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William A. Seiter
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After Florence Fallon's father dies unappreciated in the church where he preached for many years, she becomes embittered and loses faith. She teams up with Horsby, a con man, and performs fake miracles for profit. But the love and trust of a blind man restores her faith in God and her fellow man. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A preacher is tired of not getting through to his parishioners, and they are tired of him. When he is asked to leave and tries to make his final sermon, he falls ill and is unable to. Daughter Barbara Stanwyck gets behind the pulpit and tells the church they never appreciated her father and tells them off. An out-of-towner, who's a chiseler of some kind and who was passing through, was in the church and heard her. He persuades her to preach. ('Cause she has the talent for it, he says. And, that'll show these people.)
She becomes a faith healer, spouting the words and claiming to heal people, of whom this guy pays to act sick and volunteer to "be cured." Enter David Manners, who really is blind and who stands up out of pure devotion to God and the Word. He doesn't get cured but only gets closer to Babs.
But that's not what's center stage, as director Frank Capra throws at us a very personal film about faith and our relationship with God. Stanwyck tires of the scam and the plot plays out like something out of today's films, very dramatically and with a Judgment Day touch to it.
I was very impressed with everything about this movie, with Stanwyck as usual, with Manners who is probably given his best movie role here, and with the whole presentation and treatment of the subject matter which doesn't talk down to the viewer and take lightly of the situations. The viewer is immersed in her world completely.
Kudos to Frank Capra, who probably made his most adult film here, with the exception of The Bitter Tea of General Yen, also with Stanwyck. Miss this and you miss Capra and Stanwyck at their best.
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