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Miracle on 34th Street

Screen Directors' Playhouse

Miracle on 34th Street

Dec 21 1950



CAST:


The Playhouse Team:

VOICE (1 line)

ANNOUNCER

BING CROSBY

BOB HOPE

GIRL SINGERS

2ND ANNCR (1 line)

GEORGE SEATON, director

NBC ANNCR (1 line)


Dramatis Personae:

KRIS KRINGLE

DRUNK, unfriendly

DORIS WALKER

SHELLHAMMER, unctuous

SUSAN WALKER, Doris' precocious daughter

FRED GAILEY, lawyer

PETER, a little boy, New York accent

MOTHER, Peter's mother

MACY, department store owner

SAWYER, nervous, high-strung

MARA, district attorney

JUDGE

SALESMAN, on radio (1 line)

TOMMY, Mara's young son




VOICE: (TERSE, ON FILTER) Screen Directors' Playhouse. Star: Edmund Gwenn. Production: "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street." Director: George Seaton. 


MUSIC: LENGTHY MAJESTIC FANFARE ... IN AND OUT


ANNOUNCER: This is the Screen Directors' Playhouse, the Thursday night feature on NBC's All-Star Festival of comedy, music, mystery, and drama -- brought to you by: RCA Victor, world leader in radio, first in recorded music, first in television; Chesterfield the only cigarette that combines mildness with no unpleasant aftertaste, the cigarette that brings you Bing Crosby and Bob Hope; and the makers of Anacin for fast relief from the pain of headache, neuritis, and neuralgia. 


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: The Hollywood Screen Directors present a Christmas party for the five hundred special girls and boys gathered here in our studio, and for children of all ages everywhere. We present the delightful motion picture Christmas story "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street," starring Edmund Gwenn in his original Academy Award-winning role of Kris Kringle. 


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER, FADES OUT AT [X]--


ANNOUNCER: There is something electric about Christmastime in New York. From Thanksgiving on, the air is charged with excitement. And it's on Thanksgiving Day that Macy's Christmas parade is forming for its joyous annual trek down Fifth Avenue. On the sidewalk, watching the bustle and commotion, stands a little old man. Resting easily on his cane, his bright eyes dart over the scene. He strokes his flowing white beard and, as he sees the parade Santa Claus in front of him, a merry smile turns his face into a mass of happy wrinkles. If you were to see him, you would think instantly of your own chimney, stockings hanging from the mantle, and that very face smiling at you from the flames of your fireplace. [X] Suddenly his brow darkens and he strides importantly forward. 


SOUND: CITY TRAFFIC BACKGROUND ... KRIS' STEPS TO DRUNK


KRIS: Hello, there.


DRUNK: Hello, yourself. 


KRIS: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but you - you're making a very serious mistake.


DRUNK: Huh? 


KRIS: With the reindeer, I mean. You've got Prancer where Blitzen should be. And Dasher should go on my right hand side. 


DRUNK: Oh, he should, should he? 


KRIS: Oh, yes. 


DRUNK: Look, bud, I'm busy, see? And I--


KRIS: Er, are you having trouble with your whip? 


DRUNK: Ah, it's none of your darn business, but I'm - I'm all snarled up in the doggone thing. 


KRIS: Here. Here, I'll help you. Heh! You see, it's all in the wrist, and, uh-- And-- (SNIFFS BROADLY TWICE, OFFENDED) You've been drinking. 


DRUNK: Well, it's cold. Man's gotta do somethin' to keep warm.


KRIS: You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Don't you realize there are thousands of children lining the streets waiting to see you -- children who've been dreaming of this moment for weeks? You're a disgrace to the tradition of Christmas and I refuse to have you malign me in this fashion. Who's in charge of this parade?


DRUNK: Oh, go away. 


KRIS: If you don't tell me who's in charge here, I'll tell the police officer that you're drunk.


DRUNK: All right. Mrs. Walker. There she is, across there. 


KRIS: Oh.


DRUNK: The one in blue. 


KRIS: Thank you. 


SOUND: CITY TRAFFIC BACKGROUND ... KRIS' STEPS TO DORIS


KRIS: Mrs. Walker? 


DORIS: Yes? (STARTLED DISMAY) Oh! You! What do you mean taking your costume off? Now you get dressed and get back up on your float! 


KRIS: Me? 


DORIS: (REALIZES, APOLOGETIC) Oh! Oh, I'm very sorry. I thought you were our Santa Claus. 


KRIS: Your Santa Claus is intoxicated. 


DORIS: Oh, no! Don't tell me-- 


KRIS: Shameful! I won't stand for having these children disappointed. 


DORIS: Well, I - I wonder. Could you be Santa Claus? Have you had any experience? 


KRIS: (AMUSED) Hmm? Well, a little. 


DORIS: Would you? Please? You've got to help me out.


KRIS: (MILDLY OFFENDED) Madam, I am not in the habit of substituting for spurious Santa Clauses. (REALIZES, THOUGHTFUL) However, these - these children mustn't be disappointed; no, no. (DECISIVE) I'll do it! 


DORIS: Oh, thank heavens! You'll never know how grateful I am. Get on your float, Santa, and thank you. (CALLS) Oh, Mr. Shellhammer? 


SHELLHAMMER: (OFF) Yes? 


SOUND: SHELLHAMMER'S STEPS APPROACH


DORIS: I turn it over to you, Mr. Shellhammer. 


SHELLHAMMER: You've done a magnificent job on it, and your new Santa Claus looks wonderful. Why, I hadn't noticed him until just now. He's the best we've ever had. Where'd you find him? 


DORIS: I just turned 'round and there he was.


SHELLHAMMER: Well, I'm glad you turned around. Er, I mean I'm glad he was there. Just think if Mr. Macy had seen the other one. 


DORIS: Just think if Mr. Gimbel had seen the other one.


SHELLHAMMER: Oh, don't even say that. Er, what are you going to ride in the parade? 


DORIS: The subway! I'm going home and get in a hot tub. And I might stay right there until next Thanksgiving.


MUSIC: LEROY ANDERSON'S "SLEIGH RIDE" FOR A BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG


FRED: Susan, look at the parade. 


SUSAN: (BORED) I've seen it before. The music's pretty.


FRED: Yes, it is. 


SUSAN: Mother will be home soon, Mr. Gailey. 


FRED: I hope so. 


SUSAN: It would be nice for you to meet her. 


FRED: Yes. Yes, I'd like that. But not before the parade's over. 


SUSAN: (UNENTHUSIASTIC) Oh, the parade. 


FRED: Say, look at that big baseball player.


SUSAN: He was a clown last year. They just changed the head and painted him different. My mother told me. 


FRED: Wow, he's really a giant, isn't he? 


SUSAN: Not really. There are no giants, Mr. Gailey. 


FRED: Well, maybe not now, Susie. But in olden days--


SUSAN: (INTERRUPTS) Not even then. 


FRED: Well, what about the giant that Jack killed? 


SUSAN: Jack who? 


FRED: Jack, er-- "Jack and the Beanstalk." 


SUSAN: I never heard of that.


FRED: You must have. You've just forgotten it. It's a fairy tale. 


SUSAN: Oh! One of those. I don't know any fairy tales.


FRED: You mean your mother or father never read you any? 


SUSAN: My mother thinks they're silly. I don't know whether my father thinks they're silly or not. I never met my father. You see, my father and mother were divorced when I was a baby. 


FRED: (TAKEN ABACK AT HER FORTHRIGHTNESS) Oh. Well, er-- That baseball player still looks like a giant to me.


SUSAN: People sometimes grow very big, but that's abnormal.


FRED: Your mother tell you that, too? 


SUSAN: Yes. 


SOUND: APARTMENT DOOR OPENS


DORIS: (SURPRISED) Well! Hello.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


FRED: Oh, I'm Fred Gailey, Mrs. Walker. 


DORIS: Yes, I know. Susie's told me quite a bit about you.


FRED: Well, thank you. 


DORIS: (TO SUSAN) Hello, dear. How was the parade?


SUSAN: Much better than last year.


