Parents' Guide to

Miracle on 34th Street

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Classic holiday movie for the whole family.

Movie NR 1947 96 minutes
Miracle on 34th Street Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 13+

Best for teens and up

I LOVE this movie as a young adult and really wanted to share it with my children. I saw that Common Sense Media suggested it for 6 years and up and so I was excited to share it with my 8 year old and 10 year old. I haven't seen it in a while so I forgot some of the scenes. Both my kids believe in Santa Clause and parts of this were really disturbing. The opening scene was a drunk Santa in the Macy's parade and it totally confused our kids. Given that so many people discussed that there wasn't a Santa Claus and there was a LOT of dialogue in the beginning of the movie, my kids were bored and asked to be excused, so they were and didn't watch the rest of the movie. Later on, I'm glad I excused them as one scene (which adults find very funny) was a very drunk woman saying "Of course Santy-Clause can stay with us!". There is also smoking in a few scenes. Also, the Kris Kringle gets put in a mental hospital which would also be confusing for my children. There are so many subtleties in this movie ("latent tendencies", "guilt complex") that it wouldn't be entertaining for my kids except for the monkey imitation scene and the bubble gum scene with Natalie Wood which are completely charming, and of course, the end where the mounds of letters pour on the judge's desk and Susan she gets the house of her dreams. It really is a movie for us adults and perhaps tweens and teens, though. Not for young kids.

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
6 people found this helpful.
age 6+


This is a Christmas classic! Even though it is all about being against the existence of Santa Claus, and about Santa trying to prove that he actually is Santa, it really gets you to think. Would you believe Santa was actually Santa if he existed today in the modern world? It is also interesting because the main character besides Kris Kringle is a young girl whom you would typically expect to believe in fairytales and myths, but she doesn’t even know that they are around. It is very bizarre, but very interesting. Also, there should be something about drinking, drugs, and smoking. There is a scene where Fred Gaily smokes in his apartment. But, it is very brief. Highly recommendEd if you are looking for a classic Christmas movie for the entire family.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10):
Kids say (11):

Ignore the pallid 1973 (television) and 1994 (theatrical) remakes; this original is much, much better. Both Edmund Gwenn and the screenplay won Academy Awards for this film. In a way, Miracle on 34th Street is the opposite of Inherit the Wind. Both are courtroom dramas about how we decide what is true, based on faith or based on provable fact. They have opposite conclusions, however, and the great gift of the movies is that both seem right to us. (One similarity is that in both, the judges are warned that they must make a decision that will have favorable political consequences.)

Doris has been hurt, and thinks she can protect herself and Susan from further hurt by not letting herself believe in anything outside themselves any more. She finds out that both she and Susan have missed a lot, not just in imagination but in the ability to trust, and to allow themselves to get close to other people.

Movie Details

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