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Miracle on 34th Street (NBC Friday Night Special Presentation)

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Director  William Corrigan
6.6/10 IMDb

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Writer  George Seaton, Valentine Davies

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Miracle on 34th Street is the Christmas episode, broadcast November 27, 1959, of the American color anthology television series NBC Friday Night Special Presentation which showcased drama, comedy and musical entertainment (produced by TV veteran David Susskind) and occasional news special reports, while alternating once per month with The Bell Telephone Hour musical series, also in color, in the 8:30–9:30 pm time slot from September 11, 1959 until June 17, 1960.

Contents

Production details

Presented the Friday after Thankgiving, the live broadcast of Miracle on 34th Street was directed by William Corrigan and starred Ed Wynn, a recent Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture nominee for 1956's The Great Man and soon-to-be Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nominee for that year's production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Co-starring with Wynn were married actors and musical entertainers Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy who frequently performed together. Between 1949 and 1951 they were regulars on four TV shows and, during their prime decade, the 1950s, were seen almost continuously. Ten months after this broadcast, a sitcom built around their personal life, Peter Loves Mary, was on NBC's schedule for the 1960–61 season. Their marriage lasted 58 years, from 1940 until Hayes' death in 1998.

Also in the cast, playing the befuddled psychiatrist, was equally frequent TV performer Orson Bean, a regular, at the time, on the quiz show Keep Talking, and child actress Susan Gordon who, earlier that year, had worked on episodes of two other live TV series, Playhouse 90 and Goodyear Theatre as well as in two theatrical films, The Man in the Net and The Five Pennies.

The broadcast was long believed to have no surviving copies, but a kinescope was discovered at the Library of Congress where it was shown in December 2005. Susan Gordon who played Mary Healy's daughter and was ten at the time of the broadcast, attended the screening. She was 56 and died six years later at the age of 62. Mary Healy lived to be 96 and died in 2015.

Cast

  • Ed Wynn as Kris Kringle
  • Peter Lind Hayes as Fred Gaily
  • Mary Healy as Doris Walker
  • Orson Bean as Dr. William Sawyer
  • Loring Smith as Mr. Shellhammer
  • Hiram Sherman as R. H. Macy
  • Susan Gordon as Susan Walker
  • Lawrence Weber as Mr. Mara
  • John Gibson as Judge Harper
  • Joey Walsh as Al, post office employee
  • Arnie Freeman as Lou, post office employee
  • William Post, Jr. as Mr. Gimbel
  • Shirley Eggleston as Peter's mother
  • Frank Daly as the bailiff
  • William Griffis as first Santa Claus
  • References

    Miracle on 34th Street (NBC Friday Night Special Presentation) Wikipedia
    Miracle on 34th Street (NBC Friday Night Special Presentation) IMDb


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