Miracle on 34th Street (1994) Script

Ask him. Shh!

Ask him. Shh!

Look at him, grandpa. Ask him!

Ryan, that's enough.

Uh, I'm sorry. He, uh...he thinks you're Santa Claus.

I am.

Merry christmas.

Uh, merry--Merry christmas.

Nuts. I should have got his autograph.

Dashing through the snow In a one-horse open sleigh O'er the fields we go Laughing all the way Bells on bobtail ring Making spirits bright What fun it is to laugh and sing In a sleighing song tonight oh, jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh hey, jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh

What is the problem?

Your Santa Claus is wearing a topcoat and a fedora.

Ya-ha! Ha ha ha ha!

That's not my Santa Claus.

Right. Now...throw it out...

Bring it up right up high, and down she comes!

It's just in the wrist, you see.

It's really quite simple, you know, when you get the knack.

Now then, why don't you--

o.k., pops, come on. It's my turn. Give me the whip.

What have you been drinking?

Just something to keep me warm.

You are intoxicated, sir.

And you're a pain in the butt.

You are a disgrace.

You have any idea how many children are watching you?

Give me back the whip.

Let me tell you something-- when you put on this suit, you represent something that has great significance to millions of people all over the world.

Now, I could overlook your poorly-manufactured jacket or even your ludicrously unbelievable beard.

Hey!

Or perhaps your phonily-padded tummy, but I will not tolerate public drunkenness.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Can I get a cop over here?

That's a very good idea. Officer!

Hey, wait a minute, you.

Mrs. Walker! Mrs. Walker!

Mrs. Walker, we need your help here!

Your sense of occasion is something--

If you're not with the parade, get back on the sidewalk.

I need to see whomever's in charge to alert them to this man.

Kiss my--

Oh, easy! Take it easy!

Gramps, come on, hey.

Let's go for a little walk.

That man's a degenerate.

It's time to go right up in the old office.

Ha ha!

Little drafty there.

Hey, let's just watch the parade, o.k.?

Come on.

O.k. Settle in here.

Oh!

Oh, my god.

Get this costume fixed. O.k. We'll show this guy how to do it.

Whoa!

Aah!

Oh.

Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho!

Merry christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Sir! Excuse me.

Hello. I-I'm Dorey walker. Oh.

Director of special projects for c.f. Cole's department store.

My pleasure. As a matter of fact, I was looking for you.

There's no doubt you saw your Santa Claus is inebriated.

I know. He has created such a terrible problem.

Millions of children are watching here and on television.

They're expecting to see Santa Claus, and now we don't have one.

That is a terrible problem.

Would you do it? Would you be our Santa Claus?

Uh, me?

Well, do you have any experience?

Well...just a little.

Great. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Isn't there someone else that you could ask?

Sir, the parade has started already.

It's you right now, or else There's no Santa in the cole's thanksgiving day parade.

Might I perhaps have a moment to think about it?

Don't worry about a thing. Just... be yourself.

Now, dasher! Now, dancer!

Now, prancer and vixen!

Now, comet! Now, cupid! Now, donner and blitzen!

Hey!

Merry christmas. Merry chris--

This Santa Claus is fantastic.

Did he sign a contract?

There wasn't any time.

Myrna's going to have him sign after the parade.

She'll have him fill out his employment papers, and he'll start in the morning.

He insisted upon wearing his own Santa suit.

He has his own Santa suit?

Apparently.

Well, if it's horrible, we'll make him wear one of ours.

I'm going home.

You're not going to watch the parade?

No. I think I've had quite enough for one day, thank you.

I will see you in the morning.

O.k. Chin-chin.

Merry christmas.

Susan?


We can see the parade from his window, so put on something comfortable And come on over.

P.S., Mr. Bedford put the turkey in the oven.

He said you forgot to sew up the turkey's bottom.

The stuffing will all fall out, but he told me not to say anything Because he loves you, and he wants to kiss you, and he thinks you're The most beautiful woman in the whole world!

Do you know how much it costs to make this parade?

Uh, a million dollars. $2 million?

1.6. It's probably a big mistake.

Some guy's going to buy cole's and turn it into a junk store.

That's not going to happen. Two banks just came in and rescued cole's.

You better check your sources.

But cole's has to pay them back plus interest.

If they don't sell a lot at christmas, you can forget about it, pal.

Well, I think you should ask Santa Claus to give cole's an interest-free loan For christmas.

What do you think about that?

That's a good one Well, you know what? It might happen.

Santa Claus, he does some pretty amazing things.

Bryan, you know what? I know.

You know what?

The secret.

What secret?

Santa Claus. I've known for a long time.

He's not real.

Says who?

My mom.

Hi. I believe you have something of mine.

About 4-foot tall, brown hair, talks like she's 64 years old?

Hey.

Hi. / Hi.

So, what do you think?

It's a good one.

Yeah? Did Santa Claus come by yet?

Nope. Is it Tony falacchi again?

No. Tony had to leave.

Bombed?

Yes.

It's the pressure.

But I got this new guy, and he really looks like the real thing.

Maybe he is.

Are you still coming to dinner?

Am I still invited?

Yes.

Then I'm coming.

Honey, run home and put the camera stuff away.

I'll put the stuff away. You keep watching.

Let her finish watching the parade. Come on.

Santa hasn't even come by yet.

Well, as soon as Santa does come by, I would like for you to come home.

Sure.

That's the end of the parade, anyway.

There's nothing else to see except guys cleaning up horse poop, And that doesn't thrill me at all.

Hello! Merry christmas!


Hello? Jack?

Yes, sir.

I've been watching the parade.

It looks bigger than last year.

What is the crowd estimate?

Well, sir, cops say over a million.

Last year was about 750.

Have marketing come up with a giveaway, something free.

I don't want a crowd outside cole's in the morning.