DORIS: Well, thank you. I hope Mr. Macy agrees with you. I'm so glad you came in, Mr. Gailey. I wanted to thank you for being so kind to Susan. Cleo told me you took them both to the zoo yesterday.


FRED: Yes, that's right. But I must confess that was part of a deep-dyed plot. 


DORIS: Oh? 


FRED: I'm fond of Susie -- very fond of her -- but, er-- (CHUCKLES, LIGHTLY) I also wanted to know you. I read somewhere that the surest way to meet the mother was to be kind to the child. Well, it worked. 


DORIS: (AMUSED) Hm. But a horrible trick. (CHUCKLES)


SUSAN: The parade's almost over. Mother, here comes the Santa Claus.


DORIS: Oh, don't even mention the name. 


SUSAN: He's better than last year's. At least this one doesn't wear glasses. 


FRED: I see she doesn't believe in Santa Claus either. 


DORIS: No, of course she doesn't.


MUSIC: DURING ABOVE, HAS QUIETLY FADED OUT AS PARADE ENDS


FRED: Hmm. No Santa Claus, no fairy tales, no fantasies of any kind, is that it? 


DORIS: That's right. I think we should be realistic and completely truthful with our children and not let them grow up believing in a lot of myths and legends -- like Santa Claus, for example. 


FRED: (QUIETLY DISMAYED) I see. Yes. (UP, GOOD-NATURED) Well, Mrs. Walker, I'm so glad to have met you at last. I do hope you'll let me drop in again. 


SUSAN: Mother? 


DORIS: Yes, dear? 


SUSAN: I was thinking. We've got such a big Thanksgiving turkey for dinner and there are only two of us. Couldn't we invite Mr. Gailey? Couldn't we? 


DORIS: Er-- Well, dear--


FRED: Oh, please, don't even think about it. I--


SUSAN: It's an awful big turkey. 


DORIS: Well, it's not that, dear, but I'm - I'm sure Mr. Gailey has other plans.


SUSAN: (TOO EAGER) No, he hasn't! He said so, and he told me to ask you.


FRED: (QUIETLY DISMAYED) Oh, dear. ...


SUSAN: Didn't I ask all right, Mr. Gailey? 


FRED: (EXHALES WITH EMBARRASSMENT)


DORIS: (AMUSED, WITH A SLIGHT CHUCKLE) Er, dinner's at three o'clock. 


FRED: (RELIEVED) Thank you. Thank you very much.


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: Our story will continue in just a moment, but now here's a word from RCA Victor. When you go to select your television set for Christmas, you'll surely want to see a complete RCA Victor combination before you decide. You'll want to see an RCA Victor because it's America's favorite television. It's "million-proof": proven in well over a million homes. And you'll want to see a complete RCA Victor television-radio-phonograph combination, because here's your chance to get console television, console radio, console phonograph -- at a price far below the cost of all these services with comparable quality. They're magnificent affairs which give you, in one beautiful cabinet, two RCA Victor radios, AM and FM, and two RCA Victor automatic record changers in addition to RCA Victor "million-proof" television. You'll find them better-looking, better-performing in every way. But what will wed you to one of them for life is the fact that they give you so much for so little. Yes, they'll make you say, "This is truly a wonderful buy." Remember, see your RCA Victor dealer for a million-proof television combination tomorrow.


MUSIC: TAG


ANNOUNCER: Here now is Act Two of the Screen Directors' Playhouse presentation of "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street," starring Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle. 


MUSIC: SECOND ACT INTRODUCTION ... QUOTES "WE THREE KINGS" ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Thanksgiving Day is over. Macy's Christmas parade was a smashing success, and the new Santa Claus something of a sensation. There seemed to be an intangible quality about the old fellow which communicated itself to the children which lined the route. Mr. Shellhammer has persuaded him to come down to the store the next morning and try his hand in the toy department. As we look into the employees' locker room, we find Kris in a magnificent Santa Claus costume just pulling on his boots. 


SHELLHAMMER: Good morning, good morning. 


KRIS: Morning.


SHELLHAMMER: My, what a striking costume. 


KRIS: Hm?


SHELLHAMMER: Did, er, we provide you with that? 


KRIS: Oh, no-no-no. I've had it for years and years. 


SHELLHAMMER: I see. Well, before you go up on the floor, I want to give you a few tips on how to be a good Santa Claus. 


KRIS: (AMUSED) Oh, go right ahead. 


SHELLHAMMER: Well, here's a list of toys we have to push. You know, things that we're overstocked on. 


KRIS: Oh. 


SHELLHAMMER: Now, you'll find that a great many children will be undecided as to what they want for Christmas. When that happens, you immediately suggest one of these items.


KRIS: Eh? 


SHELLHAMMER: Understand? 


KRIS: (BEAT, UNHAPPY) I certainly do. 


SHELLHAMMER: Er, good. Now, you memorize this list and when you finish, come up to the seventh floor. I'll be waiting for you. (MOVING OFF) Er, don't be too long now.


SOUND: SHELLHAMMER'S STEPS AWAY ... LOCKER ROOM DOOR CLOSES, OFF


KRIS: (TO HIMSELF, UNHAPPY) Imagine -- making a child take something he doesn't want just because a man like that bought too many of the wrong toys. That's what I've been fighting against for years: the way they commercialize Christmas. Well, I can't think of a better place to start this year's campaign. Nor a better way to start than - than by tearing up this list.


SOUND: KRIS TEARS UP LIST


KRIS: Oh -- there. (CHUCKLES) I feel better already. Yes.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: BUSY DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND (BUSTLE OF CROWDS, CHIMING OF ELEVATORS, ET CETERA)


PETER: Santa Claus? My name is Peter. 


KRIS: Peter? Oh, yes. Peter's a fine name. And what do you want for Christmas, Peter? 


PETER: (RAPIDLY) I want a fire engine just like the big ones, only smaller, that's got real horses, and it'll squirt real wet water, and I won't do it in the house, just in the backyard, cross my heart and hope to die. 


KRIS: (CHUCKLES) Well, Peter, I can tell you're a good boy. You'll get your fire engine.


PETER: Oh, thank you! Thank you very much! (TO MOTHER) See, mom? I told you he'd get me one.


MOTHER: (FORCED CHUCKLE) Yes, dear. Now, you run over and look at the toys. Mummy wants to thank Santa Claus, too. 


PETER: (MOVING OFF) Okay.


SOUND: PETER'S STEPS AWAY


MOTHER: (LOW AND UNHAPPY, TO KRIS) What do you mean by saying a thing like that? You saw me shake my head at you. I was trying to tell you I couldn't find one. I've looked all over. They're just not making that kind of fire engine. 


KRIS: (SOOTHING) Now, now, now -- you don't think I'd have said that unless I was sure, do you? Let's see what my little book says, hmm? 


MOTHER: What?


SOUND: KRIS FLIPS PAGES IN NOTEBOOK


KRIS: Now-- Ah, here! Here we are. The Acme Toy Company -- at Two-Forty-Six West Twenty-Sixth Street, and they're only eight-fifty -- a wonderful bargain.


MOTHER: (STUNNED) You're recommending this company? 


KRIS: Oh, I keep track of the toy market pretty closely. (HALF BEAT) Well, does that surprise you so?


MOTHER: Oh, it's not that so much, but what really bowls me over is that Macy's is sending me to another store. 


KRIS: (WITH A CHUCKLE) Well, the only important thing is to make the children happy, isn't it? And whether Macy or somebody else sells the toy doesn't make any difference. (HALF BEAT) Well, don't you feel that way?


MOTHER: Yes. But I never dreamed that Macy's did.


KRIS: As long as I'm here, they do. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE


KRIS: Now, you'll find just what you want at F.A.O. Schwarz. Six seventy-five.


MUSIC: BRIDGE 


KRIS: Bloomingdale's has exactly what the little girl wants. Two forty-nine, that's all. (MUSES) But for Johnny's - Johnny's wagon, I'd suggest you, er-- Yes, I suggest you get it here. We have the best wagons in town. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE 


KRIS: (MUSES) Oh, yes, we have skates -- and they're very good skates, too -- but they're - they're not quite what your little boy wants. No. No, I suggest you - you go across the street. They have exactly what you're looking for there -- at Gimbels. 


