice to the original classic and even fewer improve on it. This one does both. Mara Wilson is wonderful and gives a once in a lifetime performance. In an effort to put a twist on the original they changed the scene where Santa speaks a foreign language to a child come to sit on his lap and instead he uses sign language to speak to a hearing impaired child. The result is a very touching scene. John Hughes has done it again!
11 comment39 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon December 10, 2000
I love that this remake didn't sell out very much, and put in too much modern stuff. It is very successful in keeping a "traditional" feel, with only a few exceptions. Mara Wilson is absolutely delightful and classic in her performance, and I really like Elizabeth Perkins' reproduction of the original role. And Dylan McDermott, whom I typically find very flat and dull, is sweet and charming as the sincere bachelor attorney with an eye for Perkins.
Richard Attenborough is amazing as Santa, at least as good as the formidable original. The scene in the original featuring Santa visiting with the Dutch war refugee girl is replaced in this remake with Santa visiting with a little deaf girl. The scene in the original is about as sweet as any scene in any movie ever, and the remake is even sweeter! The deaf girl's face, when Santa talks to her in sign language, is absolutely worth the price of this DVD.
The only real weakness for me was the John DeLancie and Jane Leeves part of the movie, as two "evil" agents for the "enemy" department store (where all the upper management wears all black). They reminded me of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern from "Home Alone" -- sort of bumbling bad guys in a bad cartoon sort of way.
So all in all, I really think that this version is as good or better than the original, which is simply too dated in a few respects for me to be able to enjoy unconditionally. I think both of them are definitely worth owning.
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on December 3, 2003
Let me say two things.
1. I love old movies.
2. I mistrust remakes.
However, I loved this remake. It has become a regular part of our Christmas for the past 10 years. My wife loves it and I do as well. Get it now!!
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on October 7, 2005
I love the original Miracle on 34th Street movie and this remake has it's moments and has a very good cast, Richard Attenborough, Dylan McDermott, Elizabeth Perkins and Mara Wilson but it can't hold a candle to the original black and white version and lacks the warmth of that old classic. The actors were fine, it was the atmosphere of the movie that I found kind of cold and lacking of charm compared to the original version!
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on December 13, 1998
Wonderful story of christmas that the whole family can watch year after year.
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on September 29, 2000
Attenborough is a very satisfactory replacement for Gwynn in this remake, and the little girl is better than Natalie Wood (my biggest complaint about the original is Wood's performance; she's annoyingly precious). The romance is a little flat, but it was in the original, too. Perkins just isn't as good as O'Hara, (hardly anyone is), but McDermott is better than the telephone pole that played the lawyer in the original (it's no accident that John Payne wasn't a big star). And the "trial" makes a little more sense than in the original, although I sure missed William Frawley (aka Fred Mertz) as the judge's political advisor.
Overall, I think that this is a very satisfactory remake. It doesn't quite reach some of the high points of the original, but it avoids enough of the lows to make it just fine. And my kids like it better, probably because it's in color and has a more modern feel. It's become a family tradition to watch it on Christmas Eve, and I rather look forward to it every year...
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on November 18, 2012
Hands down, the best holiday movie ever. This version is even better than the original. I watch it all year. I promise you'll love it!
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on November 20, 2005
A really enjoyed this film from start to finish and I think it's one of the best christmas movies. I forget the original movie but I remember this one beeing better. The film is slow at times which is a downfall for kids I think they'll be board lots in the film. The story is about a girl who dosent believe in Santa Clause and a department store santa Clause thinks he's the real thing. The movie is good becouse all the miracles that happen in the book can happen (there far feteched but it's a movie) so we still think is he really Santa or a nice man. The film is a real treat and all the actors do great jobs.
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on January 6, 2014
While the 1940s version with Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood is considered the classic version, this is one of those rare instances where I much prefer the newer version! Mara Wilson as Susan is precocious, but endearing, whereas I find Natalie Wood to be somewhat annoying in the original version. Elizabeth Perkins, Richard Attenborough and Dylan McDermott all are wonderful in their roles. This is a wonderfully uplifting tale that is a "must see" for me every holiday season!
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on November 26, 1999
This is the best Christmas movie that I have ever seen! The excelent Elizabeth Perkins delivers an outstanding performance as the over-worked, good-parent, Dori Walker the mother of Susan, played by none other than the child superstar, cutie pie, Mara Wilson. Richard Attenborough looks exactly like Santa Claus if you ask me! This tale is a mix of a Christmas Miracle and a loving romance. When Santa Claus was sent to the asylum, there was superb acting by all of the actors and actresses. If you love Christmas movies, you will definetely love this!
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