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Maureen O’Hara, who played Doris Walker in “Miracle on 34th Street,” has since opened up about the experience of filming the movie, which would you believe, served as a guiding light for David Harbour’s upcoming “Violent Night.” Walker, of course, was one of the main characters in the film — a divorcée with a precocious but slightly too cynical daughter named Susan (Natalie Wood). In the movie, Walker actually works for none other than Mr. R.H. Macy himself, and as such spends a lot of time in and around the flagship store and parade where she first discovers Gwenn’s Kris Kringle.
In her biography “‘Tis Herself,” O’Hara recalled how she was “urgently brought back to New York” to film at the Macy’s parade:
“They weren’t going to run the parade more than once on our account … It was a mad scramble to get all the shots we needed and we got to do each scene only once.”
Not only did the filmmakers have to shoot around the parade as it was happening, but they were also facing unwelcome weather conditions throughout. O’Hara remembered it being “bitterly cold” during filming of the parade scenes. In fact, the whole on-location production was plagued by bitter temperatures which at one point, as the official TCM website notes, caused the cameras to actually freeze during the shooting for the film’s finale.