SHELLHAMMER: (SHOCKED) Gimbels?!


MOTHER: (STARTLED GASP) Ohhhh! You frightened me. 


KRIS: Oh, this is Mr. Shellhammer. Heh! He's head of our toy department.


MOTHER: (PLEASED) Well! I came back to congratulate you and Macy's on this new stunt you're doing. 


SHELLHAMMER: What? 


MOTHER: Imagine, sending people to other stores. I don't get it. It's-- It's-- 


SHELLHAMMER: (UNHAPPY) It certainly is. ...


MOTHER: You said it! To think that a big store like this puts the spirit of Christmas ahead of the commercial. It's wonderful! I - I've never done much shopping here, but, believe me, from now on, I'm a regular Macy customer.


SHELLHAMMER: (TAKEN ABACK) Well, thank you, madam.


MOTHER: And thank you, too. And there'll be hundreds of other women who'll feel just the way I do, too. (MOVING OFF) Now, I tell you-- (FADES OFF)


SHELLHAMMER: I - I must be going mad. I've never heard of such a thing in all my life.


KRIS: Well, you'll find she's right, Mr. Shellhammer. A lot of people are going to like it -- an awful lot of people.


SHELLHAMMER: Yeah, but the point is: will Mr. Macy like it?!


KRIS: (HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT) Ohhh. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND


SUSAN: This seems like an awful silly thing for us to be doing, Mr. Gailey. 


FRED: Well, I thought as long as we were in the store you might as well say hello to him. 


SUSAN: Why? 


FRED: 'Cause maybe when you talk to him you'll feel differently about Santa Claus. 


SUSAN: Maybe. 


KRIS: Hello, young lady. Would you like to come up and sit on my lap?


SUSAN: No, thank you.


KRIS: No? What's your name? 


SUSAN: Susan Walker. What's yours? 


KRIS: Mine? Kris Kringle. I'm Santa Claus. 


SUSAN: Ha! 


KRIS: Oh. (CHUCKLES) You don't believe that, do you? 


SUSAN: Nope!


KRIS: (AMUSED) Mmm. 


SUSAN: You see, my mother is Mrs. Walker, the lady who hired you. But I must say you're the best-looking one I've ever seen.


KRIS: Oh. 


SUSAN: Your whiskers aren't loose at the sides. 


KRIS: Well, you pull them. Go on. See why.


SUSAN: I will.


KRIS: (TAKES A GOOD HARD TUG) Oomph! 


SUSAN: (SURPRISED) Hey, they don't come off. 


KRIS: (CHUCKLES) That's because they're real -- just like I'm really Santa Claus. Now, now -- what would you like me to bring you for Christmas?


SUSAN: Nothing, thank you. 


KRIS: Oh, now-now-now, you must want something.


SUSAN: Whatever I want, mother will get for me. Oh, if it's sensible and doesn't cost too much, of course. 


KRIS: Oh.


DORIS: (APPROACHES, WITH BARELY SUPPRESSED ANNOYANCE) Susan! 


SUSAN: Hello, mother. 


DORIS: Hello, Mr. Gailey. 


FRED: (AWKWARDLY) Uh, hi. 


DORIS: Come along, Susan. I think you've taken up enough of this gentleman's time. Come on.


KRIS: Goodbye, Susan. Bye.


SUSAN: (CHEERFUL) Bye! 


SOUND: DORIS, FRED, AND SUSAN'S STEPS THROUGH STORE ... IN BG


FRED: Uh, the explanation for all this is very simple. Your Cleo's mother sprained her ankle. 


DORIS: (CURT) Yes, I know. Cleo called me. I've been wondering where you were. 


SUSAN: He's a nice old man, mother, and those whiskers are real, too. 


DORIS: Yes, dear. Many men have long beards like that. (BEAT) Susan? Would you mind sitting here for a minute? I'd like to talk to Mr. Gailey. 


SUSAN: All right. 


SOUND: WE STAY WITH DORIS AND FRED'S STEPS, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING-- 


FRED: (A LITTLE SHEEPISH) I shouldn't have brought Susie to Santa, huh? Well, I'm sorry. It's just that I couldn't see any great harm in merely saying hello to the old gent.


DORIS: (UNLEASHED FURY) But I think there is harm! I tell her Santa Claus is a myth. You bring her down here, she sees thousands of gullible children, and meets with a very convincing old man with real whiskers. This sets up within her a - a harmful mental conflict. What is she to think? Whom is she going to believe? 


FRED: (BEAT) Go on. 


DORIS: And by filling them full of fairy tales they grow up considering life a - a fantasy instead of a reality. They keep waiting for a prince charming to come along and when he does, (FALTERS) he turns out to be--


FRED: (GENTLY) We were talking about Susie, not you. 


DORIS: (SHAKEN) Well, whether you agree with me or not, I - I must ask you to respect my wishes regarding Susan. She's my responsibility and I must bring her up as I see fit. 


FRED: (WITH A FRIENDLY SHRUG) Okay. She's your kid.


DORIS: Exactly. Now I've got to go back to my office.


FRED: (THOUGHTFUL) You know, you've given me quite a bit to think about. Both about Susan -- and you. So long.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: KNOCK ON DOOR


DORIS: Come in.


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... KRIS' STEPS IN


KRIS: They said you wanted to see me, Mrs. Walker. 


DORIS: Yes. Please come in.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES 


KRIS: Hello there, Susan Walker. Oh, it's good to see you again. 


SUSAN: It's awful nice to see you. 


KRIS: You're awfully lucky, Mrs. Walker. That's a lovely little girl you have there.


DORIS: Thank you. And Susan's the reason I asked you to come here. 


KRIS: Oh? 


DORIS: She's a little confused and maybe you can help to straighten her out. 


KRIS: I'll be glad to.


DORIS: Would you please tell her that you're not really Santa Claus?


KRIS: Hm?


DORIS: That there actually is no such person? 


KRIS: (WITH A CHUCKLE) Well, I'm sorry to disagree with you, Mrs. Walker, but - not only is there such a person, but here I am to prove it. 


DORIS: No, no -- you misunderstand. I want you to tell the truth. What is your name?


KRIS: Kris Kringle. (TO SUSAN) Susan, I'll bet you're in the first grade.


SUSAN: Second. 


DORIS: (TO KRIS) I mean your real name.


KRIS: Well, that is my real name. (TO SUSAN, SURPRISED) Second grade? 


SUSAN: It's a progressive school. 


KRIS: Oh. 


SOUND: BUZZ AND CLICK OF INTERCOM


DORIS: (INTO COM) Miss Adams, please bring in the Santa Claus file -- all the employment cards.


SOUND: CLICK! 


KRIS: (TO SUSAN) That hat of yours is very cute. Where did you get such a lovely outfit? 


SUSAN: Macy's. We get ten percent off. 


DORIS: Now, please don't feel that you have to keep pretending for Susan's benefit. She's an intelligent child and always wants to know the absolute truth. 


KRIS: Good, because I always tell the absolute truth. Now, Susan, about your school -- what's the name of your teacher? 


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, DOOR OPENS ... MISS ADAMS' STEPS IN


DORIS: Oh, thank you, Miss Adams. 


SOUND: MISS ADAMS' STEPS AWAY ... DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


DORIS: Now then -- is this your card? 


KRIS: Hmm? Let's see. (BEAT) Yes. Yes, that's it. 


DORIS: (READS, SURPRISED) "Name: Kris Kringle."


KRIS: (YES) Mm hm.


DORIS: (READS) "Address: Brooks Memorial Home, Great Neck Long Island. Age:--" (SLOWLY, A LITTLE DISMAYED) "As old as my tongue and a little bit older than my teeth." ... (COOLLY) Susan dear, you go in and talk to Miss Adams for a few minutes. I'll be right with you. 


SUSAN: All right. (TO KRIS) Goodbye. 


KRIS: Goodbye, young lady. Hope to see you again.


SUSAN: Thank you. I hope so, too. 


SOUND: DURING ABOVE EXCHANGE, SUSAN'S STEPS TO DOOR, WHICH OPENS ... THEN DOOR CLOSES AS SHE EXITS


DORIS: I'm sorry, Mister, er-- 


KRIS: Kringle. 