I hate to say this, Mr. Lamberg.

Cole's has got one hell of a Santa Claus this year.

If I didn'tknow better, I'd say he was the real article.

Keep an eye on this, Mr. Duff.

These small, seemingly insignificant, sentimental anachronisms can be surprisingly potent.

I don't want my plans damaged by an elderly cherub in a red suit.

I'm on it, sir.

Bye-bye.

There we go.

Ooh. Ooh. Ahh. Ahh. Happy thanksgiving.

Happy thanksgiving. Happy thanksgiving

You know, this is kind of like TV, except I need a brother and a dog, And Bryan would be the dad--

Mr. Bedford.

He said to call him Bryan.

Only if it's o.k. with your mom.

It's fine.

Bryan would be the dad, you'd be the mom.

We'd need either a fat person who's our cook or a neighbor who's Always at our house.

You know, that's not very interesting. Let's talk about something else.

For the chef.

Oh, in the loosest sense of the word.

In every sense of the word.

The vegetables are catered. So is dessert.

Thank you, Susan.

You're welcome.

Do we give blessings in this house?

Not unless my grandparents are here.

Would you mind if I did it? It's a tradition with me.

No. That's fine.

We give thanks for thfood before us and the closeness Of the people we love, and we pray that these gifts We so gratefully receive will be shared with those less fortunate than ourselves.

Amen.

Amen.

All right. Let's eat.

I slaved all day.

You really outdid yourself.


One of my elves is married to a fellow called Daniel.

Do you know what you want for christmas?

I want a peter pollywog patrol frog that swims and blows up.

Gosh, that sounds great Can mother have a word with Santa, please?

Yes, of course. Just a minute.

Don't make me look bad. Them things cost 70 bucks.

He just looked at them.

I tell you what.

Shopper's express have got them on sale at 34.Lamberg with a $5.00 rebate. Now that's reasonable enough, isn't it?

Yeah. Thanks.

But let me ask you a question.

Since when is cole's sending customers someplace else?

I don't think it matters where the toys are sold as long as it makes the children happy.

I'm sure the people here believe the same.

Yeah. Yeah, that's the spirit.

Thanks, Santa. Thank you.

Merry christmas. Merry christmas.

Now then, young man, if you're a very good boy And do exactly what your mummy tells you, you're going to have a peter pollywog for christmas.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Bye, Santa.

Bye-bye. Bye-bye, Daniel. Merry christmas.

Come on, then. Come on.

You the boss?

I'm general manager of the store.

My kid asked Santa for a barf gun. The Santa said he'd get it for him.

They're by the elevator.

And they're 90 bucks without batteries or barf.

Prices do go up.

Apparently not at bargain village.

52.50. They throw in the batteries.

I find it hard to believe cole's could be undersold by that much.

Where did you get your information?

From your Santa Claus.

But if you go out of here, turn to the right...

Excuse me?

Santa's telling everybody where to shop.

If you don't got it, it's too expensive, he's saying where to get it at the right price.

You're serious? Absolutely.

Madam, will you excuse me for a moment?

Tell Santa he made me a cole's shopper.

I'm coming here for everything but toilet paper.

Any store that puts the parent ahead of the buck at christmas deserves my business.

Tell Mr. Cole his Santa Claus ought to get a raise.

You want me to go with you to the chairman and pitch an idea That you got from Santa Claus?

If cole's doesn't have what you're looking for, we'll find it for you, Even if it means sending you somewhere else. how does that sound?

It sounds like a great way to go out of business.

Know that house in the country where we do the catalog shoot?

You wanted to buy it.

Yes.

If this works, we're probably looking at a bonus.

And if he hates the idea?

We're no worse off.

If we don't turn this store around, we're all out-- From the chairman to the janitor.

Let's do it.

I...like it. It's bold. It's fresh.

It will drive victor lamberg nuts.

It's beginning to look a lot like christmas soon the bells will start And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing Right within your heart it's beginning to look a lot like christmas Why?

Why didn't you think of this?

Now if this campaign is successful-- I know in my gut it will be--

Cole's will make lots of money.

The more money they make, the harder it will be for me to buy them out.

Now I want something done about this.

O.k., go ahead.

This seems like a pretty pointless exercise, Bryan.

I thought as long as we were here, might as well say hello to the old guy.

Why?

Let's just say for the sake of argument that there is a Santa Claus And that you don't believe in him.

Is it worth the risk that you might not get anything for christmas?

Well, I didn't believe in him last year.

I still got everything i asked my mother for.

Yeah. You get a free candy cane?

I'm trying to limit my intake of sugar.

She can go see Santa now.

O.k., come on. Go ahead.

Nice to meet you.

Hello, sir.

Oh, how do you do?

Would you like to come sit on my knee?

Good. Up you come.

Now then, what's your name?

Susan elizabeth walker. What's yours?

Mine? Ha ha ha ha.

Well, I have lots of names.

Uh, Kriss kringle, Santa Claus, father christmas, saint nicholas.

If you were in holland, I'd be sinterklaas, or in italy, le befana.

I have to speak many languages because, of course, I travel a great deal.

That's russian.

That's swahili.

My mother's Mrs. Walker.

She's director of special events for cole's.

Uh-huh.

She runs the parade. I know how this all works.

You're an employee of cole's.

That is true.

But you're a very good Santa Claus.

Your beard's stuck on real tight.

Usually the store Santa Claus whiskers are too loose.

Yours look realistic.

That's because they are real. You give them a tug.

Whoo! Ha ha ha.

Are you convinced?

Mm-hmm.

Good.

This isn't the regular Santa suit, is it?

Oh, no. This is the real Santa suit.

It's very nice.

I agree. Lovely.

Gold buttons, gold thread. It's as real as me.

Well, you ask your daddy if I'm real.

I don't know where he is.

