MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 424 this week

The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 703 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 5 critic

An ordinary man suddenly finds that anything he says comes true. Or at least, almost anything!

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(short story), (scenario and dialogue), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 20 titles
created 30 Jan 2012
 
list image
a list of 344 titles
created 05 Sep 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 100 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 719 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Man Who Could Work Miracles.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Edward Chapman ...
Ernest Thesiger ...
Maydig
Joan Gardner ...
Ada Price
Sophie Stewart ...
Maggie Hooper
Robert Cochran ...
Bill Stoker
Maud Tree ...
Grigsby's Housekeeper (as Lady Tree)
Laurence Hanray ...
Mr. Bamfylde
George Zucco ...
The Colonel's Butler
Wallace Lupino ...
Constable Winch (as Wally Lupino)
Joan Hickson ...
Effie
Wally Patch ...
Supt. Smithnells
Mark Daly ...
Toddy Beamish
...
Indifference - a God
Edit

Storyline

George McWhirter Fotheringay, while vigorously asserting the impossibility of miracles, suddenly discovers that he can perform them. After being thrown out of a bar for what is thought to be a trick, he tests his powers and eventually sends a policeman to Hades by accident. Worried, he sends the police officer to San Francisco, and seeks advice from the local clergyman, Mr Maydig. Maydig, after having Fotheringay's powers demonstrated to him, quickly planning for reform of the world by means of miracle, but eventually Fotheringay orders a miracle which, due to clumsy wording, backfires. He relinquishes his power and returns to the time before he had it. Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Could Work Miracles  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Noiseless Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Some contemporary reviewers list Gertrude Musgrove in the role of Effie, but she was replaced by Joan Hickson. See more »

Goofs

In the conversation with Maydig down by the river, Fotheringay places his cane on the log and rests his hands on it and also takes his cane off the log. There are several discrepancies in the relative positions of Fotheringay, Maydig and the cane in the cuts between these shots. There are also shots of each character by himself which it would be impossible to take if they were actually in the positions shown in the wider shots. See more »

Quotes

George McWhirter Fotheringay: You just stand there looking lovely, until I notice you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bruce Almighty (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Common Man Raised to Temporary Omnipotence.
14 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Roland Young was a stage star in the 1920s and early 1930s. To us, he usually played an impeccable gentleman, usually of diffident, uncertain, and shy personality, but occasionally showing a roguish personality (as "Uncle Willy" in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY) or an unscrupulous, villainous one (as "Uriah Heep" in David COPPERFIELD) or even a murderous one (as in the killer in THE GREAT LOVER). His best remembered starring part was as the spooked banker "Cosmo Topper" in three movies, but his best performance may well have been as "George Fotheringay" in this film, THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES. In this film he was the average little man - the man in the street, if you will, who is given extraordinary powers by the Gods and proceeds to demonstrate how human beings cannot handle great power.

H. G. Wells' amusing fantasy shows how power without wisdom or control is never a safe commodity. Young is the sort of person we meet everyday. He is harmless. He is acceptable. He is forgettable. In short he is one of us. He is unable to even make a dent with a girl he's interested in (Joan Gardner). But once he gets power, he can't succeed in doing much with it. He is able to frighten some friends in a pub, during a philosophical chat. He can cause personal amusement and enjoyment in his room, but it does annoy the landlady (particularly all of the animals he now has for pets). He tries to find a fast way of ending poverty by creating money out of the air - much to the dismay of the local banker (Laurence Hanray). He tries to rid the world of weapons, much to the anger of the local military man (Ralph Richardson, in heavy make-up). Richardson is also annoyed that his liquor is now juice or cider. In the end, stalked by Richardson and the others who find more to fear than to accept in Young's sudden powers, Young decides he has to protect himself. He makes himself master of the world, but when he decides to show himself as the center of the universe by stopping the earth's rotation, he nearly destroys the earth. Only sheer accident prevents total disaster.

The film is not flawless. When Young makes himself world dictator he tells off the rulers of the world (whom he has brought together at his new court) that they like the furs and feathers they wear. This is typical of Wells - he always thinks that the finery and trappings of power are the goals of powerful people, and not a side issue. It is even pushed to extremes in his other scripted film, THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME, when Ralph Richardson (as "the Boss") wears a costume of furs and feathers. Young also lacks real imagination, which is an odd lapse for Wells. His "common man" heroes, like Mr. Polly, do have a degree of imagination. Fotheringay's idea of economic curing is to wave his hand and out pops a ten pound note (to the dismay of the banker, who starts talking about inflation!). But he could do it on the sly, passing flawless cash around by mail without any problems. He's just not swift enough to do it quietly.

But that is a minor quibble. The film is (on the whole) a joy as fantasy and as a field day for Roland Young. I give it a 10 as an example of exciting cinema.


11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Palace in the Last Scenes stevem-26
Which character was Effie? sky-115
Discuss The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?