DORIS: I'm sorry, but we're going to have to make a change. 


KRIS: Change? 


DORIS: Yes, the Santa Claus we had two years ago is back in town and I - I feel we owe it to him to-- 


KRIS: What? Have I done something wrong? 


DORIS: No. No, no. 


SOUND: PHONE RINGS 


DORIS: Excuse me.


SOUND: RECEIVER UP


DORIS: (INTO PHONE) Mrs. Walker. 


MACY: (ON FILTER, A LITTLE POMPOUS) Mrs. Walker? Mr. Macy speaking. I have just been informed of the new policy you and Mr. Shellhammer initiated without consulting me or the advertising department. I do not approve of your methods, but in the face of the tremendous response on the part of the public, I can't be angry with you. I admit it sounds ridiculous to me. Imagine! Macy's Santa Claus sending customers to Gimbels! (SHORT LAUGH) But you cannot argue with success. From now on, not only will our Santa Claus continue in this manner, but I want every salesperson in this store to do precisely the same thing. If we haven't got exactly what the customer wants, we'll send him where he can get it. We'll be known as "the helpful store," "the friendly store," "the store with a heart." That's a wonderful Santa Claus you've got there, Mrs. Walker. Don't lose him. (SLIGHTLY LESS POMPOUS) You will find a more practical expression of my gratitude in your Christmas envelope, Mrs. Walker. My congratulations.


SOUND: LINE DISCONNECTS (DORIS' PERSPECTIVE) ... RECEIVER DOWN


DORIS: (EXHALES, STUNNED) That was Mr. Macy.


KRIS: Mmm, talks a lot, doesn't he? ... 


DORIS: Sometimes. Mr. Macy suggested we find something else for the other Santa Claus and, er, keep you on. 


KRIS: Oh, well, thank you. Thank you. That's mighty good news.


DORIS: You'll be here in the morning? 


KRIS: I certainly will. You see, this is quite an opportunity for me. For the last fifty years or so I've been getting more and more worried about Christmas. It seems we're all so busy trying to beat the other fellow in making things go faster and look shinier that - that-- Well, that Christmas and I are getting sort of lost in the shuffle. 


DORIS: Oh, I don't think so. Christmas is still Christmas. 


KRIS: Christmas isn't just a day. No, it's a frame of mind -- and that's what's been changing. That's why I'm glad I'm here. Maybe I can do something about it. And I think you -- and Susan -- are going to help me more than anybody. 


DORIS: We are? How?


KRIS: Well, you two are sort of the whole thing in - in miniature. If I can win you over, then there's still hope. If not-- Well, I warn you, I don't give up easily. (HALF TO HIMSELF) No, no. (UP) Good night, Mrs. Walker.


DORIS: (BEMUSED) Good night, Mr. ---- Kringle?


MUSIC: SECOND ACT CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: And now, folks, let's eavesdrop on Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in their dressing room discussing their sponsor.


BOB: The Chesterfield people are wonderful to work for.


BING: But Chesterfield didn't hire us for radio alone, you know. We've got to do a lot of personal work for the firm. 


BOB: That's right. We're here in San Francisco on a very special mission.


BING: I'm working the Mural Room at the St. Francis and Bob is cigarette girl at the Top of the Mark. ... 


BOB: They tried Crosby at the Top of the Mark, but he got the bends. ... 


BING: Seriously, friends, skinflint and I, we do agree one hundred percent on this: Chesterfields are milder.


BOB: And they leave no unpleasant aftertaste. So always buy our cigarette, Chesterfield--


BING: --the best cigarette for you to smoke.


MUSIC: FOR JINGLE--


GIRL SINGERS: 

Chesterfield, Chesterfield,

Always wins first place.

That milder mild tobacco

Never leaves an aftertaste. 


BOB: (SINGS) So open a pack, give 'em smell--


GIRL SINGERS: Then you'll smoke 'em!


MUSIC: OUT


BOB: Don't forget to give Crosby for Christmas. I mean the Chesterfield Christmas carton with Bing as Papa Santa Claus. 


ANNOUNCER: You are listening to the Screen Directors' Playhouse, the Thursday night feature of NBC's All-Star Festival. The third act of "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street" will continue after a brief pause for station identification.


MUSIC: THEME FILLS PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTIFICATION ... THEN MAJESTIC FANFARE


ANNOUNCER: Now for the third act of the Screen Directors' Playhouse presentation of "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street," starring Edmund Gwenn in his original role of Kris Kringle. 


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Business is booming at Macy's. Kris Kringle's popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. Doris Walker is still worried because she cannot dismiss the thought that Kris is slightly unbalanced. Now, this seems logical to her because he obviously thinks he is Santa Claus. Fred Gailey, however, feels differently, and has brought the old gentleman home to dinner. Kris has dropped in to Doris's apartment to call on Susan. 


SOUND: APARTMENT DOOR OPENS


KRIS: Hello. 


SUSAN: Hello.


SOUND: APARTMENT DOOR CLOSES


KRIS: Thanks for inviting me to dinner. 


SUSAN: It was a great pleasure. 


KRIS: Susan, I'm going to try again. I want a chance to prove to you that there is a Santa Claus. Well now, there must be something you want for Christmas. Hmm? Something you haven't even told your mother about? 


SUSAN: (UNCONVINCING) No. No, there isn't. 


KRIS: Oh, now-now-now, why don't you give me a chance, hey? 


SUSAN: All right. I want a house for Christmas. 


KRIS: Oh, you mean a doll's house?


SUSAN: No, a real house. 


KRIS: Huh?


SUSAN: And if you're really Santa Claus, you can get it for me. And if you can't, you're only a nice man with a white beard like mommy says. 


KRIS: Now-now-now, wait a minute, Susie. Just because every child can't get his wish-- Well, that doesn't mean there isn't a Santa Claus. 


SUSAN: That's what I thought you'd say. 


KRIS: Yeah, but don't you see? Some children wish for things they couldn't possibly use, like, er-- Well, like real locomotives or B-29's.


SUSAN: But this isn't like a real locomotive or a B-29.


KRIS: Well, it's awful big for a little girl like you. Now, what could you possibly do with a house? 


SUSAN: Live in it with my mother.


KRIS: Wha--? But you've got this lovely apartment. 


SUSAN: (WITH PASSION) I don't think it's lovely. I want a backyard with a swing and a garden and lots of things growing in it.


KRIS: (REALIZES) Oh. 


SUSAN: But I guess you can't get it, huh? 


KRIS: Hmm? Well, no. No, I didn't say that. It's a tall order, you know, Susie, but I'll do my best. 


SUSAN: Okay.


KRIS: Okay, Susie. Let's have some dinner now, shall we, huh? After that, I'll go to work on your problem.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... DORIS AND KRIS' STEPS IN


DORIS: (A LITTLE NERVOUS) Um, good morning, Mr. Sawyer. 


SAWYER: Ah, good morning, Mrs. Walker. 


DORIS: I would like to ask that you give Mister, er, Kringle, our test, if you will. 


SAWYER: Oh, yes-yes-yes, he's our Santa Claus, isn't he? And his name is Kringle? (CHUCKLES) How fascinating. How do you do, Mr. Kringle?


KRIS: How do you do? 


SAWYER: I must say that's a very ingenious name to have chosen. It did get you the job, didn't it? 


KRIS: Or vice versa.


SAWYER: What? 


DORIS: (NERVOUS CHUCKLE) I'll leave you two. Will you call me later, Mr. Sawyer? 


SAWYER: Yes-yes-yes, of course.


SOUND: DORIS' STEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS AS SHE EXITS


SAWYER: (CHUCKLES) Now, Mr. Kringle-- 


KRIS: Yes? 


SAWYER: To start our little test: Who was the first president of the United States? 


KRIS: George Washington.


SAWYER: Er-- How much is three times five? 


KRIS: Fifteen. 


SAWYER: How much did you say?


KRIS: Fifteen. You're rather nervous aren't you, Mr. Sawyer? Do you get enough sleep? 


SAWYER: My personal habits are of no concern to you! Now, how many fingers do you see? 