Well, he's--

That's my friend Mr. Bedford.

I don't have a dad anymore.

Ha. Well, now, what can I get you for christmas?

Nothing, thank you.

Nothing?

My mother buys my gifts if I don't want something too stupid or dangerous or...

Hi, mom.

Hi. It's nice to see you.

Susan, you've taken enough of this man's time.

There's a long line of customers, and they do come first.

Nice to meet you, Susan.

Nice to meet you, too.

Bye-bye.

Nonbelievers.

Right.

If I felt that it was important for her to see Santa Claus, I would be happy to take her.

I didn'tsee any harm in her saying hello to an interesting old man.

Well, there is harm. I tell her that there is no Santa Claus, so you bring her down here, And she sees thousands of gullible kids, and she meets an actor a very good actor, mind you? with a real beard and a beautiful Santa suit, Sitting smack dab in the center of a child's fantasy world.

So, who does she believe, the myth or... the mom?

Listen, I just got some mistletoe.

Why don't we go back to my place and try it out?

No.

I don't think so.

O.k. I'm here. I can help. All you have to do is ask.

Well, actually, there is one thing.

Would you mind taking Susan home?

Sure.


I'm working at cole's.

All I have to do is to be myself.

There you are. Ha ha. That's it.

Very good. Very good.

Excuse me.

Oh.

Good evening.

Good evening.

My name is jack duff.

How do you do?

And this is alberta leonard.

How do you do?

Pleasure.

Nice to meet you both. I'm Kriss kringle.

Well, Mr. Kringle, we're with shopper's express, the department store.

Yes. You've got the peter pollywog on sale.

Right.

Yes, we do.

We want you to be our main Santa Claus.

We have over 7,000 stores worldwide, but you would be the number one guy.

Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the people at cole's have already hired me.

In fact, I've signed a contract.

If you'll excuse me, it's getting a bit late.

Give you a ride?

I can walk. It's probably out of your way.

Where are you going?

4th street, the mount carmel senior center.

We're going right by it.

It's on our way.

Thank you so much.

Um, bye-bye, prancer.

Bye-bye, dancer.

So tell me, Santa.

How does one guy get to every house around the world in one night?

Ah, yes. Well, now that is a vexing question, isn't it?

You see, if you could slow time down so that a second became a year, A minute became a century, and an hour became a millennium, Well, you could manage it quite easily, couldn't you?

I remember before--Well, 100 years ago, before the population explosion, I could manage To deliver all my goods and have enough time left over for a late supper, A nap, and a round of golf with the easter bunny.

He winters in new zealand, you know.

Thank you so much.

Thank you both very much indeed.

Merry christmas to you, miss leonard.

Merry, merry christmas to you, Mr. Duff.

Same to you, Santa.

Thank you very much. Good night.

He's completely out of his mind.

Imagine--cole's hiring a guy as nutty as that.

Could become a problem for them.

I know what you mean.

The easter bunny.

Nice to meet you.

Bye-bye now.

You don't think he's nuts, do you?

Hmm?

Well, he believes he's Santa Claus, absolutely believes it.

Maybe that's why he's good at it.

What difference does it make?

Look at our stocks. They're through the roof.

Sales are up 70% over last holiday.

In a week, this company has turned around.

We could go the other way just as fast if this guy does anything wrong.

What's he going to do?

We don't know.

If the fate of the company rests on one very unstable old man, You're celebrating our return just a little too soon.

I'm not worried.

Hello, little one. How are you? Come.

Uh, she's deaf.

You don't have to talk to her. She just wanted to see you.

Thank you.

You are a very... Beautiful young lady.

Ha ha ha ha.

What's your name?

Sami?

That's a beautiful name.

Ha ha ha ha.

Now I tell you what. Do you know Jingle bells?

Yes. jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way oh, what fun it is to ride on a one-horse open sleigh Ha ha. Oh, very good.

Darling, what would you like for christmas?

A doll and a bear?

Well, you shall have them.

Sami, I wish you a merry... Christmas.

 

Thank you. Thank you.

Bye-bye. Bye-bye.


Something's driving me crazy, and I can't sleep.

What's on your mind?

Santa Claus.

Mr. Kringle? Why, what about him?

He talked sign language with a kid today.

Well, that was considerate of him.

It's weird how he knows so much about toys and kids.

He speaks russian and swahili.

Well, he must be quite a learned man.

He looks exactly like every picture of Santa Claus I ever saw.

Yes, I know. That's why I chose him.

You're positive he's not the real Santa Claus?

I thought that we talked about this.

You understand what he is.

What if we're wrong?

That would be extremely rude.

Well, we're not ong sweetheart.

But all my friends believe in Santa Claus.

Well, most children your age do.

How come I don't ?

Because you know the truth, and truth is one of the most important things in the world.

To know the truth and to always be truthful with others and, more importantly, with yourself.

Believing in myths and fantasies just makes you unhappy.

Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were my age?

Yes.

Were you unhappy?

Well, when all the things that I believed in turned out not to be true, yes, I was unhappy.

Would it be o.k. If I thought about this more?

Do I have to not believe in Santa Claus right away?

Come here.

You have the right to believe whatever you want to believe.

Now, I've told you the truth, but if I'm wrong, I will be glad to admit it.

I'll tell you what. You ask Mr. Kringle for something that you would never ask me for, And if on christmas morning you don't get it, you will know Once and for all the honest truth about Santa Claus.

That's a very clever idea.

Thank you. Think you can get some sleep?

Yep. Yeah? Give me a kiss.

Good night. I love you.

I love you.

Good night. Good night.

christmas christmas well, it's christmas time, pretty baby and the snow is Fallin' on the ground christmas christmas well, it's christmas time, pretty baby...

Barkeep! Reload on this.

Hey. Hey!

Can I get another beer?

