Pocketful of Miracles

Pocketful of Miracles

Director: Frank Capra Cast: Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange

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Overview

Director Frank Capra's last feature film, Pocketful of Miracles is a Technicolor remake of his 1933 film Lady for a Day. A barely recognizable Bette Davis plays Apple Annie, the besotted, unkempt, rag-clad street vendor who controls the activities of all the beggars on Broadway. Apple Annie is the pet of Dave the Dude (Glenn Ford), a tough but basically kind-hearted gangster who believes that Annie's apples bring him luck. One morning, Annie fails to show up at her usual corner. That's because she is sitting disconsolate in her squalid shack, contemplating suicide. The reason: Annie has received a letter from her daughter Louise (Ann-Margret, in her screen debut). Annie has been supporting Louise's high-priced European education, leading the girl to believe that she, Annie, is a high-society dowager. Now Louise is returning home with her wealthy fiance Carlos Romero (Peter Mann) in tow, and it looks as though Annie's cover will be blown to bits. Partly out of sympathy, but mostly because of his superstitious belief in the power of Annie's apples, Dave the Dude arranges with his Broadway cohorts to "doll up" Annie so that she can pass as a woman of means, then stage-manages a huge, expensive reception for Louise and her beau. The complications that ensued in the original 1933 version of Lady for a Day exercise their prerogative once more, with a few added plot twists to pad out Glenn Ford's screen time. Cutting through the sentimental goo like a machete is Peter Falk, who is hilarious as Dave the Dude's sarcastic bodyguard. Evidently, Falk was one of the few actors on the set of Pocketful of Miracles with which Capra remained sympatico throughout shooting. In his autobiography (a not altogether reliable tome), Capra insisted that Pocketful of Miracles was ruined by Glenn Ford's autocratic and self-serving on-set behavior, and by Ford's demand that his current lady friend Hope Lange be (mis)cast as brash nightclub chirp Queenie Martin. As usual, Capra was not telling the whole story: at 63, he was beginning to lose his grip on his movie-making skills, allowing every scene to run well past its value and concentrating on cute isolated "bits" rather than the story at hand. Way too long at 136 minutes (Lady for a Day ran but 90), Pocketful of Miracles still has a lot going for it, especially the glowing performance of Bette Davis and the basic, foolproof Damon Runyon story on which it is based. While it disappointed at the box office, Miracles has since its release become a Christmastime TV perennial, seldom failing to draw big ratings numbers.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/18/2014
UPC: 0738329148522
Original Release: 1961
Rating: NR
Source: Kl Studio Classics
Region Code: 1
Time: 2:16:00
Sales rank: 1,120

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Glenn Ford Dave the Dude
Bette Davis Apple Annie, "Mrs. E. Worthington Manville"
Hope Lange Elizabeth "Queenie" Martin
Arthur O'Connell Count Alfonso Romero
Peter Falk Joy Boy
Edward Everett Horton Hutchins, the Butler
Thomas Mitchell Judge Henry G. Blake
Mickey Shaughnessy Junior
David Brian Governor
Sheldon Leonard Steve Darcey
Peter Mann Carlos Romero
Ann-Margret Louise
John Litel Police Inspector McCrary
Jerome Cowan The Mayor
Jay Novello Cortega, the Spanish Consul
Frank Ferguson Newspaper Editor
Fritz Feld Pierre
Gavin Gordon Mr. Cole, the Hotel Manager
Benny Rubin Flyaway
Jack Elam Cheesecake
Mike Mazurki Big Mike
Hayden Rorke Capt. Moore
Doodles Weaver Pool player
Paul E. Burns Mallethead
Angelo Rossitto Angie
Edgar Stehli Gloomy
George E. Stone Shimkey
Tom Fadden Herbie
Betty Bronson the Mayor's Wife
Ellen Corby Soho Sal
Byron Foulger Hotel Employee
Barton MacLane Police Commissioner
Harry "Snub" Pollard Knuckles
Romo Vincent Kidnaped Reporter
Willis B. Bouchey Newspaper Editor

Technical Credits
Frank Capra Director,Producer
Roland Anderson Art Director
Arthur S. Black Asst. Director
Tom Blackburn Songwriter
Robert J. Bronner Cinematographer
Sammy Cahn Songwriter
Jimmy Cannon Screenwriter
Nick Castle Choreography
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Farciot Edouart Special Effects
Glenn Ford Associate Producer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Hal Kanter Screenwriter
Frank Keller Editor
Ray Moyer Set Decoration/Design
Hal Pereira Art Director
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Walter Scharf Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Joseph Sistrom Associate Producer
Harry Tugend Screenwriter
James VanHeusen Score Composer,Songwriter
Wally Westmore Makeup

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Pocketful of Miracles
2. Chapter 1 [12:55]
3. Chapter 2 [14:55]
4. Chapter 3 [19:07]
5. Chapter 4 [17:13]
6. Chapter 5 [18:44]
7. Chapter 6 [8:13]
8. Chapter 7 [18:51]
9. Chapter 8 [16:16]

Customer Reviews

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Pocketful of Miracles 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen this movie on TV several times over the years but not lately. I have never forgotten it. One of my all time favorite movies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie and still cry at the sappy ending every time I see it. Ms. Davis is mesmerizing in her role. Ann Margaret is sensational in her screen debut acting and singing so sweetly she melts your heart. And Peter Falk is a hoot. It is great it see him in a role before Columbo. He is a truly talented actor and comedian. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who needs a good laugh and a good cry. It is a wonderful, heartwarming movie any time of the year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my all-time favorite movie. We watch it as a family at least once a year and I never tire of it. Bette Davis as Mrs. E. Worthington Manville, aka Applie Annie is incredible. Watch it -- you'll love it.