KRIS: Three. Oh, you bite your nails, too. ... Oh, that's often a sign of insecurity. 


SAWYER: Kringle, you will pay attention to what I'm saying or--! 


KRIS: Oh, I'm sorry. I - I was just trying to help. 


SAWYER: I did not call you in here to help me, Kringle. I called you in here to find out about you and I'm certainly finding out! 


KRIS: Did I answer the questions wrong then?


SAWYER: I'm asking the questions, you old screwball! ...


KRIS: I don't believe that Mrs. Walker intended me to have this kind of examination. 


SAWYER: What? 


KRIS: No. I have great respect for psychiatry -- and great contempt for muddlers who go around practicing it. 


SAWYER: Why, you--! 


KRIS: Are you a licensed psychiatrist?


SAWYER: That is none of your business! 


KRIS: I thought so. Mr. Sawyer, you are a phony.


SAWYER: (SHOCKED) How--? 


KRIS: You ought to be horsewhipped. 


SAWYER: (EXPLODES) How dare you?! Now, you leave this office immediately--!


KRIS: I shall, but before I do, you listen to this. Now, either you stop analyzing, as you call it, at once -- or I'm going to tell Mr. Macy what a contemptible, malicious fraud you are. 


SAWYER: You get out of here before I throw you out! 


KRIS: I wouldn't try that.


SAWYER: Get out of here!


KRIS: There's only one way to handle a man like you. You won't listen to reason, you're heartless, you have no humanity-- 


SAWYER: Are you going to leave?!


SOUND: KRIS RISES ... HIS STEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


KRIS: Yes. There's only one way to handle your kind. My cane, if you please. Thank you. 


SOUND: WITH HIS CANE, KRIS HITS SAWYER ON THE HEAD 


SAWYER: (IN PAIN) Oooh! 


SOUND: SAWYER'S BODY SLUMPS TO DESK


KRIS: (MOVING OFF) Good day, Mr. Sawyer.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


FRED: (SYMPATHETIC) Hello, Kris.


KRIS: (SADLY) Hello, Fred. 


FRED: Why did you do it?


KRIS: Well, he deserved it. 


FRED: Oh, I don't mean hitting Sawyer over the head; I couldn't agree with you more about that. But what you did here at Bellevue-- I don't understand it.


KRIS: Oh, that examination? Yes, I failed it.


FRED: Deliberately.


KRIS: Yes.


FRED: But why? 


KRIS: Why? Well, because, Fred, the last few days I've had great hopes. I had a feeling people were beginning to believe -- especially Doris. And you know what happened. When I hit Sawyer, it was Doris who had me brought here to Bellevue. 


FRED: Kris, let me tell you something. Doris hasn't really believed in anything for years. You can't expect her suddenly--


KRIS: (INTERRUPTS) But it's not - not just Doris. Now, this Mr. Sawyer: he's contemptible, selfish, deceitful, vicious -- and yet he's out there and I'm in here. Now, what makes him normal? Because he conforms to a pattern. Because he thinks and acts like the great majority. So we've got a world full of Sawyers, and if that's normal, I don't want it, no. That's why I answered the questions incorrectly.


FRED: But, Kris, you can't just think of yourself. What happens to you matters to a lot of other people -- people like me who believe in what you stand for. And people like Susan who are just beginning to.


KRIS: Huh? 


FRED: You can't quit. You can't let them down. 


KRIS: (THOUGHTFUL) No? No, I didn't think about Susan. I-- No. (DECISIVE) You're right, Fred, quite right. How do we get out of here?


FRED: It's not gonna be easy.


KRIS: Well, you've got to get me out. 


FRED: All right, Kris, I'll do my best. 


KRIS: Oh, and while you're working on it, Fred, work on something else for me, too. 


FRED: Your case is gonna be a full-time job all by itself.


KRIS: Yes, but you're - you're rather fond of Doris Walker, aren't you? 


FRED: (DEEPLY FELT) I'm in love with her. 


KRIS: Mmm. How do you think she feels about you, Fred? 


FRED: I think if I could just crack that shell, maybe she'd be in love with me.


KRIS: (PLEASED) Ah. 


FRED: If I could just get her to break down, just once-- 


KRIS: Hmm. Why don't you take her out more? 


FRED: I've tried. She's too busy with her job.


KRIS: Well, that's what I want you to do for me, Fred: try a little harder. You know, those two are a couple of lost souls and it's up to us to help them. Now, I'll take care of Susie, if you'll take care of her mother.


FRED: That's good enough for me, Kris.


KRIS: Good. Oh, one more thing. 


FRED: What?


KRIS: Do you like--? Do you like living in Manhattan?


FRED: (WITH A SHRUG) Mm, it's all right, I suppose. 'Course, someday I'd like to get a house out on Long Island. Not a big place, just one of those "Junior Partner" deals around Manhasset. 


KRIS: Yes. Yes, I know the kind you mean. 


FRED: Why? 


KRIS: Why what? 


FRED: Well, why did you ask that? 


KRIS: Oh, I don't know, Fred. It just seems to me that as soon as Christmas is over every year, I get good and sick of the city, too. 


MUSIC: THIRD ACT CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: Every day you hear more and more about an incredibly fast way to relieve the pains of headache, neuritis, and neuralgia. It's Anacin -- A-N-A-C-I-N. Now, the reason Anacin is so wonderfully fast-acting and effective is this: Anacin is like a doctor's prescription. That is, Anacin contains not just one, but a combination of medically proven active ingredients in easy-to-take tablet form. Thousands of people have received envelopes containing Anacin tablets from their own dentist or physician, and in this way discovered the incredibly fast relief Anacin brings from the pains of headache, neuritis, or neuralgia. So the next time a headache strikes, take Anacin -- A-N-A-C-I-N. Anacin in handy boxes of twelve and thirty, economical family-size bottles of fifty and one hundred. Ask for Anacin at any drug counter. 


MUSIC: TAG


ANNOUNCER: And now back to our story: "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street," starring Edmund Gwenn.


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: So with Christmas right upon us, Kris Kringle is in Bellevue, with the competent authority of psychiatrists judging him insane. At any moment, papers of commitment will be put through the New York courts which will keep Kris committed permanently. Fred Gailey has managed to file his claim for a formal hearing.


SOUND: BUZZ OF COURTROOM CROWD ... GAVEL BANGS A FEW TIMES ... CROWD QUIETS BEHIND--


MARA: In the matter of Kris Kringle, your Honor, the commitment papers are before you. If your Honor please, I should like to call the first witness. 


JUDGE: Proceed, Mr. Mara. 


MARA: Mr. Kringle, will you take the stand? 


SOUND: KRIS RISES FROM CHAIR ... HIS STEPS TO STAND


KRIS: (PLEASANTLY) Good morning, your Honor.


JUDGE: (A BIT SURPRISED) Er-- Good morning. (VERY PROFESSIONAL) Before you begin, Mr. Mara, I want to explain to the witness that this is a hearing, not a trial. 


MARA: (OF COURSE) Mm. 


JUDGE: Mr. Kringle, you do not have to answer any questions against your wishes or even testify at all.


FRED: (OFF) We have no objection, your Honor. 


KRIS: Oh, I'll be glad to answer any questions, if I can.


MARA: What is your name? 


KRIS: Kris Kringle.


MARA: Where do you live? 


KRIS: (WISELY) Well, that's what this hearing will decide. 


SOUND: CROWD LAUGHS


JUDGE: A very sound answer, Mr. Kringle. 


KRIS: Thank you, your Honor. 


MARA: Do you believe that you are Santa Claus? 


KRIS: Well, of course.


SOUND: SOME IN THE CROWD EXPRESS SURPRISE


MARA: The state rests, your Honor. 


JUDGE: Well, Mr. Gailey, do you wish to cross-examine the witness? I believe he was employed to play Santa Claus. Perhaps he did not understand the question.


KRIS: Oh, I understood the question perfectly, your Honor.


FRED: No further questions at this time. 


JUDGE: Well, in view of this statement, do you still wish to put in a defense, young man? 