Boy, that cole's, they dealt me the high, hard one.

I did a good job for them last year.

This year they give me the--the royal fist.

They didn't have grounds on which to dismiss you.

That broad that runs the parade every year--

One of these college kids with a 3 ounce brain and 50 tons of attitude--

She hires some wacko right off the street to take my place.

Some wacko? Tell me about him.

He's a loon.

We got thousands in this city.

I'll say.

Never had one of them take my job, though.

Tony, did you have any contact with this old guy?

The guy come up on the float, right in my face.

He got aggressive with you.

He tried to whack me over the head with his cane.

He tried to whack you with a cane?

Isn't that what I just said?

Tony, this'll make you feel better.

Got a little job I want you to do for me.

What, uh, what kind of job you have in mind?

You'll see.

Just be yourself.

Don't even think about the camera. You'll be just fine.

Right.

I must confess, I don't know why they're making such a fuss about me.

This is the holiday season, and you're Santa Claus, right?

To many, but to others I'm an old man with a white beard.

But you're still the symbol of the season.

You think I'm a fraud, don't you?

Fraud is a bit too strong a word.

But you don't believe in me.

I believe that christmas is for children.

Your daughter doesn't believe in me, either.

I don't think that there's any harm in not believing in a figure that many do acknowledge to be a fiction.

Oh, but there is. I'm not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit And affects a jolly demeanor.

You know, I..I...I'm a symbol.

I'm a symbol Of the human ability to be able to suppress the selfish And hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives.

If...you can't believe, if you can't accept anything on faith, Then you're doomed for a life dominated by doubt.

I like you very much, Mrs...

Mrs. Walker, you're a fine woman. And, you know, I think you'll make an excellent test case for me, you and your daughter.

If I could make you believe, then there'd be some hope for me.

If I can't... Well, I'm finished.

Shall we go?

5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

I'm Kriss kringle, and I'm at cole's department store in new york city.

Good morning, america.

No. Mr. Kringle's time is extremely limited.

Sorry. Mr. Bedford's on line three.

No. He can't do private sessions.

Can you hold for just a moment? Hang on.

Hi. Bryan, I have the mayor's office on hold. What's up?

If I can arrange a really, really good Babysitter for tonight, you want to do some shopping and have dinner?

Well, I'm not sure when I...

I don't know if I can get celia tonight.

I'll take care of it. See you at 7:00?

Well, I-I-I'm not sure what--o.k.

Fine. 7:00. Bye.

Whoa! Who is this one?

This is dancer.

He's a bit slow, do you see?

Poor old dancer.

Oh. Good evening, Mrs. Walker.

Good evening...Mr. Kringle.

Nobody at school is going to believe this one, huh?

Well, if you have to have a babysitter, who's better qualified?

Yes.


Pretty, isn't it?

There really has to be something you want for christmas.

I'm very good at keeping secrets, you know.

Come on. Tell me.


What's this?

Gosh.

That's what I want for christmas-- a house, a brother, and a dad.

That's all I ever want.

If you're really Santa Claus, you can get it for me.

If you can't, you're just a nice man with a white beard like my mother says.

Oh, Susan.

Just because every child doesn't get his or her wish doesn't mean There's not a Santa Claus.

I thought you might say that.

Did you? Yes. Well...

A house is a very big order--

And very expensive.

And a baby, well a baby takes almost a year to, uh, to, uh... nine months. More if the lady's late.

Less if the baby's a preemie.

Right. And a father. I mean, uh...

No one can give anybody a father.

If Santa Claus really can make reindeer fly and go up and down people's chimneys and make millions of toys and go around the world in one night, he could get somebody a house and a brother...and a dad. Right?

Right. Right. Yes. I suppose he... he could.

I don't think I'll ever get those things, so it's no big deal.

Oh. Well, um, perhaps I could keep this paper. Could I?

Sure.

Well, good night, little angel.

Good night.

Good night, Susan.

Good night, Mr. Kringle.

A family for christmas. I don't think so.

No, really. I mean... see, that wasn't so bad, huh?

I had a great time.

You need to get out. You need to forget work...

I should've listened to you earlier. Come out with me.

You understand why I didn't.

Sometimes I think I do . Sometimes I think I don't .

Well, you are a very patient man.

Most guys are gone after a few months of me.

So you admit that you're rough on men.

No, not just rough on men.

Yeah. I admit it. I'm careful.

At this point in my life, I really don't need to be disappointed.

Do you want one of your christmas presents early?

I got you a christmas present, and I want to give it to you.

What is it?

Do you want it early?

Yes.

What is it?

Open it.

It's an engagement ring.

If I've given you a... false impression of this relationship, I'm very sorry.

Are you serious?

Have I ever given you any sign that I wanted to marry you?

No.

Then, tell me, whatever possessed you to make a presumption?

You know, I've done everything I could to try to make you happy.

I love your daughter like she's my own.

I loved you, getting nothing in return.

Never asking for anything in return.

I put my faith in you.

Well, if that's true, then you're a fool.


Taxi, please Certainly.

Mr. Bedford.

Kriss.

How was your night as a babysitter?

Oh. Very pleasant.

Susan's a good kid.

Yes. Delightful. Delightful.

Well, how was it?

I gave her an engagement ring.

Ohh. Ooh!

She didn't like it very much.

Well, perhaps your timing wasn't particularly good.

Oh. Not at all.

She...she's a sad sort of person, isn't she?

It's a pity, really. She's very kind... but she's terribly careful about her emotions.

What I know about Dorey is pieced together from fragments of a dozen conversations.

She was married in college, he had a drinking problem, And right after Susan was born he took off and hasn't been heard of since.

She's filled with these, these bitter thoughts.

The worst part is she's dragging Susan into this with her.

Ah, yes. Well, Susan is struggling with it.

