Miracle on 34th Street vets George Seaton and Edmund Gwenn, a young William Holden, and starlet Jeanne Crain teamed up for this now-forgotten Fox drama with comic overtones. As Professor Henry Barnes -- an over-salted academic who feels he has little reason to go on until two young and expectant newlyweds waltz into his life -- Gwenn never begs for audience sympathy but manages to consistently earn the respect of the viewer by virtue of sheer charm and the small doses of offhanded humor with which director/scenarist Seaton invests his dialogue. As the title character, Jeanne Crain is consistently natty and irritating, with her rapid-fire delivery (and may leave the viewer wondering why in the world Holden's character would go near her) but always radiant to behold. Given the subject matter, this film (and particularly its denouement) could have been terrible -- Hollywood has seen more than enough of films where down-and-outers learn to "appreciate life" from the young and young-at-heart -- thankfully, Seaton never quite succumbs to preachiness and wisely avoids delving into melancholia. The film's only significant drawback is Seaton's failure to take better advantage of the fine character actor Gene Lockhart; in a supporting role, Lockhart feels wasted. Overall, it's a pleasant, effortless entertainment that may crumble under deep analysis, but weighs gently on the mind and spirit for the better part of two hours.