On this episode of Movies Are Magic, we're going to go back in time for some holiday magic. Get ready to experience the Lux Radio Theater's version of the film Miracle on 34th Street. The film was released in June 1947. A radio show version aired later the same year, - in December with the entire cast – and then - the version you’re going to hear now – it aired live again on December 20, 1948. Miracle on 34th Street was released in 1947 by 20th Century Fox. It stars the gorgeous Maureen O'Hara, John Payne as her suitor, Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, and the adorable 8-year-old Natalie Wood, who - as many locals may already know - grew up in Santa Rosa. Miracle on 34th Street is about a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa, and is full of old-school sentimentality but I love it. We watch the film version every year at our house. Miracle on 34th Street won three Academy Awards: Gwenn as Kris Kringle won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Valentine Davies won for Best Writing, Original Story, and George Seaton won for Best Writing, Screenplay. The film was also nominated for Best Picture.
According to the Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Lux Radio Theatre was the biggest, most important, most expensive drama anthology program on radio. Ever. It ran 1934 until 1955, then continued on television as Lux Video Theatrefor a couple of years after that. In total, about 926 episodes were broadcast.
Lux Radio Theatre was always broadcast live, with a studio audience and a full orchestra accompanying the performance and providing musical transitions between scenes. So cozy up by the radio just like millions of folks did when this aired live in 1948 – and enjoy MIRACLE ON 34th STREET.
This episode of Movies Are Magic with Jennifer originally aired live on KSVY 91.3 FM Sonoma on Sunday, December 18, 2022.
Movies Are Magic with Jennifer host Jennifer Churchill also hosts Classic Films For Kids on The Film Detective. Check out her children's book Movies Are Magic: The Director’s Cut.