7.1/10
1,056
26 user 7 critic

The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

Unrated | | Comedy, Fantasy | 19 February 1937 (USA)
An ordinary man suddenly finds that anything he says comes true. Or at least, almost anything!

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writer:

(scenario and dialogue) (as H.G.Wells)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of a century: a decades-long second World War leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel.

Director: William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An American businessman's family convinces him to buy a Scottish castle and disassemble it to ship it to America brick by brick, where it will be put it back together. The castle though is ... See full summary »

Director: René Clair
Stars: Robert Donat, Jean Parker, Eugene Pallette
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When the Germans invade Norway their Commandant and the town Mayor confront each other, attempting to maintain civility as far as possible. When the army tries to orgnanize townspeople to ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Henry Travers, Lee J. Cobb
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of three sisters who marry men of widely different character as their individual and widely-different married lives unfold. One sister (Phyllis Calvert) is happily married but ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Crabtree
Stars: Phyllis Calvert, James Mason, Hugh Sinclair
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young painter stumbles upon an assortment of odd characters at an English estate where he has been hired to give art lessons to beautiful Laura Fairlie. Among them are Anne Catherick, a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Godfrey
Stars: Alexis Smith, Eleanor Parker, Sydney Greenstreet
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Claude Gillingwater
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Divorcee Irene Vail falls for a charming Parisian, but her insanely jealous ex-husband will do anything to get her back...

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Charles Boyer, Jean Arthur, Leo Carrillo
Comedy | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A fun-loving young woman finds herself murdered after trading bedrooms with her wealthy friend. Her ghost seeks aid from a banker to find out why and by whom.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Joan Blondell, Roland Young, Carole Landis
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

While on vacation in the Caribbean with his wife, a middle-aged man unexpectedly finds, and falls in love with, a mermaid.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: William Powell, Ann Blyth, Irene Hervey
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Mary, who is infatuated with her boss, discovers that he is having an affair with one of her coworkers. Despondent, she leaves work and overhearing news of a suicide, impulsively decides to... See full summary »

Director: Monty Banks
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Laura La Plante, Claude Hulbert
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A stay-at-home husband and his businesswoman wife plan separate vacations, but he doesn't go fishing. He masquerades as a barber on her pleasure cruise.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Genevieve Tobin, Roland Young, Ralph Forbes
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Young man fights off attempts to marry him off to a series of available girls. Intersting glimpses of London in 1930.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Roland Young, George Grossmith, John Loder
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Edward Chapman ...
...
...
Ada Price
Sophie Stewart ...
Maggie Hooper
Robert Cochran ...
Bill Stoker
Lady Tree ...
Grigsby's Housekeeper
Lawrence Hanray ...
Mr. Bamfylde
...
The Colonel's Butler
Wallace Lupino ...
Constable Winch (as Wally Lupino)
...
Effie
Wally Patch ...
Supt. Smithells
Mark Daly ...
Toddy Beamish
...
Indifference
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

Taglines:

Good pictures like good novels never grow old! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

H.G. Wells' 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

The first film of Nigel Stock. See more »

Goofs

The sequence in which the constable is transported to San Francisco was obviously filmed in Los Angeles. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a background of outer space. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Boxcar Bertha (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
H.G. Wells' timeless parable on power and the human condition
2 November 2009 | by (Tappan, New York) – See all my reviews

I have to admit to a soft spot for this film, which is very probably the best movie version of an H.G. Wells story ever done. Not surprisingly, the writer was still around when it was made and was involved in the production.

Today many people regard Wells as a "science-fiction" writer, but he was also a historian and philosopher. "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" is more of a fantasy/parable on the subject of power and the human condition than it is science fiction. Nevertheless, Alexander Korda had his production company go all out in the depiction of the film's "miracles". They are still effective despite the fact that this film dates from 1936.

The story of what happens when an anonymous nobody is suddenly given absolute power to do anything still resonates. The setting may be 1930s England, but the attitudes of the sort of characters with whom the protagonist interacts would probably be little different today. After all, businessmen still think like businessmen, bankers like bankers, clergymen like clergymen, policemen like policemen, and soldiers like soldiers. In that regard the world hasn't really changed all that much, a fact that would have come as little surprise to Wells.

Considering the plethora of special effects, it seems somewhat surprising that this film has never been re-made. That's not to say that this production could probably be bettered. Roland Young is spot on as the "common vulgar fellow" upon whom absolute power is suddenly and randomly bestowed. The only possible complaint with casting him in the part is that he may perhaps have been a bit too to play someone the other characters are constantly addressing as "Young Man". The other members of the cast are likewise excellent, particularly Ralph Richardson in a hilarious turn as "Colonel Winstanley", the character who inspired cartoonist David Low's "Colonel Blimp".

To anyone who has never seen this movie, I can only recommend that you take the first opportunity that presents itself to see it. Despite the passing of years since it was produced, "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" remains unique.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?