Pocketful of Miracles (1961) Poster

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Capra Remakes Himself
giorgiosurbani1 January 2008
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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A Wonderful Fairy Tale
Claudio Carvalho10 February 2004
Apple Annie (Bete Davis) is an alcoholic beggar who sells apples and controls the beggary in Broadway area. Dave the Dude Conway (Glenn Ford) is a prominent gangster, who believes that Annie's apples are magic and brings `good luck' to him. Elizabeth 'Queenie' Martin (Hope Lange) is his lover, and she wants to get married with him and move to Maryland, to have children. One day, Annie receives a letter from her daughter Louise (Ann Margret, making her debut on the screens), who lives in Spain. She informs that she is going to get married with the son of a Count, and her future father-in-law is coming to New York with them to visit her. Annie becomes desperate and Dude decides to help her, pretending she is from the high-society of New York. This is another wonderful Frank Capra's magic movie. Indeed, it is a fairy tale. The cast, direction and screenplay are delightful and although being talkative and long, it is such a good film that the viewer does not feel the time passing. Bete Davis has another outstanding performance, as usual, very well supported by the magnificent cast. Highly recommended as a family entertainment. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): `Dama Por Um Dia' (`Lady For a Day')
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Smart and Joyfull, made in Capra
Poliminia19 February 2006
I used to watch this movie once and again when I was a child. Didn't even know who Bette Davis or Frank Capra were, but already loved the film. The story is a remake of one of Capra's films of the 30's. Easy to follow, filled with smart humor and better acting. I admire the transformation of Bette Davis, great work along with wardrobe and make up departments! Last Capra's film, it has the typical characteristics of his career. The importance of emotions, the rhythm, the magic and the happy ending. It was the beginning of the future sex-symbol Ann Margret in a great and extensive cast. It's a great movie to watch with kids, or for cinema addicts looking for a rest.
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Bette Davis Stars as Ann Margaret's Misfit Mother
Kennedy6315 September 2007
Apple Annie (Bette Davis) makes her living as a gin-sauced, basket-carrying, apple-selling NYC street woman. This motion picture is in color which makes Davis's famous facial expressions, especially her eyes, all the more effective.

The people Apple Annie hangs out with are other street vendors who are social misfits of various sorts; but, they have one thing in common: poverty.

Apple Annie is well connected with a mobster known as The Dude. Fortunately, he's superstitious. The tough mobster (Glen Ford) believes Apple Annie's apples bring him daily good luck because she says, "God Bless You," to everyone who buys from her.

All along Apple Annie's been writing her daughter on stationary from an upper-crusty city apartment complex, in order to pretend that she's a well-to-do lady. When her daughter, Louise (Ann Margaret, in her film debut) writes that she's coming to the city with her potential fiancé', whose father is a Spanish count, Apple Annie's pretense is not only about to be exposed but it could ruin her only child's chance for marrying well enough so that she'll never live in poverty as her mother has.

The rest of the story is fabulous: humorous, ingenious, well-casted, scripted and acted. It's anything but a typical mob story.

For me, the priceless scenes are between the veteran actor Bette Davis and upstart Ann Margaret. Imagine being able to claim that in your first film you starred as Bette Davis's daughter? Margaret gives a fine first film performance face-to-face with the Queen of the Screen. Peter Faulk does his mobster version of "Columbo," in top form. Davis, in Technicolor, delivers one of the most realistic, heart-felt, truly dramatic metamorphosis characters I've seen.
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Pocketful of Wonderful Miracles ****
edwagreen16 January 2006
Glenn Ford and the late Hope Lange in a comedy with Bette Davis taking a supporting role. Interesting enough, this crowd pleaser works quite well.

Dave The Dude (Ford) is a gangster on the verge of making a big deal. Dave is superstitious. He always must get an apple from that vagrant-looking Davis.

Davis, as Apple Annie, was phenomenal in this film. She acts just like an old broken down bag-lady. She does it with a finesse. (Is it really possible to have a refined bag-lady, you bet it is.)

Anyway, it appears that Davis has a daughter living abroad all these years. Ann-Margret is she and the latter thinks that her mother is high society. Trouble now is that Ann is getting engaged to a count and they're coming to New York to look mom over. Dave and his girlfriend, Lange, fix up Davis to make her look like a dowager. They even provide a husband for her-Thomas Mitchell!

As if this isn't funny enough, we have Peter Falk, in a truly worthy Oscar nominated supporting performance, as Dave's sidekick who can't fathom what is going on.

Edward Everett Horton is the butler who can't take bad endings. Fortunately, for him, the film has anything but that kind of ending. It's up-beat down to the last laugh.

When "the kids" sail away, Apple Annie resorts to her old ways by even announcing that her prices have gone up to her faithful friends.

