Title: Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
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David_Calif
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(Date Posted:03/29/2010 12:01)

Very pleased to learn the location of the house at the end of the movie.  I've wondered for years where the house was located.  Now on to determining the location of the building shown below that in the movie was the Brooks' Memorial Home For The Aged.  The fictitious address given in the movie for the Brooks Memorial Home was 126 Maplewood Drive in Great Neck.  Does anyone know the actual location of this building that was shown in the movie?

 
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home
(Date Posted:03/29/2010 14:07)


Welcome to the board, David.  

I don't know, but I certainly would like to know.

 
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/20/2010 17:57)

Hi Chip and David

I had access to the legal files for the film on the Fox lot when I was doing research on the film and my book about Macy's history.   Sadly the film's shooting chedule for the 22 days they filmed in NYC during late Nov and Dec 1946 was not to be found.  The shooting schedule exists from right after New Years 1947 to the wrap of the filming in Feb 1947 and was in the files.   Letters discuss gathering the proper documents for the scenes when Kris was to be put through the sanity hearing etc - one document was interesting was when Kris and Alfred go up the elevator to the court room there was going to be scenes with the elevator operator - they paid him a fee and when they were going to get his release for his okay to use the scenes in the film he claimed they never paid him and he was going to try to get more money from the studio - the reply to the situation was cut the scene as not to show him in the film.  Although you do the a elevator op in the scene briefly we don't know if the situation was resolved or if it was someone else as the evelavator op.

The scenes that depict the parade at the start of the filming were shot all Thanksgiving morning before the parade - the store's execs told the crew they needed to get the scenes quickly and done right because the parade could not be stopped and re-marched - so when watching the film you need to marvel how everything fell into place and how talented the actors and crew were to get it so perfect the only chance they had!  Fox postioned 14 cameras along the route that morning - only brief scenes of the parade made the final cut - we are trying to see if any other footage exists of that morning! 

Sadly to date I have not been able to locate the building used for Brooks Memorial Home and if it even existed.

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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/20/2010 18:51)


That's disappointing to hear that the film's New York shooting schedule is lost. That could very well mean that the story behind the Brooks Memorial Home will remain a mystery forever.

Thanks for the info, Maxx.


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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/21/2010 06:14)

Hello everyone,

I have an online friend who has a Classic Christmas Movie and Cartoon blog and he posts information about these so I asked him if he knew where the Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged was located for the film as I "Googled" 126 Maplewood Drive in Great Neck and there doesn't appear to be such an address.

He did tell me that there is a Brooks Memorial Home in Yonkers, NY, but it's a Funeral Home located at 275 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, NY.

If you go to 
GoogleMaps.com and type in the address, you can then click on the Icon for the location and get a "Street View" as if you were standing there in person, but it's not the building from Miracle on 34th Street.

I know that movie producers often use fictitious places in moves. i.e. Pine Tree, VT for the movie "White Christmas"  I am a native Vermonter and there is no such place in Vermont.  So we may never know the actual location for The Brooks Memorial Home for The Aged.

Maybe someone here knows how to contact any surviving cast members who might know the location for the shoot.  I'm not by any means an expert in this area, but I believe
Maureen O'Hara is still alive.  Maybe Alvin Greenman (Alfred) who also was in the 1994 movie remake would know too or some of the other, characters with minor parts in the film.

Another idea I had would be maybe there are records at the City Clerks Office or something where they had to file for permission to film the movie.

Hope this is somewhat helpful.

(Message edited by Christmas Always On 04/21/2010 06:15)
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/21/2010 16:15)


Thanks Susan, that's exactly what I did today. I got in contact with Alvin Greenman (who played Alfred in the movie) and he said that the building that was shown in the movie for the Brooks Memorial Home was shot by a camera crew that went around New York City shooting exteriors for the film. He said he has no idea where in New York this building was located. He did say that the interior scenes of the Brooks Memorial Home were shot on a soundstage at the 20th Century-Fox studios in Hollywood.

He shared many happy memories of making the film and said that Edmund Gwenn, John Payne and Maureen O'Hara were the nicest people to work with. He said John Payne was particularly kind and even had him over for dinner and gave him invaluable tips on acting.