FRED: I do, your Honor. I'm fully aware of my client's opinions. In fact, that's the entire case against him. All those complicated tests and reports boil down to this: Mr. Kringle is not sane because he believes himself to be Santa Claus. 


JUDGE: An entirely logical and reasonable assumption, I'm afraid. 


FRED: Well, it would be, if the clerk here, or Mr. Mara, or I, believed that we were Santa Claus.


MARA: Anyone who thinks he's Santa Claus is not sane.


FRED: Not necessarily. For example, your Honor, you believe yourself to be Judge Harper -- and nobody questions your sanity, your Honor, because you are Judge Harper.


JUDGE: I know all about myself, young man. Mr. Kringle is the subject of this hearing. 


FRED: Yes, your Honor. And if he is the person he believes himself to be, just as you are, then he is just as sane. 


JUDGE: Well, granted. But he isn't.


FRED: Oh, but he is, your Honor. 


JUDGE: Is what? 


FRED: I intend to prove that Mr. Kringle is Santa Claus! 


SOUND: CROWD REACTS WITH ASTONISHMENT


MUSIC: BRIDGE


FRED: Doris? 


DORIS: Well, hello. 


FRED: Oh, I'm glad you're home. 


DORIS: I read the paper, Fred. You're not serious about this.


FRED: Of course I am. 


DORIS: But you can't possibly prove that he's Santa Claus!


FRED: Well, why not? He made Macy and Gimbel shake hands, didn't he? That was impossible, but it happened. 


DORIS: I'd like to know what your firm thinks about this.


FRED: (LIGHTLY, WITH MOCK DIGNITY) They are saying that I am jeopardizing the prestige and dignity of an old established law firm and either I drop this impossible case immediately or they will drop me.


DORIS: (QUIET SARCASM) The old buzzards. (RELIEVED) Well, I guess that's that.


FRED: Yep, they left me no choice. So I quit. 


DORIS: (HORRIFIED) Fred, you didn't! 


FRED: Of course I did. I can't let Kris down. He needs me, and all the rest of us need him. 


DORIS: Look, darling, I love Kris, too. He's a kind, wonderful old man and I admire you for wanting to help him. But you've got to be practical. You can't throw your career away because of sentiment. 


FRED: I'd like to prove something to you -- and I can, too. Turn on the radio.


DORIS: Why? 


FRED: Because I want to show you what's happened lately with sentiment.


SOUND: CLICK! OF RADIO SWITCHED ON


FRED: It's become darn good business. It's all over the place. Everybody's doing it. Here. Here it comes now. Listen--


SALESMAN: (ON FILTER) Ladies and gentlemen, the "car of the year" is a good car, please don't misunderstand. There are many good cars. They're higher-priced and lower-priced. If you'll bring us an idea of your requirements, we'll tell you very honestly whether we think ours is the car for you. If not, we'll recommend cheerfully the car you should have regardless of who makes it. 


SOUND: CLICK! OF RADIO SWITCHED OFF


FRED: Hear that? A year ago that company would have killed themselves before okaying copy like that. And what's happening? They're doing the biggest business in their history. You can blame that on Kris. 


DORIS: Yes, I know, but-- 


FRED: Do you realize that a little old man that I'm defending is responsible for all those commercials? Do you know what he's done for the industry of this country? Maybe it's because public response has made it impossible for advertisers to be anything but generous, but it's his fault. He started the whole darn thing. 


DORIS: But you can't toss everything out the window because of a sentimental whim! 


FRED: (SIGHS, GENTLY) Darling, one experience doesn't make a life. You've got to have faith.


DORIS: It's not a question of faith. It's just-- It's just common sense, Fred.


FRED: Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. And I guess these last few years you've developed too much common sense.


DORIS: And yet with all my common sense, I was just beginning to think it would work out - for us.


FRED: (BEAT, SADLY) So was I. But-- (CHANGES TONE, LIGHTER) Can I help you with the tree? 


DORIS: (STIFF) Thanks. I can do it. 


FRED: (WARM) Well, good night. 


DORIS: Good night.


MUSIC: TRAGIC BRIDGE


SOUND: BUZZ OF COURTROOM CROWD ... QUIETS BEHIND--


FRED: May I examine my witness, your Honor? 


JUDGE: Proceed, Mr. Gailey.


FRED: Thank you. What is your name, sir? 


MACY: R. H. Macy. 


FRED: Mr. Macy, if you recognize the gentleman seated over there, will you please tell us who it is? 


MACY: Kris Kringle. 


FRED: Your employee, is he not? 


MACY: Yes.


FRED: Do you believe him to be truthful? 


MACY: Yes.


FRED: Do you believe him to be of sound mind? 


MACY: I certainly do. 


SOUND: CROWD REACTS


MARA: Mr. Macy, you're under oath. Do you really believe that this man is Santa Claus? 


MACY: Well, he gives every indication--


MARA: (INTERRUPTS) I asked you, Mr. Macy, do you believe that this man is Santa Claus? 


MACY: (BEAT) I do.


FRED: That is all.


SOUND: CROWD REACTS


MARA: (FURIOUS) Your Honor! I object to this testimony! It's ridiculous, irrelevant, and immaterial! Mr. Gailey is making a circus out of this court! There's no such person as Santa Claus -- and everybody knows it! 


SOUND: CROWD REACTS


FRED: Your Honor? Your Honor, I would like to request permission for my client to answer Mr. Mara himself. 


JUDGE: Granted. 


FRED: Mr. Kringle? 


KRIS: Mr. Mara, I submit that what you have just said is a matter of opinion. Can you offer any proof that there is no Santa Claus? 


MARA: No! And I do not intend to! This is not a nursery. This is the New York State Supreme Court. I'll not waste this court's time with such childish nonsense. 


KRIS: Well, I don't mean to be presumptuous, but Mr. Mara seems to have appointed himself judge here, your Honor. He's now ruling on what testimony I may introduce here.


MARA: Your Honor, I demand an immediate ruling from the court! Is there or is there not a Santa Claus?! 


JUDGE: (TAKEN ABACK, NERVOUSLY) The, er-- The court will take a short recess to consider the matter.


MUSIC: BRISK LIGHT COMICAL BRIDGE


SOUND: LAST DIGIT OF NUMBER DIALED ON ROTARY PHONE ... PAUSE


JUDGE: (INTO PHONE, MISERABLE AND UNEASY) Oh, hello, darling. Have you been listening to the broadcast of the trial? -- Yes, I'm in my chambers. -- Oh, I've never been in such a dilemma. -- Why? Well, listen, if I go back in there and rule there is no Santa Claus, we'd both better start looking for that chicken farm right now. -- No, I won't even get in the primaries. -- What? Oh, stop. Listen to reason. I'm a responsible judge, I've taken an oath. How can I seriously rule there is a Santa Claus? -- What will happen? Well, I'll tell you. I rule there's no Santa Claus, the kids read about it, they don't hang up their stockings. So what happens to all the toys that were supposed to be in the stockings? Nobody buys them. You think the toy manufacturers are going to like that? So they have to lay off a lot of employees -- union employees! Now you've got the CIO and the AF of L against you. And the department stores are going to love you, too, and the Christmas card makers, and the candy companies. -- Oh, honey, listen. As sure as you're my wife, if - if I do this, I can count on getting just exactly three votes at the next election: our own and that district attorney Mara's out there. Oh, and I just happened to remember that Mara's a Republican. ... Well, recess is over, my sweet. Career, too, maybe. I'll call you later.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN ... JUDGE'S STEPS TO CHAMBER DOOR, WHICH OPENS ... BUZZ OF COURTROOM CROWD, IN BG ... DOOR CLOSES, JUDGE'S STEPS TO BENCH ... GAVEL BANGS ... CROWD QUIETS


JUDGE: (COUGHS NERVOUSLY) Uh, before making a ruling, this court has consulted the highest authority available. The question of Santa Claus seems to be largely a matter of opinion. Many people firmly believe in him, others do not. American justice demands a broad and unprejudiced view of such a controversial matter. This court therefore, er, intends to keep an open mind. We shall hear evidence on either side. 


MARA: Your Honor, the burden of proof for this ridiculous contention clearly rests with my opponent. Can he produce any evidence to support his views?