But I get the feeling that she does want to believe in me, you know.

She's a good girl.

She's loyal to her mother's wishes. I can't fault that.

Of course, if I can't convince the mother, I have no hope of convincing the child.

The tooth fairy told me that.

Well, your cab's here, Kriss.

I always wondered what guys who have to return engagement rings Say to the sales clerk at the jewelry store.

Now I don't want to know.

I'm sure in your line of work you can find some lucky guy to give this to.

That's very generous of you, but I don't think this ring will ever fit anyone Other than Mrs. Walker.

I'm sure you'll find somebody.

I'm sorry. It's o.k.

I'll get over it.

Will Susan?

Well... I know what you want for christmas now.

I'll see what I can do.

Good night. Good night.

Bye-bye. Bye-bye!

Come on. It's your turn to go up now.

Hello.

What do you want for christmas?

Excuse me, sir. Could you please step aside?

This is for the children.

Hot little helper you got here, huh, Santa?

She the one that puts the, uh... twinkle in your eye?

Hey, kids, you see that guy up there?

He's not really Santa Claus.

He doesn't even live at the north pole.

He lives in a nursing home on Kriss4th street!

You know what he is?

He's a big... Fat...Fake!

Just a fake.

Ho ho ho.


Hey! Goofball!

Huh?

Yeah, you, numb-nuts.

What is a guy your age playing this game for, huh?

I mean, are you just a lonely, pathetic mental case?

Or does it go a little bit deeper than that?

Is there a darker side to this?

Tell me something, you sorry old cripple, you.

You got a thing for the little ones, huh?

Huh? Huh?

'Cause they ain't much good for nothin' else, are they? Huh?

Stop that man! Quickly!

Get the cane away from him.

Come on.

I...I--I didn'tintend to injure him.

He baited me. He provoked me.

Save it for the cops, sir.

He's badly hurt.

Wait a second. You're-- you're cole's Santa Claus.

Cole's Santa Claus?

Oh...He...said the most...terrible th--Oh...

Get away folks, please. Come with us.

All right, folks.

Please. Step back. Take it easy, mister.

You might want to clear the kids out of the room before we read this next story.

It appears that new york's most famous Santa Claus has a mean streak.

The centerpiece of c.f. Cole's big holiday ad push is behind bars this morning--

...plans regarding a replacement for Mr. Kringle.

The spokesperson did say, however, that for at least the remainder Of today, there will be no Santa Claus at the 34th street store.

...without any apparent provocation, struck him repeatedly with a walking stick.

Police arrived within moments and arrested kringle--

If you're planning to take your children to the store today, take note.

There will be no Santa Claus at the 34th street store.

C.f. Cole's competitors are having the last laugh this morning.


Who wears a charming suit and affects a jolly demeanor, you know.

I'm a symbol.

I'm a symbol of the human ability to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives.

And if you can't accept anything on faith, then you're doomed to a life dominated by doubt.

Get me Bryan bedford on the phone.

Bryan?

I know. I saw the papers.

I want you to help him.

He's at bellevue, and I don't know what's happening, but he's alone, And he shouldn't be.

What's cole's position?

Do their attorneys have an opinion?

Oh, this isn't about cole's.

This is about a man who's had something very wrong done to him.

Somebody you care about. Somebody... you believe in.


Your honor... do you have a moment for ed collins?

Send him in.

Thanks, colby.

How are you, eddie?

What can I do for you?

How are you?

Oh, just the commitment papers for the cole Santa.

That's a shocker, huh?

The press is having a field day.

"age unknown." Old man, is he?

Very old, your honor.

Do I have to read all this?

No. It's a slam dunk.

Guy's out of his mind.

We'd like it over quick.

"we"? Victor.

"victor"? Lamberg.

Oh, yes.

Right there.

Well. Justice will have to prevail, of course.

Oh, of course.

Yes, justice will have to prevail... as always.

Money makes the world go around, eddie.

Yes, it does, your honor, it sure does.

By the way, Mr. Lamberg wanted you to know that he's Very well aware of your re-election campaign coming up this spring.

Tell him I would welcome his support.

Will do.

Come in.

A Mr. Bedford's here to see you.

Who?

He represents Mr. Kringle?

Send him in.

Your honor, there seems to be some undue haste in this case.

I wish to protect my client's rights, as I'm sure you do.

Mr. Prosecutor, this is...

Bryan bedford.

Ed collins.

If your honor please, i request a formal hearing where i may bring witnesses.

Sign the commitment papers now if you like, but I'll bring in habeas corpus this afternoon.

We'll have a hearing.

Thursday morning, 9 a.m.?

Thank you, sir. Mr. Collins.

Mr. Bedford.

I thought you said the old man didn't have an attorney.

What's the difference?

It'll be a hearing, not a jury trial.

You're the only one that has to be convinced.

Have a good day, judge.

Want to know somethin', mister?

I don't believe it.

This guy ain't dangerous.

He may be off his rails a little bit, but he ain't no thug.

And if he wants to call himself santy Claus... then god bless him.

Hello, Kriss.

Hello, Mr. Bedford.

What brings you out on a miserable day like this?

A friend in need.

Hmm.

You failed your mental exam on purpose, didn't you?

Huh. Why would I... do a thing like that?

I don't know.

Maybe you've served people long enough.

Maybe you've given all you have to give.

No.

Then why did you do it?

The charges against you were dropped.

The man you hit suffered no injury.

You could've been out of here if you passed your exam.

I disgraced myself.

I read your transcript, Kriss.

You defended your honor.

You stood up for the dignity of every child.

That isn't a disgrace. That's decency.

If I'm dismissed as a crazy old man... then the good name of... Santa Claus is spared.

That isn't true.

If not for you, there is no Santa Claus.

You are him.

Crazy or not, here or gone, you're Santa Claus.

