Six-year-old Susan Walker has doubts about childhood's most enduring miracle—Santa Claus. Her mother told her the secret about Santa a long time ago, but, after meeting a special department store Santa who's convinced he's the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all—something to believe in.
I'm not sure that this really needed reimagining, but Sir Richard Attenborough was probably the best man at giving it a go when it was remade. He is "Kris Kringle", recruited by a struggling toy store to take part in their Christmas parade when their regular fella hits the bottle once too often. He goes down a treat and is soon in their store chatting to all the children. He has an honest streak - he tells the parents where they can shop more cheaply and that's risky for his job! His bosses see a marketing opportunity in his altruism though, and the store's profits soar. He isn't popular with everyone, however, and after a street altercation with his walking stick a his predecessor's head, he finds himself in court. He isn't charged with assault: they are trying to certify him for claiming to be - well, whom he cannot possibly be. Or can he? It's a wee bit long, this, but Sir Richard enters into the spirit of things enthusiastically. Though his accent isn't as reliable as it might be, he brings a certain mischief to the role. He is well supported by the increasingly incredulous prosecutor "Collins" (JT Walsh) and by Robert Prosky in the judge's chair. It's a pleasing story, well told, with some gentle humour that takes a swipe at the bah-humbug society that has long since forgotten what Christmas really ought to be about. It hasn't the charm of the 1947 version, but it's still enjoyable enough to watch at this time of year.