Miracle on 34th Street – “I Believe, I Believe, it’s Silly but I Believe”, 04JAN
My favorite movie – not just Christmas movie – but all time movie – is Miracle on 34th Street. Not the ’70’s version, not the colorized version but the original 1947 version – Edwin Gwynn as Kris Kringle – Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood as mom and daughter… and Fred Gailey the lawyer (John Payne) who was an early believer. Yes, my favorite movie of all time – ever since I was a teen…
Little Susie says “I believe, I believe, it’s silly but I believe”. She was talking about Santa Claus – but the movie goes much deeper than that – see Santa (Kris Kringle) was looking for belief in people – in everyone who didn’t believe – looking for hope to continue in his line of work – to continue hoping for the world. Fred was asking Doris (Maureen O’Hara) to believe – to believe in him – to believe in anything – she swore off fairy tales, swore off any belief in what she wasn’t in control of. she suffered from too much reality check – “should be realistic and completely truthful with our children and not have them growing up believing in a lot of legends and myths” … “And by filling them full of fairy tales they grow up considering life a fantasy instead of a reality.” Fred will work on Doris – Kris Kringle work on Susie too – together they can make this happen – it is a movie after all – together we will see how it all unfolds…
At the pinnacle of the movie – Doris is upset that Fred throws away his career by taking on the seemingly win-less case of proving that Kris Kringle is indeed Santa Claus – the one and only Santa Claus… Fred urges her “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. It’s not just Kris that’s on trial. It’s everything he stands for. It’s kindness, joy, love, and all other intangibles.” “Someday, you’re going to find out that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn’t work. And when you do, don’t overlook those lovely intangibles. You’ll discover they’re the only things that are worthwhile.”
Fast forward to Doris trying to reassure Susie that Mr Kringle will be ok – Doris is not sure she yet believes what she is telling her daughter – but Doris tells little Susie that she has to have faith – Doris even adds to Susie’s letter that “I believe in you too” – win – Kris Kringle gets the letter and all the other dead letters at the post office and Fred wins the case – Kris is recognized by the federal government to be the “One and Only Santa Claus” – WIN!
Susie has asked Mr Kringle for something big – bigger than a normal present – she asks for a house – one of those Long Island cape cod’s – similar to the suburb house that I live in today quaint, quiet and family friendly… Susie expects Mr Kringle to deliver – big time – expects a miracle – expects that snap and she will have this house – puts it as a test to him… No – she doesn’t get it at the Christmas morning party – Doris has to say – “You must believe in Mr. Kringle and keep right on doing it. You must have faith in him.” … “you’ve still got to believe in people. I found that out.”
“I believe. I believe. It’s silly but I believe” – Kris has orchestrated a car ride home with Fred – down a quaint quiet street – in a family neighborhood. “I believe. I believe. It’s silly but I believe” – Susie repeats and repeats – and then – oh snap! there it is – the house – on a quaint and quiet street – the perfect house – it’s for sale – it’s unlocked – with a swing in the back – WIN.
Fred learns from Susie that Doris told her “Mommy said if things don’t turn out right at first, you’ve still got to believe. You were right Mommy!” – WIN – Doris to Fred “I never really doubted you. It was just my silly common sense.” WIN – BIG WIN. Kiss – realization that believing is seeing – believing came first – then seeing Kris Kringle’s cane in the house – hmmm….
Believe – it was and is that belief has to be there first – the rest follows – you have to believe – to have faith when common sense tells you not to… BELIEVE