At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception, because Jane's ... See full summary »
Boozy, brassy Apple Annie, a beggar with a basket of apples, is as much as part of downtown New York as old Broadway itself. Bootlegger Dave the Dude is a sucker for her apples --- he thinks they bring him luck. But Dave and girlfriend Queenie Martin need a lot more than luck when it turns out that Annie is in a jam and only they can help: Annie's daughter Louise, who has lived all her life in a Spanish convent, is coming to America with a Count and his son. The count's son wants to marry Louise, who thinks her mother is part of New York society. It's up to Dave and Queenie and their Runyonesque cronies to turn Annie into a lady and convince the Count and his son that they are hobnobbing with New York's elite. Written by
Touching drama,witty comedy and a drop of a fairy tale combined in another Capra's magical film
I can think only of three directors who were capable of blending drama and comedy in a way that makes you applaud after the film ends.Billy Wilder,his mentor Ernst Lubitsch and of course,Frank Capra.Pocketful of Miracles(1961)is Capra's final feature and he ended his glorious career in a truly miraculous fashion.I have read many reviews which pointed out many flaws of this film,but I have to disagree.There are many elements that make this film a true masterpiece.Firstly,the screenplay based upon the story by Robert Riskin and Damon Runyon is wonderful--it is filled with witty one-liners that make you laugh and cry,and it embodies the spirit of Broadway.It is wrong to say that this film doesn't make you think after seeing it-it is much more than just a morality story,with tastefully and artistically presented characters.Secondly,there is absolutely top-notch cast,most of the actors make truly memorable performances(except for Peter Mann,who was rather stiff).Glenn Ford is a fantastic,somewhat forgotten actor,who embodied Dave the Dude superbly.As a prominent gangster and bootlegger who has a thing for Annie's apples,he is simultaneously tough,ironic,charismatic,and incredibly charming in his obstinacy and tenacity.Bette Davis again demonstrates why she was considered the best actress ever.She masterfully portrayed the complex and nuanced character of an alcoholic beggar who controls the beggary on Broadway.She actually shows that even a beggar can be stylish.And the love she has for her daughter Louise-that's magical.Beautiful Hope Lange is great(as always)in the role of Dave's lover Queenie,who wants to move to Baltimore with him and have children.Her change of heart towards Annie is wonderful.The supporting cast is adorable.Peter Falk deserved an Oscar for his inspirational and truly funny portrayal of a distrustful gangster Joy Boy.Thomas Mitchell made his last performance as a pool-hall-junkie-judge who stands in for Annie's husband.And he did it exceptionally.Ann Margret makes her debut as Annie's loving daughter.The direction is flawless,as usual when Capra is in charge.All these elements should make this film an unforgettable experience,and not just a film you watch for fun(no classic film lover should watch films just for fun). I agree that Lady for a day is a great,memorable film,special in many ways.But,the significance of Pocketful of Miracles should in no way be diminished on account of being a re-make.The sixties differ greatly from today,when irritating blockbusters,re-makes sequels and comic-book adaptations unfortunately prevail.Pocketful of Miracles is a must-see for any Capra lover,classic film lover in general,and for all the people who still believe in miracles.I'm one of them and I truly believe that both Hollywood and Europe will live again through the films who would touch the people over the mental age of three,if you know what I mean.
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