Mr. Greenman is now 80 and retired and he lives in Van Nuys, California. His wife of 54 years passed away 7 years ago, but he has two wonderful children, a son and a daughter, that are a joy in his life.



    
Alvin Greenman


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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/22/2010 07:33)

Hi Chip,

You're welcome.  I thought you would know how to contact some of the surviving cast members.  It strange that I thought of Alvin Greenman (Alfred) and he is who you knew how to contact.

Oh well, I guess it will still be a mystery as to the location for The Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged.

It's hard to believe that Mr. Greenman is 80 years old now.

Wish the movie studios would've used the actual building for the shoot instead of a sound stage, but I guess it's cost prohibitive even back then.


"A Christmas Story" (Bob Clark) was mostly filmed on a Sound Stage in, I believe Toronto, Ontario and only part of the movie was actually filmed in the actual house in Cleveland Ohio.

I know a lot of Movie Studios do that today too even TV Studios for shows like Cheers, Seinfeld,  They take place in Boston an NYC, but weren't actually filmed there.  I think I heard somewhere too that CSI, NY isn't filmed NYC, but I could be wrong. and I'm getting off topic and I don't want to do that.

It's amazing what you find out long after a movie has been released.
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/22/2010 08:22)

Thanks Chip and thanks for getting the info from the great actor who played Alfred in the film.  Is there anyway you can put me in contact with him???   Here is some of the info I was able to get from the files on the filming on the movie.    I was able to locate the documents where Macy's and Gimbels gave the okay to shoot in their respective stores, all of the steps it took from day one where the idea for the film became the script - the script was turned into the book just before the film's release etc.   

An amazing amount of legal clearances were needed for the brief scenes depicting newspaper clippings from different papers from the era - even though the names of the papers were not mentioned most could be gathered by the formatting of the mock articles - example the one that screamed "Kalamity Kris Kringle."


And this was one of the best things - we all know whenever anything is successful there will be lawsuits claiming someone had the idea first and it was stolen - a couple of years after the release of the film somebody sent a letter to the studio claiming that Natalie Wood had attended a casting call for the film and there was a little boy there who was doing the monkey routine where Kris teaches her how to use her imagination, this person claimed that Natalie stole the routine this boy was doing and used it in the film and the person said the little boy would not proceed with a legal suit if Natalie Wood gave the boy a comparable part in another film!

In the words of Bugs Bunny - What a maroon!   First of all Natalie Wood was under contract and would not have to be involved with an open casting call!!!!!!  

P.S. this is also interesting the film had scenes after Kris leaves the store front telling the man that he has the reindeer mixed up where Kris feeds the reindeer and the Central Park Zoo - the reindeer were supposed to go up to Kris and eat some food out of his hand and the park worker was supposed to be surprised saying they are usually not that friendly with people that quickly - the scenes were filmed and cut out.  Fox has said to me that they have looked for any deleted scenes and have not found any as of yet.  A friend of mine swears that many years ago that WPIX showed the film and those scenes were there.  Interesting Fox had a situation where MY DARLING CLEMETINE existed in a different version - the print deposited with UCLA was John Ford's first cut and someone finally realized it was differect than the general release version - the print was restored and presevered and it is included on the dvd release.  So question is does anyome remember seeing MIRACLE with these scenes??? It is possible that a first cut print existed somewhere!   And laslty can you imagine Dana Andrews was supposed to play Fred Gailey - but about one month before filming was to start John Payne got the role! 
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/23/2010 01:25)


Susan
:

That's correct, most of the interior scenes of A Christmas Story were shot in Toronto (at Magder Studios). One notable interior scene that was filmed in Cleveland (at the actual house at 3159 W. 11th Street) was the delivery and opening of the Old Man's "Major Award" (the notorious leg lamp).


Maxx
:

I'll be speaking with Mr. Greenman again next week, and when I do, I'll mention you and your book to him. I'm sure he would be willing to speak with you.

As far as My Darling Clementine is concerned, the print that 20th Century-Fox gave to UCLA in the 1970s was the preview version of the film that was shown in select theaters in 1946. After this initial theatrical preview release was completed, studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck had the film re-edited to reflect audience feedback that was given via preview comment cards. The movie studios commonly used preview comment cards in those days to gauge public reaction to a film. Based on what they found, they would sometimes make changes to the final print accordingly.