FRED: If the court please, may my client take over for me? 


JUDGE: Well, yes. Yes, of course.


KRIS: Well, will, uh--? Will Thomas Mara please take the stand? 


MARA: Who, me? 


KRIS: No-no-no, Mr. Mara. Thomas Mara, Junior


SOUND: PUZZLED CROWD REACTS AS TOMMY WALKS TO THE STAND AND SITS


KRIS: (PLEASED) Yeah. Heh! Now, Tommy, now-- You know the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie, don't you? 


TOMMY: Gosh, everybody knows you shouldn't tell a lie -- especially in court.


SOUND: CROWD LAUGHS


KRIS: Tell me-- Tell me, do you, uh--? Do you believe in Santa Claus, Tommy? 


TOMMY: Sure I do. He gave me a brand-new sled last year. And this year I wrote him that I wanted a--


KRIS: And what does he look like? 


TOMMY: You. 


MARA: (WEAKLY) I - I object. 


JUDGE: Overruled. 


KRIS: Uh, tell me, Tommy, why are you so sure there is a Santa Claus?


TOMMY: Because my daddy told me so. Didn't you, daddy?


SOUND: CROWD ROARS WITH LAUGHTER 


KRIS: (CHUCKLES) Yes, and you - you believe your daddy, don't you, Tommy, huh? He's a very honest man.


TOMMY: Of course he is. My daddy wouldn't tell me anything that wasn't so. Would you, daddy? 


KRIS: (CHUCKLES) Thank you, Tommy. Thank you, that's all.


MARA: (HELPLESSLY) Your, er-- Your Honor, the State of New York concedes the existence of Santa Claus.


SOUND: CROWD REACTS


MARA: (ON FIRE AGAIN) But! In so conceding, we ask of Mr. Gailey and his client to cease presenting personal opinion as evidence. Now, the state could bring in hundreds of witnesses with opposite opinions, but it's our desire to shorten the hearing rather than prolong it. I therefore demand that Mr. Gailey now submit authoritative proof that Mr. Kringle is the one and the only Santa Claus.


JUDGE: Your point is well taken, Mr. Mara. I'm afraid I must agree. Mr. Gailey, are you prepared to show that Mr. Kringle is Santa Claus on the basis of competent authority? 


FRED: Er-- Not at this time, your Honor. I ask for an adjournment until tomorrow.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: QUIET BUZZ OF COURTROOM CROWD ... THEN IN BG


FRED: (DISCOURAGED) Morning, Kris.


KRIS: (SYMPATHETIC) Morning, Fred. 


FRED: I'm afraid it's bad news, Kris.


KRIS: Oh?


FRED: I've tried every way to get some competent authority. I wired the governor, the mayor--


KRIS: (INTERRUPTS, QUIETLY OVERJOYED) Never mind, Fred! Now, this letter means more to me than all the governors and mayors in the world. 


SOUND: LETTER UNFOLDED


FRED: Who's it from? 


KRIS: You read it. 


FRED: There's no time now. They're ready to start.


KRIS: Well, let me read just a bit of it.


FRED: All right, go ahead.


KRIS: Well, listen. Listen, Fred. (READS) "And I want you to know, Mr. Kringle, that I believe all you've told me and everything will turn out fine. I hope you are not sad. Yours truly, Susan." (PLEASED) Hm. (READS) Oh, "P. S. Dear Mr. Kringle, I believe in you, too -- Doris." 


FRED: So our two lost souls have found themselves, huh, Kris? A little late for you, though. 


KRIS: Oh, I don't matter, Fred. They finally found faith -- that's really important. Here, take a look at the envelope. 


FRED: Why? 


KRIS: Well, see how it's addressed. 


FRED: Here, let me look at that. 


KRIS: Here.


FRED: (READS) "Kris Kringle, New York County Courthouse, Centre and Pearl Streets, New York City." 


KRIS: Yes, yes -- and I have two other letters from children here, Fred. They're just addressed "Santa Claus," but I got them. 


SOUND: GAVEL BANGS THRICE ... CROWD QUIETS


JUDGE: Are you ready, Mr. Mara?


MARA: Yes, your Honor. 


JUDGE: Mr. Gailey?


FRED: My client will speak for himself, your Honor. (LOW, TO KRIS) I'm gonna make a quick phone call, Kris. 


KRIS: Go ahead, son. I've got an interesting book here. 


MARA: Your Honor, the defense is yet to bring in one concrete piece of evidence to substantiate this preposterous claim -- not one competent authoritative proof that this man is Santa Claus. In view of these facts and especially since today is Christmas Eve and we're all anxious to get to our homes, I ask that you sign the commitment papers without further delay. 


JUDGE: (HELPLESSLY) Er, Mr. Kringle? Haven't you anything to offer? 


KRIS: Yes. Yes, I have, your Honor. I should like to submit some facts in evidence. They concern the Post Office department, an official agency of the United States government. The Post Office department is one of the largest business concerns in the world--


MARA: Your Honor, I'm sure we're all gratified to know that the Post Office department is doing so nicely, but it hardly has any bearing on the case.


KRIS: It may have a great deal, your Honor. May I proceed?


JUDGE: Oh, yes, yes, by all means, Mr. Kringle. 


KRIS: Well now, according to this book of regulations in my hand, the United States postal laws make it a criminal offense to willfully misdirect mail or intentionally deliver it to the wrong party. Consequently, the department uses every possible precaution--


MARA: (INTERRUPTS, IMPATIENTLY) Your Honor, the State of New York is second to none in its admiration of the Post Office department. We're happy to concede all of Mr. Kringle's claims. 


KRIS: For the record? 


MARA: Yes, for the record. Anything to get on with this case!


KRIS: Then may I introduce these two letters as evidence, your Honor? 


SOUND: LETTERS HANDED OVER


KRIS: They are simply addressed to "Santa Claus." No other address whatsoever. Yet they were delivered to me by bona fide employees of the Post Office. Now could this be considered positive proof? 


MARA: Two letters, your Honor, are hardly positive proof! I understand the Post Office receives thousands of such letters every year.


FRED: (OFF) That is true, Mr. Mara! 


SOUND: FRED'S STEPS APPROACH


FRED: (APPROACHES) If I may interrupt, your Honor, I should like to say that I have other exhibits, but I hesitate to produce them.


MARA: (SARCASTIC) We'd all like to see them, I'm sure. 


KRIS: (LOW) Did I get some more mail, Fred? 


FRED: (LOW) Just watch. 


KRIS: (LOW) Oh.


FRED: (UP BIG) I apologize, your Honor, for the staggering amount of evidence necessary, but you will notice being wheeled down the aisle nine truckloads of mail! 


SOUND: CROWD REACTS WITH SURPRISE ... BUZZES, IN BG


FRED: Every letter on these trucks is addressed to Santa Claus! The Post Office department has delivered them! The post office is a branch of the federal government! Therefore, the United States government recognizes this man, Kris Kringle, as the one and only Santa Claus! 


SOUND: CROWD ROARS ITS APPROVAL ... GAVEL BANGS A FEW TIMES ... CROWD QUIETS FOR--


JUDGE: (DAZED, BUT PLEASED) Uh-- Since the United States of America believes this man to be Santa Claus, this court will not dispute it. Case -- heh! -- dismissed.


SOUND: GAVEL BANGS ONCE ... CROWD CHEERS


MUSIC: BRIDGE


KRIS: (ALMOST IN TEARS) I got your note, Doris -- in court. Made me very happy. 


DORIS: (MOVED) I'm glad, Kris. 


KRIS: Hmm. 


DORIS: It's making our Christmas very happy to have you with us. 


SUSAN: (NOT VERY HAPPY) I didn't get my present.


DORIS: Oh, but, darling, you have loads of presents.


SUSAN: Not the one I wanted. Not the one Mr. Kringle was going to get for me.


KRIS: Well, I tried my best, Susie, but-- 


SUSAN: (ACCUSINGLY) You couldn't get it because you're not Santa Claus, that's why. 


KRIS: Hm?


SUSAN: Just a nice old man with whiskers like mother said, and I shouldn't have believed you. 