A romp and memorable film.
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" Apple Annie's Second Time Around "
PamelaShort22 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Pocketful of Miracles is Frank Capra's Technicolor re-make of his brilliant 1933 film, Lady for a Day. The same enchanting story only this time set during the Christmas season for delivering a miracle to the grey-haired Cinderella. The remake is rather brash and a little dragging in places when compared to the original, nevertheless still an entertaining and fun film. Bette Davis turns in a good portrayal of Apple Annie as does Glenn Ford playing gangster, Dave the Dude. Peter Falk makes the most of his role, his performance of Joy Boy is absolutely superb. Beautiful Hope Lange plays Dude's girl Queenie Martin and the film debut of a very young Ann-Margret playing Apple Annie's charming daughter Louise. What really makes this film fun is a host of amazing character actors of the time, Edward Everett Horton, Mickey Shaughnessy, Sheldon Leonard, Thomas Mitchell, Ellen Corby, Arthur O'Connell and many more recognizable faces. Although I prefer the original 1933 film, this 1961 remake adequately exudes its own amount of charm.
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Touching drama,witty comedy and a drop of a fairy tale combined in another Capra's magical film
dukis-125 August 2007
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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A very good remake
flhinton10 May 2008
This film was also a remake of a film made in 1933 called Lady For a Day with Warren William and Mae Hopson. But it was an excellent remake. I especially liked Peter Falk's portrayal in this film. The entire cast is really top notch.

I don't think anything is as good as the original. But, this film comes very close. The cast is really what makes this version so good. Bette Davis is excellent as is Glenn Ford and Thomas Mitchell. This is also an early film for Ann-Margaret.

I, personally, would recommend this film as highly as I would Lady For a Day. By all means, watch both films. They each have an ambiance that makes both movies unique.
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Remake edges out original with comedy and different slant
SimonJack28 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The source for this movie is a Damon Runyon short story, "Madame La Gimp." It was first made into a movie in 1933, entitled "Lady for a Day." Frank Capra directed that film, which received four Academy Award nominations for the then second-tier Hollywood studio, Columbia. Here, Capra produced and directed the remake with an independent company set up for that purpose. "Pocketful of Miracles" received three Oscar nominations.

This movie has a lot of history behind it – Capra's desire to remake it, different scripts and studio interests, different casting, conflicts between stars, etc. Some of the reviews I've read seem to have been influenced more by that history than by the product itself. I've read much of the background. I've watched and enjoyed very much the original "Lady for a Day." I was in the Army when this film came out, and we didn't get to see movies until long after they came out. So, it was some years later before I first saw "Pocketful of Miracles" on TV. I now have it on DVD in my film collection.

I think I can see why Capra wanted to remake the movie – and in its original setting and time, the 1930s. "Lady for a Day," was a very good film. But Capra was only director – he didn't have control over the script or some of the casting. In "Pocketful of Miracles," Capra was in charge from the beginning. Glenn Ford was his partner in producing the film and had the male lead. But it was Capra's baby from the start. It's too bad that there were personality conflicts between some of the actors, and that Capra had to endure the infighting. But, it's as much an accolade to Hollywood and the acting profession that we viewers don't see any of that in the finished product. Instead, what we see is a delightful, whimsical, fairy-tale of a story.

Capra has changed the tone and mood of the original film so much that we see here a completely different story of an almost identical plot. Mary Robson was wonderful as the first Apple Annie. She seemed to be a pathetic character, a product of misfortune and the times. Bette Davis, on the other hand, while a product of the times seems to relish her position in society. She puts a little more life into the character – very appropriate for this second film version. Warren William is good as Dave the Dude, but we don't know what the big deal is that distracts him once in a while. And, he and his gang are wont to use the artillery from time to time. Very believable for the times, I think. Glenn Ford's Dave the Dude is much more a man of pride who's gang doesn't wield guns so much as muscle. He has connections, and Ford gives a bravado to the character that fits beautifully into the comedic role.

