Miracle on 34th Street


A perennial this-time-of-year favorite, Miracle on 34th Street features a kind, old gentleman (Edmund Gwenn) who insists he is the real Santa Claus, getting a job at Macy’s and bringing holiday cheer to a single mother and her daughter. During the course of the film, the store psychologist has it in for Kris Kringle and sends him to Bellevue. This leads into a high-profile hearing in which a young lawyer named Fred Gailey (John Payne) sets out to prove that Kris Kringle is the one and only Santa Claus. As the hearing reaches the final day, on Christmas Eve no less, when Gailey presents three letters simply addressed “Santa Claus” to the judge. This is to prove that the U.S. Postal Service believes Kris to be the real deal. When the prosecutor demands more then three letters, and the judge insists that Gailey put the exhibits on his desk, almost a dozen postal workers enter the court with 21 giant mail bags filled with letters. A Christmas miracle happens, and Kris Kringle is vindicated. This got me thinking: With all that has changed in our world in the past 66 years, could all the letters to Santa delivered to the U.S. Post Office be used to prove Kris Kringle is the real Santa Claus?


Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer

We’ve all been there. It’s holiday time, you’re stuck at home with extended family you see but once a year, conversation topics have run thin and you cannot stuff your face with anymore Christmas cookies to keep from having to fill the awkward lulls. Before you go into diabetic shock, why not let a movie do the talking (and entertaining) for you? The question then becomes – what is a good movie to sit down to watch with grandma that won’t have a sudden sex scene or slasher moment that will not only horrify an older movie watcher, but will probably also scar you for life? (As the commercial showing grandma getting a True Blood DVD set proves, amorous vampires and fairies may not be for all ages). Have no fear – I have compiled a list of family-friendly fare that will not only wile away a few hours, but will make you look like a caring and thoughtful grandkid, which in turn may pay off in more holiday loot. (I mean that’s the point of the season, right? One time of the year being good actually pays off?) Grab your favorite Snuggie and pop one of these in the ol’ entertainment center!



It’s that time of year again. A time to leer out your window suspiciously, a time to hear things that go bump in the night, a time to tremble with fear at the constant, piercing violin strings that follow you everywhere you go. It’s Christmas!



This week’s Culture Warrior asks why there aren’t more movies about Thanksgiving. Christmas always seems to hog all the good ones.



What could possibly inspire a list of ten utter lumps of coal this early in the year? How about a giant turd of a Christmas film that also released in early November (we’re looking at you, Vince Vaughn).

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published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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