DORIS: I was wrong when I told you that, darling. You must believe in Mr. Kringle -- and keep right on doing it. You must have faith in him.


SUSAN: But, mommy, he didn't get me the-- Oh, it doesn't make sense! 


DORIS: Faith, darling, is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. I mean, just because things don't turn out the way you want them to the first time, you've still got to believe in people. I found that out.


SUSAN: You mean it's like that "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again"? 


DORIS: Yes. 


SUSAN: (DISSATISFIED) I thought so. 


SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR


DORIS: Come in! 


SOUND: APARTMENT DOOR OPENS


FRED: Merry Christmas, everybody! 


KRIS, DORIS

& SUSAN: Merry Christmas! 


FRED: Anybody notice they didn't get any presents from me? 


SUSAN: I did.


FRED: Yes, I'll bet you did, and I'll bet your mother did, too, only she's too polite to mention it. Well, I've got two presents. One, Doris, is a little special -- and it's just for you.


DORIS: (SLIGHT GASP) Oh--


FRED: (LOVINGLY) It's very tiny. It's in a very tiny plush box. It's very round -- and filled with a lot of love.


KRIS: (CHUCKLES, QUIETLY MISCHIEVOUS) You want me to leave? 


FRED: (AMUSED) Stay right where you are, Kris. ...


KRIS: All right, all right. I like it here. ... 


FRED: I've got another present. 


SUSAN: Where is it? 


FRED: It's in my pocket on a piece of paper. It's called an option.


SUSAN: Well, what's an option? 


FRED: Something that means that nobody else can buy this present unless I don't want it. 


SUSAN: Do you want it? 


FRED: I want it, if you and mommy want it as much as I do. Look, Susan, here's a picture of it. 


KRIS: (EXHALES WITH QUIET PLEASURE)


FRED: It's a house. 


KRIS: (PLEASED) Oh-- 


SUSAN: (EXCITED) It's my house, mommy! It's my house! The very house I asked Mr. Kringle for! 


FRED: (SURPRISED) You asked Mr. Kringle for this house? 


KRIS: Susie, isn't it wonderful to believe again? 


SUSAN: Oh, I do, Mr. Kringle! I do, I do! 


DORIS: So do I, Kris.


KRIS: And that's the happiest Christmas that you could possibly give me. 


FRED: I believe, too, Kris. You know that. (MUSIC: SNEAKS IN) Tell me something. 


KRIS: Oh, anything, Fred.


FRED: Who are you? 


KRIS: Me? Why, I'm Kris Kringle. Bye!


MUSIC: UP FOR CURTAIN 


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: Kris Kringle will return in just a moment with our guest director George Seaton, but now here's what happens when Bing and Bob meet on a shopping tour. 


BING: Here we go. Where you've been, genius? In some corner drugstore getting your kicks at the comic book counter? 


BOB: No, no, no, I was at the prescription counter admiring your picture on the iodine bottle. ... 


BING: Say, there's a delightful picture of you on the Lydia Pinkham bottle, too. ... Seriously, friends, skinflint and I, we do agree one hundred percent on this:


BOB: Chesterfield is the cigarette that everybody ought to be smokin'. 


BING: Right, and they will, Bob, when they find out how easy it is to prove that Chesterfields are milder.


BOB: Sure, it's the easiest test in the book. Just get hold of a pack of Chesterfields, then open 'em, smell 'em, and smoke 'em. 


BING: Compare them with the cigarettes you've been smoking and you'll find that Chesterfields do smell milder, and they smoke mild, too.


MUSIC: FOR JINGLE, IN BG--


GIRL SINGERS: 

Chesterfield, Chesterfield

Always wins first place. 

That milder mild tobacco 

Never leaves an aftertaste. 


BOB: (SINGS) So open a pack, give 'em a smell--


GIRL SINGERS: Then you'll smoke 'em!


MUSIC: OUT


2ND ANNCR: This Christmas, give Chesterfield Christmas cartons with Bing Crosby as Papa Santa Claus.


ANNOUNCER: Next week another great star recreates a memorable role on Screen Directors' Playhouse as we present our adaptation of one of Hollywood's most unusual films. Our story will be "Alias Nick Beal," directed by John Farrow, and our stars will be Ray Milland and Nancy Olson. Now here again is tonight's star -- Edmund Gwenn! 


SOUND: APPLAUSE


GWENN: Well, thank you. Thank you very much. Our play, you know, isn't really over. It's true that the pages of our script have been acted out, but - but that's - that's scarcely the end of Kris Kringle, is it? No. Anyway, not for the five hundred girls and boys in our studio audience tonight. No, and not for you either, I expect. That's because the old duffer is completely timeless. And although this particular Kris Kringle doesn't seem to have any end, he did have a beginning. (WITH A CHUCKLE) Yes. Yes, he began on the screen with one of Hollywood's most brilliant writer-directors -- and I'd like to introduce him to you now. The creator of "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street" and of such other films as "Apartment for Peggy" and "The Big Lift" -- George Seaton! 


SOUND: APPLAUSE


SEATON: Thanks, Teddy. You know, we seem to be in on the birth of a kind of a young tradition here. 


GWENN: Well, it was just a year ago, George, that we did the same show, wasn't it? With the same wonderful audience of boys and girls.


SEATON: Another Screen Directors' Christmas party and Kris Kringle hasn't changed a bit. 


GWENN: (CHUCKLES) Well, that's one of the nicest things about playing Santa Claus: the part goes on and on, year after year. And, of course, we actors are very fond of those kind of roles.


SEATON: And directors are very fond of your kind of acting. Teddy, your performance in "Miracle" made a dream come true. 


GWENN: Oh?


SEATON: Because when Valentine Davies and I started to write the screenplay-- Well, it's all we had to go on -- a dream, an idea; just a hope that we could capture on celluloid that thing called Christmas spirit -- and, Teddy, you're it. 


GWENN: My dear George, ha! The way I fill a Santa Claus suit to bursting, I don't quite fancy myself as a spirit. 


SEATON: You're Santy Claus to the fingertips. And you've got an assignment.


GWENN: What, to give a performance? 


SEATON: To give out the gifts that NBC is giving to these five hundred youngsters.


GWENN: Oh, I'll accept that assignment, yes. You'll help, Mr. Director? 


SEATON: I'll help, Mr. Actor. 


GWENN: Good. Then since I'm still Kris Kringle, I'm really the most appropriate one to wish the audience - a merry Christmas, from all of us on the Screen Directors' Playhouse. May it bring you the most precious gift of all: happiness. Good night.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: And so ends Screen Directors' Playhouse, the Thursday night feature on NBC's All-Star Festival, brought to you by: RCA Victor, world leader in radio, first in recorded music, and first in television; Chesterfield, the only cigarette that combines mildness with no unpleasant aftertaste; and the makers of Anacin for fast relief from the pain of headache, neuritis, and neuralgia. 


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street" was presented through the courtesy of 20th Century-Fox. Watch for Richard Widmark in the 20th Century-Fox Technicolor production "Halls of Montezuma." Edmund Gwenn may currently be seen in the 20th Century-Fox productions "Mister 880" and "For Heaven's Sake" with George Seaton as director. Included in tonight's cast were Lurene Tuttle as Doris, David Ellis as Fred, Gail Bonney, Joan Ray, Bill Conrad, Ralph Moody, Herb Rawlinson, Joel Nessler, and Jack Moyles. "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street" was adapted for radio by Nat Wolff. The Screen Directors' Playhouse is produced by Howard Wiley and directed by Bill Cairn. This is Jimmy Wallington speaking and inviting you to listen again next Thursday when we present Ray Milland and Nancy Olson in "Alias Nick Beal," with screen director John Farrow.


MUSIC: UP FOR FANFARE AND OUT


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: Listen again next week to Screen Directors' Playhouse, the Thursday night feature on NBC's All-Star Festival of comedy, music, mystery, and drama. Listen tomorrow evening to the one and only "Duffy's Tavern," the Friday night feature of the All-Star Festival. 


NBC ANNCR: Join Archie and the gang at "Duffy's Tavern" tomorrow night on NBC. 


MUSIC: NBC CHIMES

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