The original preview release version of My Darling Clementine ran several minutes longer and had minor variations in the story. It also had a different ending. Both versions of the film were excellent, but the original preview release version was better. This is the version that TCM (Turner Classic Movies) shows today. By the way, this is not only one of the greatest westerns ever made, it is one of the greatest movies ever made, period. For anyone who has not yet seen this great classic film, I highly recommend it.



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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/26/2010 11:10)

Thanks Chip on your planning to mention my book(s) to Mr Greenman!  


MY DARLING CLEMENTINE is indeed a genuine classic, John Ford made many classics I love his 1939 DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK - classic depiction of early American pioneers - One film that also is a great period piece sadly MIA on dvd is King Vidor's NORTHWEST PASSAGE - Warners is releasing a dvd in Spain this May so maybe we will finally see it here!

MIRACLE ON 34th STREET is amazing on many levels it is the perfect mix of fantasy and reality and FOX at the time was innovating location filming.   I mention on the SE DVD of MIRACLE the great FOX film THE HOUSE ON 92ND ST - which was filmed on location in 1945 NYC - the actual house pictured in the film was on 93rd - it was taken down in the last 65 years but you can spot landmarks especially the iron fence Leo G Carroll walks past on the corner.


Another highly recommended film is 1947's BOOMERANG starring Dana Andrews and which is based on a actual murder case of a priest being killed in CT in the 1920's - the dvd was manufactured then held up for legal reasons but has been released and is a must see for anyone who loves classic FOX films that used location filming.


Best
Bob
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/26/2010 22:34)


Yes, John Ford was one of the very best. In fact, among my all-time Top 20 Directors, he is in my Top 5. Among my favorite Ford films is the movie that I rank at #2 on my Top 150 classic movies of all-time, 1940's The Grapes Of Wrath. It ranks second only to my #1 film of all-time, William Wyler's great 1946 classic, The Best Years Of Our Lives.


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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/27/2010 21:55)

You are truly a classic film fan!  What is amazing about THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is that when watching it times ceases and you are drawn into a film that is timeless even though it focuses on a specific time in history.  And for a 3 hour film there is not one boring moment in that film - every actor/actress is great the most moving part for me is when Fred's (Dana Andrews) father reads the letter of commendation to his wife (his second wife) very touching and I will bring a tear to everyone's eye!


Do you know about the Lafayette Theater in Suffern if you don't check it out!  They have a great series of classic films every Sat morning from March to June and Sept - Dec this month alone April 2010 they have shown
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)  IT'S A GIFT and THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956) admission is $7.00 the doors open at 11am and there is music via a Wurlitzer organ!    Sometimes a cartoon is shown and also a short subject -  this weekend they are showing THE LADY EVE and the week later the restored THE RED SHOES - also upcoming is a THREE STOOGES/LOONEY TUNE program of shorts!  We drive nearly 1hr from Long Island to Suffern that is how great the experience of seeing these classics on the big screen!!!!!

Check out their website www.bigscreenclassics.com   Christmas is great they are now showing IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE as their annula Christmas show and it always sells out the 1,000 seat theater!

     
   
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/28/2010 02:54)


Yes, that scene in The Best Years Of Our Lives is one of the many where I always get choked up. It was superbly played by the wonderful character actor Roman Bohnen, who was also a renowned stage actor and a member of Lee Strasberg’s Group Theater in New York. The actors in The Group Theater were pioneers of the acting style that later would become known as "The Method." Sadly, he was one of the many actors who were unfairly and unjustly blacklisted by the House Un-American activities committee. It is widely believed that the stress brought on by that blacklisting led to his premature death of a heart attack in 1949. By the way, that scene in the movie also featured another great character actor, Gladys George.

Two other very poignant moments in the film are Homer and Al’s homecoming. With Homer, it’s when he waves goodbye to Al and Fred and his mother chokes up when she sees for the first time the hooks that have replaced his missing hands. With Al, it’s when his wife (played by the great Myrna Loy) asks her daughter (played by the equally great Teresa Wright) who is it at the door, and when she doesn’t get an answer, it’s that moment when she freezes as it dawns on her that it might finally be Al. Then, of course, that ensuing moment when she enters the hallway and stops as sees him at the front door -- and after a pregnant pause -- that long, beautiful and emotional embrace they share as the kids watch with heartfelt joy.