Anyway, the entire cast is superb in this film. And it's a cast of many notable actors. This is an entertaining film all around, and one the whole family should enjoy.
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Winded, but the last half hour is a MUST
gaelicguy27 October 2003
This movie is long, talky and winded, but there are some wonderful performances. And, the last scene with Bette Davis (can't say more for fear of divulging too much) is a marvel. Deeply moving and Davis is luminous. All of the talk, talk, talk is worth the look on Davis' face at the end of the film. Enjoy it, warts and all.
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A Heartwarming Story
paulegillet30 April 2005
Bette Davis turns in a great performance as "Apple Annie". Peter Falk, as has been noted, gets the best lines. Glenn Ford shows his talent for comedy. The young Ann-Margret is as cute as can be. But if i can be permitted a bit of Trivial Observation: I had to watch the next to last scene (the police-escorted motorcade) again because i could not believe it on the first viewing. Did anyone else notice the rear projection in the back windows of the cars? The story is set in the 1930's, the cars are of that era but the automobile following in the back window looks like a 1950 Cadillac! Either that car window was a time tunnel or someone used the wrong film clip for the rear projection. That's why studios have a Continuity Department.
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Unfocused Remake of Lady for a Day.
nycritic20 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
For a director who made some of the most memorable, high-quality films between 1933 and 1941 and has become legendary for his priceless, classic IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES is a little too unfocused and cute at times to merit being a great film. While his earlier version, LADY FOR A DAY, was more compact, this one runs 40 minutes too long, extends scenes that could have trimmed the fat off the plotting and still have had the film look great, and seems too fairy-tale even for 1961 when it was released. Somehow what worked so well in the 30s fails to work here, and while the acting couldn't be better from many of the actors involved, the storyboarding itself is sub-par. Bette Davis shines as Apple Annie, though, and makes this escapist film worth watching even when its subject matter has not aged well and seems like a caricature of its earlier version.
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"She's like a cockroach what turned into a butterfly!"
utgard1413 August 2015
Frank Capra's final feature film is a remake of his earlier movie Lady for a Day, one of my favorite movies from the '30s. The story is about an elderly street peddler named Apple Annie who is turned into a society matron by a gangster named Dave the Dude. The original movie starred May Robson and Warren William, both largely forgotten today except among classic film fans. This one has more well-known stars, Bette Davis and Glenn Ford, but isn't as good. It just isn't as much fun and doesn't have the same heartwarming quality the original did. Davis and Ford are okay but represent a change in the times I'd say. Davis' Annie is ghoulish and Ford's Dave is hard to like. The charm of the previous film, made in a much different era for filmmaking, is gone. Also the original movie was made during the period it was set in, which gave it a feeling of authenticity this one doesn't have. On the plus side, Peter Falk and Hope Lange are good in supporting parts, Ann-Margret is fine in her screen debut, and reliable vet Thomas Mitchell enjoyable as ever in his final film. Lots of old familiar faces like Sheldon Leonard, Edward Everett Horton, Barton MacLane, and Jerome Cowan is another plus. It's overlong and not among Capra's best but certainly something fans will want to see. I recommend seeking out the 1933 classic first, though.
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Beautiful little movie
pam24520 April 2005
Anyone who loves the Christmas season and all the "smarmy-ness" that goes with it will love this movie. It was beautiful to see the "bad guys" go all out to help Apple Annie. I look forward to seeing it every year during the holidays. Bette Davis, as always, gives a great performance (even in "B" movies). I probably have watched "Pocketful of Miracles" 20 times and will continue to watch any time I catch it on the boob tube and watch it on my VCR. I don't want to give away the plot but it will have all the expectations of a "B" movie. Still, it is enjoyable and will brighten the holiday season with a feeling of love, friendship, happiness and goodwill toward all.
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Kirpianuscus11 February 2016
a Capra's movie must be nice. and Pocketful of Miracles is a real puzzle of fairy tales. miracles, love, humor, two great actors in the lead roles, few drops of Dickens, few crumbs of Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw, old fashion atmosphere, the dramatic scenes, the hope and the joy, grains of tension , the social problems, the changes and the ...miracles, of course.and, as result, a great job by an extraordinary seducer from Hollywood. a film who reminds childhood's flavors and that could be the lead virtue of it. than- to remind the art of Glenn Ford and Bette Davis , the last in almost comfortable role. and as oasis in middle of the challenges of every day. a film who has, always, its target. the same, with insignificant nuances. because it is , in high measure, an useful support for rest. and nostalgia.
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Unjustly maligned charmer
jjnxn-130 April 2013
Existing in a Damon Runyon universe this charmer has only the most ephemeral touch in common with the real world but is that necessarily what you watch a Frank Capra movie for? Let the whimsical spirit of the film carry you along and it's most beguiling. Bette Davis' guttersnipe perhaps too easily transforms into a regal lady but she is wonderful here no matter. The whole cast is swell actually with many standouts, Peter Falk is a riot as Joy Boy and received an Oscar nomination for it. The picture's happy nature is infectious and it you roll with it by the end you'll have a smile on your face. While the costume and set design may not be accurate it's certainly high class and sumptuous. A pleasure from another era.
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Top Rated Show with a great Cast of Characters
zelley-116 December 2004
A real blue ribbon movie with an interesting story line and excellent acting by a well selected cast. Betty's role as "Apple Annie" is priceless.! From the opening of the movie each scene proved to be of interest and very

entertaining. The scene where "Apple Annie" was changed to resemble a classy lady was

funny. This was helped with the likes of Peter Falk. The various scenes with the cast of characters involved in selling or begging were very good. And their final scene with them gathered on the jetty waving goodbye to "the daughter of Apple Annie with her Prince Charming" was


As there are many stars and character actors involved in this brilliant film, as not to overlook the fine work of all of them, it is a giant thank you to the whole team!

