Oliver Pease gets a dose of courage from his wife Martha and tricks the editor of the paper (where he writes lost pet notices) into assigning him the day's roving question. Martha suggests,... See full summary »
Oliver Pease gets a dose of courage from his wife Martha and tricks the editor of the paper (where he writes lost pet notices) into assigning him the day's roving question. Martha suggests, "Has a little child ever changed your life?" Oliver gets answers from two slow-talking musicians, an actress whose roles usually feature a sarong, and an itinerant cardsharp. In each case the "little child" is hardly innocent: in the first, a local auto mechanic's "baby" turns out to be fully developed as a woman and a musician; in the second, a spoiled child star learns kindness; in the third, the family of a lost brat doesn't want him returned. And Oliver, what becomes of him? Written by
As already stated, "A Miracle Can Happen" was the original title of this film. It consisted of three short stories (about 20-25 minutes each) linked by the Burgess Meredith character. He played a reporter looking for a good scoop and in the second sequence Charles Laughton played a bible-reading minister. However, the powers-that-be decided to drop this 'religious' story altogether and it was replaced by a more comic one featuring Dorothy Lamour. The film in this new version was then re-titled "On Our Merry Way." However, prints of the original film had already been sent abroad for dubbing. In Spain, "A Miracle Can Happen" became "Una Encuesta Llamada Milagro", complete with the original Laughton sequence intact (but of course without the alternative Dorothy Lamour story). As it has been released on DVD there, and retains the English-language soundtrack, the movie can now been seen as it was originally intended. See more »
One of the first films to show married couple in the same bed
Interesting story that doesn't know where it wants to go - I won't be as harsh on this film as other posters. That's perhaps because I know a little about the personal lives of two of it's stars, Burgess Meredith and Paulette Goddard. I just watched this on Kino's DVD. It's one of those rare films with multiple directors and long thought lost. Burgess Meredith and Paulette Goddard get things started for us n the opening and make a cute couple(they were married in real life at the time) and she calls him Oliver, Meredith's real life first name. Meredith plays a newspaper guy and for some reason asks the question "has a child made a difference in your life?" He is IMO trying to get an answer to make something tick for his newspaper article and/or for personal reasons ??. Though this is a scripted film the question, one get's the feeling, is a personal one for Meredith and Goddard, for in real life in 1944 Goddard suffered a miscarriage of their child, probably devastating to both of them. Unless you know that bit of trivia you won't pay but fleeting attention to the conversation between Burgess and Paulette. As stated in the summary this film has to be one of the first motion pictures to show a husband and wife sleeping together in the same bed, which is impressive considering the Breen Production Code in effect at the time. Married couples however would continue to sleep in twin beds until TV shows like The Brady Bunch in the late 1960s. The film pairs off into too many directions first with James Stewart and Henry Fonda, then with Fred MacMurray and William Demarest. Stewart and Fonda were friends in real life and that holds something for fans of the pair but their story is aimless. The duo put on a variety show reminiscent of today's American Idol. MacMurray and Demarest would famously work together again in the mid 60s on My Three Sons, after Demarest replaced William Frawley who became ill and died. MacMurray and Demarest have their comic moments especially with a precocious(in a bad way) little boy called "Sniffles". Demarest is too old for the kind of physical slapstick he's subjected to here. All in all another aimless scene. Dorothy Lamour shows up as a cutie who later dons a sarong in a musical revue. A voluptuous piece of cheesecake, famous for playing the island girl in the Crosby-Hope 'Road' pictures, her stay is all too short. This film should have stayed focused on the interesting beginnings with Meredith and Goddard. Meredith himself is not involved enough in the linking stories to make the finale cohesive. He finds what ever answer/lesson he's looking for but the audience has been shuttled from one minor point to the next. Paulette at the close of the film reveals that she's pregnant(only in the story) and she and Meredith rejoice at end. Their story should have been the main focus of the film and dare the subject of talking about pregnancy which I get at the conclusion that that's what the story was about. Instead we're taken from one inconsequential story to the next without logical tie-in to Meredith and Goddard. That's why I think so many people miss the point and poo-poo the film. But if you know the different junctures of the film especially the part with Burgess Meredith and Paulette Goddard you should be able to enjoy the picture.
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