A Miraculous Movie

Written by Stephen Schochet

It was originally called The Big Heart. Daryl Zanuckrepparttar shrewd head of Twentieth Century Fox couldn't buyrepparttar 124154 image of Santa Claus in a court room. But like so many ventures Miracle On 34th Street (1947) came about because of passion, in this case that of Director George Seaton who had gone to New York on his own and made arrangements withrepparttar 124155 real Mr. Macy and Mr. Gimbel to film inside their department stores. Impressed by Seaton's commitment Zanuck gaverepparttar 124156 show a green light. Who would playrepparttar 124157 little girl who didn't believe in Santa Claus? Seaton agonized over it, untilrepparttar 124158 assistant director remembered an amazing child prodigy from Santa Rosa, California who could cry on cue. Her name was Natasha Nikolaevna Gurdin renamed Natalie Wood after director Sam Wood . The same Natalie Wood who would later go out on a hotel room ledge and threaten to jump when her boyfriend Elvis Presley ignored her to play poker with Memphis Mafia. The same girl who would infuriate fellow cast members of West Side Story (1961) with her tardiness, her refusal to learn simple dance steps and her insistence on long lunch breaks to visit with her analyst. Butrepparttar 124159 seven-year-old Natalie had none ofrepparttar 124160 typical child star precocious behavior, she gainedrepparttar 124161 respect of her co-stars onrepparttar 124162 Miracle set with her professional demeanor, earningrepparttar 124163 nickname One-Take-Natalie.

Like all filmed on location movies there were logistical problems. The sequence where Santa was taken to Bellevue was done without permission. The famous hospital would not cooperate with Hollywood because they had been portrayed badly in earlier films, they were not swayed byrepparttar 124164 sight of a sickly, freezing cold Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn) bundled up under blankets in a car, waiting to shoot his scenes. The filmmakers were forced to shoot onlyrepparttar 124165 car approachingrepparttar 124166 building's entrance and editrepparttar 124167 rest later. Another difficulty was getting permission to shootrepparttar 124168 Macy's parade fromrepparttar 124169 apartment dwellers on 34th street which had to be done rightrepparttar 124170 first time, there could be no retakes. The film crew paidrepparttar 124171 ladies ofrepparttar 124172 house to placerepparttar 124173 cameras in their windows. Then their husbands came home, complained aboutrepparttar 124174 inconvenience and demanded their own equal share. Most difficult to film wasrepparttar 124175 sickly but determined Edmund Gwenn who would win an Oscar for playing Kris Kringle. He suffered from a bladder control problem but couldn't standrepparttar 124176 thought of someone taking his place inrepparttar 124177 parade. The children who stood onrepparttar 124178 sidewalk waving at Santa never sawrepparttar 124179 long tube under his cloak.

Mrs. Disney

Written by Stephen Schochet

Warren Beatty once observed," That if you get married in Hollywood, you should always do it before noon. That way if it doesn't work out, you don't kill your evening." But in 1925 Walt Disney, still getting his feet wet in Tinseltown was not interested in pampered starlets. His eye was on a employee of his named Lillian Bounds, originally from Lewiston, Idaho who worked for him as ink paint girl making fifteen dollars a week. She reminded him ofrepparttar hard working girls he knew growing up in Missouri. For her part she found him charming,repparttar 124153 way he grew a mustache to look older in business meetings, and how he refused to call on her until he could afford a new suit. Since he was more gentile around women than men, she was spared fromrepparttar 124154 temperamental swearing that he did around his animators. Walt later joked," I didn't have enough money to pay her, so I married her instead."

Early in their marriage Lillian loved going to movies with him and would listen attentively as he criticized his competitor's cartoons and shared his own exciting ideas. But as time went by she became more challenging. Perhaps she understood he needed a sounding board, he was surrounded by yes men who were frightened of him. I don't likerepparttar 124155 name Mortimer, she told him in 1927. Why don't you call your mouse Mickey? She agreed with his business partner and brother Roy in 1934 that makingrepparttar 124156 first feature length cartoon, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs would ruin them. When it turned out to be a smash hit, Walt took great pleasure in hearing Lillian admit she was wrong. But then he scared her again. "Why would you want to build an amusement park?" She asked him. "Amusement parks are dirty. They don't make any money." His reply didn't make her feel better. "That'srepparttar 124157 whole point. I want a clean one that will." But she was at Disneylandrepparttar 124158 night before it opened with a broom, sweeping uprepparttar 124159 dust offrepparttar 124160 Mark Twain Steamer.

Walt was a good provider for Lillian and their two daughters even if he had to be in debt to do it. It pained her when he had to sell his Mercedes duringrepparttar 124161 depression to meetrepparttar 124162 studio payroll, or when old friends would call on him for a loan and he was so tapped out he had turn them down. They were both content to spend evenings at home avoidingrepparttar 124163 publicity glare of Hollywood parties. When times were better she put up with Walt called his "one sin" owning six polo ponies, which he paid for dearly by taking a nasty spill. He became a life long scotch drinker to dullrepparttar 124164 reoccurring pain in his neck. His next hobby annoyed her more, a miniature railroad inrepparttar 124165 backyard that ran through her flowerbed. She gave in only becauserepparttar 124166 it seemed to give him a release from studio pressures. Sometimes she thought maybe he was usingrepparttar 124167 rides to hide out and avoid facing overwhelming problems. Later, Disneyland would provide him with a bigger train giving Lillian more peace at home.

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