22. Miracle on 34th St. (1947)
Director: George Seaton
Areas Featured: Macy's storefront
For New Yorkers and Jersey folks alike, the massive, one-stop-shop Macy's located in midtown Manhattan, on 34th Street, isn't exactly a magical place come December. Once the building gets overrun by eager, at times physically forceful Christmas shoppers, the retail destination turns ugly. Hundreds of dollars are lost into cash registers, thousands of elbows get thrown into already disgruntled patrons, and long lines elicit just as many "Bah humbug!" sounds as they do "Cha-ching!" noises.
Fortunately, we'll always have the holiday movie staple Miracle on 34th Streetto remind us that said Macy's doesn't have to be a misery hub. In the uplifting, family-friendly flick, Kris Kringle (Edwund Gwenn) greets little boys and girls with a huge smile, joviality, and promises of bringing them whatever toys they want—that's because, as he claims, he's the real-deal Santa Claus.
And Miracle on 34th Street, with all of its thematic happiness and heartwarming innocence, is the genuine article when it comes to film as a medium for making dreams come true—even as wallets deplete. -MB