Only if the children believe that.

And what kind of Santa Claus were they believing in, anyway?

They can't look to me anymore, not after knowing what happened the other night.

Well, think about the other night.

A man was there to photograph the incident.

The man you hit was the man you replaced.

The cops told me this, Kriss.

The cops believe in you.

A lot of people do.

More will when we're finished.

Finished with what?

There's a hearing Thursday to decide if you're to be committed.

I'm going to defend you.

We'll prove that there is Santa Claus and that you're him.

I'm ready, counselor.

Now, we have a few days to distance ourselves from this...scandal And restart our advertising.

Uh, Mrs. Walker, we are in conference.

I have just read your press release.

You are all such a bunch of cowards.

You really don't deserve to run the store.

You are entirely out of line, Mrs. Walker.

We have spent millions telling people that we are the store that cares.

Well, what is it that we care about?

Profits? Ourselves?

Our jobs?

Well, what about one of our own who needs us now?

And what--what am I to do?

The public perception of Kriss is that he's out of his mind.

He's dangerous.

We have to change that.

If...we stand with Kriss...

If we challenge the rumors and the scandal sheets, if we force the truth, we'll win.

Now, he's going into court with... the best attorney in the city.

And he's going to prove that Kriss is not...crazy.

For the sake of the whole company...

I think that all of you should decide about whether or not You... believe in Santa Claus.

Bring up two. Go.

For the last 75 years, cole's has invited Santa Claus to meet and greet The children of new york city in our 34th street store.

Cole's believes in Santa Claus... and we will stand by him.

He has done nothing but serve the children and the families of new york city..

And the world. We invite you to join with us and ask yourself this one simple question--

Do you believe in Santa Claus?


I have to confess, I'm a bit uneasy.

You'll be fine. All you have to do is tell the truth.

Who's that character in the gray suit?

That's the prosecutor.

Oh. Anything I should know about him?

Yeah. He doesn't believe in Santa Claus.

All rise! Oyez, oyez.

Let all those who have business before this court come forward.

The honorable justice harper presiding. Draw near, and ye shall be heard.

You may sit.

Your honor, in the matter of Kriss kringle, the commitment papers are on your desk.

May I call the first witness?

Mr. Kringle, would you please take the stand?

Good morning, judge.

How's that grandson of yours?

The parade.

He thought I looked like Santa Claus.

Oh. Oh, yes.

You swear to tell the whole truth, so help you god?

Yes. Uh, don't i put my hand on a bible?

No, sir, you don't.

Oh. Well, then, I'll put my hand over my heart instead.

I do . I do .

Sit down, please.

What is your name?

I'm so sorry. I didn'tintroduce myself.

I do beg your pardon. You're Mr. Collins.

I'm Mr. Kringle. Kriss kringle.

Order.

Kriss kringle.

It's double "k."

Tell me, Mr. Kringle, do you believe that you are Santa Claus?

Well, would I be here if I didn't?

Just yes or no, Mr. Kringle.

Do you believe that you are Santa Claus?

Yes, of course.

Santa Claus. Hmm.

State rests, your honor.

Mr. Bedford, do you wish to cross-examine the witness?

No further questions, your honor.

Uh, you may step down, Mr. Kringle.

Oh. Thank you.

Mr. Bedford.

In view of your client's statement, do you still wish to offer a defense?

Yes, your honor.

I should like to call my first witness.

Can you tell us your name?

My name is Daniel lowry.

And what'd you get for christmas last year, Daniel?

Um... a bike and, um...

And who gave you the bike?

Him.

What's his name?

Santa Claus.

You're sure he's Santa Claus?

Yep.

How can you be sure?

'Cause he looks like Santa Claus.

Any other reasons?

Oh, he's very nice...

And he works at cole's, and he's got elves.

Well, tell me something, Daniel... could that man be Santa Claus?

Nope.

Why not?

'Cause Santa don't got a grumpy face.

Order.

No further questions.

Um...Mr. Collins, do you wish to cross-examine the witness?

No, your honor. No questions.

Do I have to go to jail now?

No. You can go back to your seat.

Your honor...

I should like to call my next witness.

Mrs. Rebecca collins.

Order.

You swear to tell the whole truth, so help you god?

I do .

Sit down, please.

Do you have children, Mrs. Collins?

I have two.

How old are they?

4 and 7.

Do they believe in Santa Claus?

I object, your honor.

On what grounds, Mr. Collins?

The witness is my wife.

Mr. Bedford is deliberately harassing her solely in order to embarrass me and expose private matters to the court.

Your honor, I'm merely attempting to establish that Mr. Collins, Like so many others, has taught his children that there is a Santa Claus.

Objection overruled. You may continue.

Thank you, your honor.

Mrs. Collins, do your children believe in Santa Claus?

Yes.

Did they come to this belief naturally, or were they introduced to it by a family member?

By a family member.

Yourself. Yes.

And your husband.

Uh...yes.

Your husband told your children that there is a Santa Claus?

Yes.

On more than one occasion?

Uh...y-yeah.

Mrs. Collins, have you taken your children to see a department store Santa Claus this year?

Yes, we have.

Where? At cole's.

So your children have met Mr. Kringle.

Oh, yes.

And they accepted him as Santa Claus.

Yes.

Did the question of Mr. Kringle's authenticity arise at any time Before or after your children met him?

Uh...yes. It was after.

And did you deny...or confirm... that Mr. Kringle is the real Santa Claus?

You're under oath now, Mrs. Collins.

U-um...w-well, actually, my--my husband confirmed that he's the real Santa Claus.

No further questions, your honor.

Thank you, Mrs. Collins.

Merry christmas.

Mr. Collins...do you wish to cross-examine...your wife?

I object, your honor. This is irrelevant, immaterial, and absolutely ridiculous.

Mr. Bedford is making a mockery of this court.

