Miracle on 34th Street, part 1 Reply

family-listening-to-the-radioWhile I was growing up, I used to listen to my parents and grandparents talking to me about what it was like before televisions became commonplace (during the 50’s in America). Before then, the whole family used to gather around the radio and listen to all kinds of variety and fictional shows after dinner. One of the most popular radio anthology programs was The Lux Radio Theater which was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS (1935-54) and NBC (1954-55). Traditionally, Lux Radio Theater aired Broadway plays which were shortened to an hour so that radio listeners could easily listen to the whole story. If the plays were popular, they were then made into full length feature films. This was the case for the Christmas time play called “A Miracle on 34th Street” broadcast in 1948 starring Maureen O’Hara a very famous screen actress of the 30’s and 40’s (who often performed with John Wayne). The theme of the play centers on the existence and meaning of Santa Claus or “Kris Kringle”.Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood, and Maureen O'Hara in a scene from MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, 1947. It takes place in New York at the Macy’s Department store where Maureen O’Hara plays Doris Walker, a Macy’s Store executive and Edmund Gwenn plays the part of Kris Kringle who is hired to play Santa Claus for all the children who visit the store before Christmas. It’s Thanksgiving time and the annual Macy’s parade is in full swing with the Macy executives already desperately trying to prepare for the next big holiday Christmas. When they find Kris Kringle, Doris’s daughter, Susan (here played by the young Natalie Wood), is ecstatic as he looks like the real Santa of her dreams…listen to the radio play to find out how mother and daughter confront their own hopes and beliefs through the encounter of the Macy’s Store Santa. Miracle on 34th Street Lux Theater Script

 

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