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The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 723 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 »
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Title: The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Edward Chapman ...
...
Maydig
Joan Gardner ...
Ada Price
Sophie Stewart ...
Maggie Hooper
Robert Cochran ...
Bill Stoker
Lady Tree ...
Grigsby's Housekeeper
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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann, der Wunder wirkte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Noiseless Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Torin Thatcher, George Sanders, and Ivan Brandt are Celestial Bodies who appear at the beginning and end of this film. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene in the pub, Fotheringay is shown with his hands on the bar as another patron addresses him, but in the next immediate shot, his right hand is up to his cheek. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Social comment the fun way
22 May 2005 | by (England) – See all my reviews

After a somewhat stilted beginning, this cheerful little fantasy caught my imagination. The extended plot has been enlarged almost seamlessly from the original short story, and in very much the same wry spirit: this is recognisable as authentic H.G.Wells in a way that, say, the adaptations of 'The Time Machine' and 'The Invisible Man' are not... but despite being characteristically didactic, it is also amusing and thoroughly entertaining.

Roland Young, in the downtrodden role of the eponymous Everyman, is more or less required to carry the film singlehanded and makes an admirable job of it, his hesitant body language alone speaking volumes. He is entirely believable as the voice of puzzled common sense amid all the conflicting demands being made of him, but when the worm turns he is also a strangely formidable figure.

Of the special effects -- the 'miracles' themselves -- there is nothing more to be said and no higher praise than that after the first few minutes, by and large, one simply takes them for reality, accepting the logic within the story. Those footprints in the hearthrug are a little obviously fake, though!

This is no great classic of its era, but its ideas have worn well, and, more importantly, it still makes for an enjoyable night out. Its main flaw is the introduction of the framing 'godly powers' plot, which was evidently felt necessary to explain just what was going on, but today verges on the embarrassing; in my opinion, the story could have stood up perfectly well without it.


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