This movie boasted one of the all-time greatest casts ever assembled for any Hollywood film. Besides the aforementioned Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Roman Bohnen and Gladys George, there was the great Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Hoagy Carmichael, Cathy O’Donnell, Virginia Mayo and the outstanding film debut of Harold Russell. Rounding out this exquisite cast were great character actors including Ray Collins, Erskine Sanford, Ray Teal, Steve Cochran, Don Beddoe and Dorothy Adams. And of course behind the camera there was the legendary producer Samuel Goldwyn, the legendary director William Wyler and the legendary cinematographer Gregg Toland. And I would be remiss not to mention the great screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood and the spectacular original music by Hugo Friedhofer. It was also marvelously edited by Daniel Mandell. For all these reasons and many others -- not to mention its 7 Academy awards including Best Picture, it is why in my opinion -- and many other folks I might add -- The Best Years Of Our Lives was indeed the best film of all-time.





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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:04/30/2010 16:39)

Hi Chip

Monday 5/3/10 I will be doing a shoot for a series of specials airing this fall, I will be discussing the Macy's Parade etc.   Let me know when you can if Mr Greenman will agree to speak with me - I would love to also put him in contact with the current Parade staff!!!!!   


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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:05/01/2010 05:02)


Max,

Mr. Greenman has been away visiting his daughter in Portland. As soon as I can speak with him and get his ok, I'll privately email you his contact info. Hopefully, it will be this weekend.


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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:05/02/2010 14:29)

Thanks!!!!!
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:05/03/2010 00:11)


Max,

I spoke with Mr. Greenman tonight, and while he deeply appreciates your interest in speaking with him, as well as the offer to get him involved in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, he respectfully declined. He said he stopped doing interviews and making public appearances several years ago, not long after his wife died. In his retirement, he limits his work with Hollywood to his activities with the SAG (Screen Actors Guild). He did, however, want me to wish you much success with your books about Macy's and the history of the Thanksgiving Day Parade. He also wanted me to let everyone know that he is deeply gratified that so many people today still enjoy his portrayal of Alfred in the movie Miracle On 34th Street -- a movie that when he made it almost 63 years ago, never imagined it would be remembered -- let alone celebrated -- as the classic it is today.


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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:05/08/2010 10:30)

Hi Chip

Thanks for reaching out to Mr Greenman for me, I did the shoot for History Channel's new holiday shows which will air this fall/winter this past week - the crew was from CA and have worked on such popular shows as Modern Marvels, The Universe and one show about Child Actors which was a roundtable format produced by Tony Dow, Billy Gray and Paul Peterson - the crew would love to speak with Mr Greenman - and as it is CA based can you ask Mr Greenman would he be interested in discussing MIRACLE with them, this show will run every holiday season for many years I believe the current shows are 13 years old.

They would love to capture his memories of the film on this special about the holidays!

Again thanks!
Max   
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:05/10/2010 01:58)


Max,

I, too, would love to see Mr. Greenman do this interview for the History Channel. 

However, based on what he told me, I can tell you that it is highly unlikely that he would be willing to come out of retirement to do it. Nevertheless, I will certainly ask him; and should he be willing to do it, I'll certainly let you know.


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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:05/10/2010 21:41)

Thanks Chip - please relay my thanks in his patience in asking you to speak to him again, relay that the crew was very thrilled to hear Mr Greenman lives in CA  they expressed sincere excitiment that a cast member is living in the same area as they are.  They have a love of the film and were all a fan of Mr Greenman's exceptional acting in the film!  There was not one miss cast part in that film and it is timeless!  If Mr Greenman appears in the project it will give his family and fans a lasting document of his memories of the film!
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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:05/12/2010 04:20)


Max,

I was able to persuade Mr. Greenman into doing the History Channel interview. The only problem is that he’ll be in Portland for an extended period of time and wants me to let him know if they could come up there to do it.

However, if this isn't convenient for them, I think I can cajole him into returning to L.A. if they are willing to fly him down.

Please let me know so I can get back to him.



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RE:Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged
(Date Posted:05/12/2010 11:44)

Thanks Chip!!!!  E-mail privately and I will give you the contact for the project!!!!!!
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