He's not even established that there's such a person as Santa Claus.

Your honor, I would ask Mr. Collins if he could offer any proof that there Is no Santa Claus.

Your honor, I'd like a recess until tomorrow so that I might Adequately prepare to meet Mr. Bedford's challenge.

Mr. Bedford, do you have any objections?

No, your honor.

This court stands in recess until 9:00 tomorrow morning.

I knew if I got him angry enough, he'd take the offensive.

There's no way in a court of law we can prove Santa Claus exists or that you're him.

Haven't you given him the opportunity of proving that I don't exist?

Exactly. You see, he'll go too far.

Our best defense is to let collins hang himself.

Oh. Oh, I see.

But you have to promise me one thing.

You'll speak only when I tell you to.

You have my word.

Good. Come on.


I, um...I just wanted to thank you for everything that you're doing for Kriss.

I was in the gallery. I don't know if you saw me.

I still have a long way to go.

I think you'll do it. I hope you will.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

About... last week... I'm sorry.

I mean it. I'm really, really sorry. I was...just...

Scared?

Yes.

Well...no permanent damage.

Well, I'd... I have to pick Susan up from school.

Oh, how's she doing?

She's good. She's good.

I think she...misses you.

Tell her I said hello.

Bye.

Oh, indeed, there was.

Saint nicholas, otherwise known as Santa Claus, was a fourth century Bishop in myra, lycia--asia minor.

Uh, dr. Hunter, what is the church's position on saint nicholas?

He's a recognized saint.

Yes, but isn't it true that in 1969, pope paul vi eliminated the official celebration of the feast day of saint nicholas?

That's correct.

Uh, it was made an optional memorial day.

They downgraded him.

In essence, the church walked away from saint nicholas.

Doesn't it also stand to reason that they would walk away From the derivative, diluted, secular figure of Santa Claus?

I...presume so.

Thank you...Dr. Hunter.

But the church has not made it clear what its pos--

No further questions.

It's all right, Kriss.

He's just trying to get under your skin.

Colonel. Have you ever been to the north pole?

Yes, sir. In 1972 and again in 1984.

Did you explore the region?

Extensively.

Did you ever find any evidence of dwellings... animal pens, barns, workshops?

No, sir.

No evidence whatsoever?

None, sir.

Tell me something, colonel.

In your opinion, would it be possible for an individual Like, uh, Mr. Kringle over there to create a settlement in that Inhospitable region large enough to manufacture at least one toy For each and every one of the earth's 1.7 billion children?

No, sir.

There isn't any way in which the gentleman can have seen my workshops.

They're invisible.

Kriss, sit down, please.

But Mr. Collins is completely mistaken.

My workshops don't exist in the physical world.

They're in the dream world.

Let me be the lawyer.

I always thought that was completely understood.

Your honor...with the court's permission, I'd like to call my next witness.

Mr. Collins, what is this?

This...is a reindeer, your honor.

I know, but what's it doing in my courtroom?

I'd like the court to see Mr. Kringle make the reindeer fly.

He's baiting you. He wants you to lose your temper.

He wants you to act crazy. Remember that.

Mr. Kringle...we're waiting.

Well...Isn't it.

Well, I would greatly like to oblige Mr. Collins, but I cannot make this reindeer fly.

I didn't think so.

He only flies on christmas eve.

Yes. Of course. No further questions, your honor.

Then would somebody please remove the witnes-- the animal from the courtroom?

Your honor, the state of new york has no desire in laying waste to a popular myth, but this case is not about mythology.

It's about the mental competency of a man-- that man Kriss kringle.

Everyone in this courtroom, if they were entirely honest with themselves, Would have to conclude based on the evidence that Mr. Kringle, regrettably, is insane.

As a sworn guardian of the laws of the state of new york, As a citizen and a father, it is my wish that Mr. Kringle, Who masquerades as Santa Claus, a figure of benevolence And generosity, but who does so solely for profit--

That's not true!

Your honor.

Mr. Kringle will refrain from comment, or he will be removed from the courtroom.

Sit down. Sit down, Kriss.

Your honor, I was not aware that cole's department store was a charitable Institution.

If it is, I'm more than willing to apologize to the court and to Mr. Kringle.

I didn'tthink so, your honor.

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, it is my wish that Mr. Kringle be placed under the care of the state so that the children of new york will no longer be put at risk.

Hey, you big jerk!

Mr. Kringle's the nicest man in the world!

He'd never hurt anybody!

Order! Order!

Sit down! Order! Order!

I have nothing further to say, your honor.

Kriss, sit down. We're almost through.

Honey, it's o.k.

Mr. Bedford...do you wish to make a closing statement?

Your honor, a lot of people believe in Mr. Kringle, including millions of children.

If you rule against him, you won't destroy anyone's belief, just the man they believe in.

Mr. Kringle is not concerned for himself. If he was, he wouldn't be here.

He is in this regrettable position because he is willing to sacrifice himself for children to create in their minds a world far better than the one we've made for them.

If this is, as Mr. Collins suggests, a masquerade, then Mr. Kringle is eager to forfeit his freedom to preserve that masquerade, To subject himself to prosecution, to protect the children's Right to believe.

If this court finds that Mr. Kringle is not who he says he is, that there is no Santa Clause, then I would ask the court to judge which is worse--

A lie that draws a smile, or a truth... that draws a tear?

I rest my case.

I shall render my opinion on this matter at 12:00 noon tomorrow.

Until that time, this court stands in recess.

Hello, judge.

I appreciate your waiting for me.

Sit down.

How did I get on this case?

I don't want to rule against your client, but I can't see how, given the facts, I can do otherwise.

A man who believes himself to be someone he isn't is by definition disturbed.

He isn't dangerous. He isn't a threat.

I can't sit up on that bench as a representative of the state of new york And declare that there is a Santa Claus.

