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 »
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Olivia de Havilland,
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
More details about the deleted Laughton sequence referred to in Trivia.
As the "Trivia" section states, Charles Laughton was in the original version of this film under its title "A Miracle Can Happen". His was a sequence of 20 minutes or so which came between the Fonda/Stewart story and the one with Fred MacMurray which ended the movie. During the war, Laughton had taken to reading from great works of literature, including the Bible, to invalided US servicemen. He continued to give reading tours after the war and his appearance in "A Miracle Can Happen" was clearly an attempt to put one of his Bible readings on film. He played a washed-out minister who bores his congregation to tears, but one rainy night a small boy asks Laughton to visit his sick father. In an attempt to boost the dying man's spirits, Laughton rises to the occasion with an over-the-top delivery of the Saul and David story that completely revitalises the father. It then turned out that the little boy who invited Laughton in, but who has now disappeared from the scene, had died some years earlier. So, as Laughton told Meredith at the end of the sequence, "a miracle happened."
For whatever reason, the Laughton sequence was deleted from the US release but not before prints has been sent abroad to other countries. Consequently, it has long been known that, for example, a Spanish version of "A Miracle Can Happen" - with Laughton and all the others dubbed into that language - has been seen on TV in Spain and is now available there on DVD, complete with the original English dialogue.
With Laughton having been deleted, the Dorothy Lamour sequence was added in as a replacement, and the film was duly re-titled "On Our Merry Way." I agree with the sentiments expressed by others who find this film an embarrassment all round. Fonda and Stewart are no masters of farcical comedy and neither are any of the other principals. As for Laughton in the original film, his hamming up of the Bible story has to be seen to be believed. Nevertheless, both versions are of some interest because of the talents involved but I agree with anyone who says that once you've seen either version you're not likely to want to see them again!
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