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
Frank Capra had long wanted to remake his Lady for a Day (1933) but Columbia figured that the property was too dated. In the mid-1950s they offered it up to Paramount as a potential vehicle for Shirley Booth which Paramount was tempted by, hoping to lure Capra to the studio. See more »
In the scene where Dave the Dude is asked to be godfather to Ann-Margret's first child, Hope Lange's black dress is unzipped in the back when she is on her way up to the door, and then zipped at the end of same scene. See more »
With "Pockeful Of Miracles" Frank Capra remakes his own "Lady For A Day" with Capraseque results - that means a mix bag with mostly delightful stuff in it - The major problem here is Glenn Ford, not as an actor but as a producer. There is too much dedicated to Ford's character's businesses, moving away from what really matters - Apple Annie and her predicament. Bette Davis was one of the major supporters of Glenn Ford at the beginning of his career - A Stolen Life, did for his career what "Thelma and Louise" did for Brad Pitt's and one should remember that Davis sort of "imposed" Ford for that role. Now Glenn Ford bills himself above Bette Davis. That should tell you something. The film, however, more than survives the petty egos and comes out as a wonderful swan song for the extraordinary Frank Capra. Bette Davis herself confessed to have found enormous difficulty at being faithful to Apple Annie in those gorgeous gowns post-makeover, but this is, was and always will be a fairy tale and as such it succeeds beautifully. The entrance of Davis after the make-over scored with the Nutcracker suite, it's one of my most cherished movie memories as are Davis's eyes as she witnesses the "miracle" in first person. A collection of wonderful character actors: Thomas Mitchell, Ellen Corby and in particular Edward Everett Horton makes the whole thing a smashing pleasure. Beautiful Hope Lange is terrific and Peter Falk wears a coat that makes his character a shady relative of his future "Colombo". If you're not made of stone and/or your levels of cynicism have not reached inhuman stages, you're going to enjoy this very much. I certainly did.
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