I can't make that argument, much as I'd like to.

Believe me, Mr. Bedford, if I had a way out of this, I'd take it. I'm sorry.

It's all about money, isn't it?

You know what destroyed Kriss kringle?

Power, greed, and this.

Anger and recrimination may soothe your soul, but it won't help Mr. Kringle.

He doesn't need a bitter epilogue from his attorney.

He needs a miracle.


You may sit.

Ahem. Having heard the evidence in the matter of Kriss kringle, I, judge henry harper, a representative of the state of new york, Must regrettably rule on this day, the 24th of december, in the year...

Would it please the court if i gave you your christmas card?

I probably won't see you again unless I get arrested, which is very unlikely, Since it's christmas eve and I'm going to bed uncharacteristically early.

Thank you very much, young lady.

You're entirely welcome.

And, uh...Merry christmas.

Merry christmas to you.

What are you doing?


Merry christmas

I'm not going to be needing that.

The young lady who just approached the bench presented me with thi christmas card and this.

It's a $1.00 bill.

It's going to be returned to her shortly, but by presenting me With this bill, she reminded me that it's issued by the treasury of the united states of America.

And it's backed by the government, and the people, of the united states of America.

Upon inspection of the article, you will see the words, "in god we trust."

We're not here to prove that god exists, but we are here to prove That a being just as invisible and yet just as present exists.

Federal government puts its trust in god.

It does so on faith and faith alone.

It's the will of the people that guides the government.

And it is and was their collective faith in a greater being that gave And gives cause to this bill's inscription.

Now, if the government of the united states can issue its currency bearing a declaration of trust in god without demanding physical evidence of the existence or the nonexistence of a greater being, then the state of new york, by a similar demonstration of the collective faith of its people, can accept and acknowledge that Santa Claus does exist, and he exists In the person of Kriss kringle!

Case dismissed.

Case dismissed! Santa Claus wins!

All charges have been dropped. Kriss kringle is free.

Hey!

How about that. Yes!

You're right, Kriss.

It's all about the children. Yes.

Congratulations, counselor.

Thank you.

Merry christmas, Mr. Kringle.

Merry christmas to you, Mr. Collins.

Thank you.

Uh, my children... wanted me to remind you to stop by the house tonight.

I won't forget. I promise.

We live in stanford--31 Shellhammer bromton road, the big white house.

Yes. I know it well.

Yeah. Well... anyway, merry christmas.

Oh, uh, Mr. Collins, I hope you've taken down that old television antenna.

I ripped my pants on it last year.

Well, Kriss, you're free.

You made a believer out of everybody.

Oh, no. Not everybody. There are still a few I have to convince.

One in particular.

Excuse me.

Way to go, Bryan.

I'm so happy for you.

Thank you very much, Mrs. Walker.

You did a great job, sweetie.

You kicked that guy's bottom.

Well, she saved the day.

Congratulations, Bryan.

Thank you, Dorey.

Have a merry christmas.

You, too.

Well, I'll let you go.

Merry christmas and good luck.

Merry christmas, Mrs. Walker.

And a merry christmas to you, young lady.

And thank you very much.

Merry christmas, Mr. Kringle.

Merry christmas, Bryan.

Again, thank you so much.

I shall never forget you.

And in all my troubles past and all my troubles yet to come, I'll never find a better friend.

Thank you, Kriss. Merry christmas.

Merry christmas to you, Bryan.

Hey, you want to share a cab home?

Home?

Not tonight. I'm going to be somewhat busy.

That's right.

Mr. Kringle! Mr. Kringle! Mr. Kringle!

This is going to blow up in my face, isn't it?

I lost bigger than i ever thought I'd win.

There was a lot of pressure.

Who knew what the judge was going to do when he was faced With putting Santa in the nut house?

He isn't Santa Claus.

What the hell is the matter with everybody?

There is no Santa Claus!


Is somebody getting married?

Not that I know of.

Did you arrange this?

No. You did.

Oh, i did?

You didn't?

I didn't. Did you?

I didn't. I know you did.

Oh, no. Yes, you did.

You did, didn't you?

I did not.

Father?

Are you ready?

For what?

To get married.


I have something to tell you.

What'd you get for christmas?


Susan, that's not why we're going to the house.

We're going to the catalog house, right?

That's the house i told him I wanted.

I showed him a picture of it.

He said he would get it for me.

A house is a big gift.

That's what Mr. Kringle said.

We are going to the house because it's snowing, and it's very pretty, And because Mr. Shellhammer wants to take photographs for next year's Christmas catalog, which, I think, is awfully bold of him. It is a holiday.

That's just an excuse.

Mr. Kringle did all this.

I'm very sorry, mother. You have it perfectly wrong.


You got a bonus.

What do you mean?

Our name's on the mailbox.

I got a call last night from Mr. Kringle, who said you And your husband were looking for a house.

He was quite insistent.

Did you get married?

Yeah. Last night.

I can't believe it.

Congratulations.

Was this planned?

Uh...no.

I can't believe it.

Mr. Kringle wanted to be here, but, uh, he's overseas.

Mr. Kringle?

Oh, the house is for sale, but I'm sure you can afford it now.

We all get our bonuses thanks to you and, uh, Mr. Kringle.

Wow.

I knew it.

Oh, thank you.

Oh, I don't know what to say, except merry christmas.

Merry christmas.

Oh.

Chin-chin.

This is the house I asked Kriss for.

He got it for me, and he got me a dad, and the third thing--

I guess I'll just have to wait for it, but he'll get it for me, won't he?

If Kriss said he'd get you something, i bet it's already on the way.

I guess there's no doubt about it. He's real.

I'm going up to look at my new room. Excuse me.

Susan?

What?

What else did you ask Mr. Kringle for?

A baby brother. See ya!