Another film that puts the word "Class" in classic!
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Capra's Hilarious Heartwarming Swansong
Chrysanthepop30 March 2012
Capra was definitely one of the best known 'romantic' directors of his time. While I immensely enjoyed his 'It Happened One Night', his 'It's a Wonderful Life' (it has been said that this is Capra's best work) did not appeal to me. A 'Pocketful of Miracles' is more of a fairy tale comedy. The title highly appealed to me and how can one say no to a film with Frank Capra and Bette Davis? The film isn't without its share of drawbacks so let's get those out of the way. At times I felt the focus was too much on the Dude when it should have delved deeper into Apple Annie and her struggle. I also thought the ending was slightly rushed and I really wanted to see more of what happened to Apple Annie and the others.

The strength of 'Pocketful of Miracles' is its original humour. The writing, especially of the dialogues, is terrific. The characters are a delight. All the actors are superb. Bette Davis is amazing and even though her character isn't fully fleshed in the second half, she performs with grace and poise. Glenn Ford is quite good. Hope Lange is stunning. Ann Margret is cute. Peter Falk provides some great laugh out loud moments. Thomas Mitchell, Ellen Corby and Edward Everett Horton are great.

In addition, 'Pocketful of Miracles' is very pleasing to the eyes. The colourful sets, flashy costumes and lavish interiors that highlight the glamour are very appealing.

With this heartwarming swansong, Capra has made me laugh out loud for more than two hours and that more than compensates for the flaws. What a way to say farwell.
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A pleasing and charming movie well directed by Frank Capra
ma-cortes4 June 2004
The film centers about Bette Davis , an old , ugly and poor woman called Annie on his own resources , she splits luck to a mobster played by Glenn Ford giving him apples . Ford helps her and he sets up a masquerade for her daughter Louise - Ann Margret's first movie - , who has lived all her life in a Spanish convent, is coming to America and she goes to marry to a high class man and for him to believe than Bette/Annie is a countess .

In the film there is a mingle of comedy , drama and humor , it's a very amusing movie . Although this is not as good remake as ¨ Capra's Lady for a day ¨ , the former and early classic movie . First-range acting , especially by main actors : Bette Davis , Glenn Ford , Hope Lange , Peter Falk , Ann Margret but the secondary actors are also excellent : Edward Everett Horton , Thomas Mitchell , Arthur O'Connell , among others . Before Bette Davis accepted the role, Shirley Booth was Capra's first choice for boozy as well as brassy Apple Annie . Booth viewed the original version of the film, ¨Lady for a day¨(1933) , and informed director Frank Capra that there was no way she could match the Oscar-nominated performance of May Robson in the original film, and politely declined the role . According to the Bette Davis biography, 'Fasten Your Seatbelts', the actress was furious when she read a Glenn Ford interview in which the actor claimed to have gotten her the part because of the boost she had given him years before . After Glenn Ford was cast he helped finance the movie through his production company and he asked his sweetheart Hope Lange as Queenie . Direction by Frank Capra , in his last film , is very good , he had a lot of experience because of his previous classic films, such as ¨It's a wonderful life¨, ¨ Meet John Doe ¨, ¨ Mr Smith goes to Washington ¨ and several others. Rating : 7 , above average , well worth watching .
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pretty good
kyle_furr10 February 2004
A remake of Capra's own lady for a lady, made in 33. This stars Bette Davis as a panhandler who's daughter thinks she's rich and famous and Glenn Ford is a gangster friend of Davis who helps her out, despite his own troubles. Glenn Ford and Bette Davis are both good and Peter Falk was nominated for best supporting actor. This was Frank Capra's and Thomas Mitchell's last film, whom the latter died of cancer a year later.
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very good but not up to the quality of the original
MartinHafer28 March 2006
This Frank Capra directed film is actually Capra's second attempt with the movie. POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES is actually a remake of LADY FOR A DAY (1933), and I've got to say that nothing in this remake made me favor it over the original. May Robson and Warren William just did a better job with the material than Bette Davis and Glenn Ford. In particular, Ford is more selfish and nasty when compared to the "nice" scoundrel played more gracefully by William. Plus, overall, it looks like everyone just tried and emoted too much in the remake. The original was slow and graceful and also quite beautiful. The remake is just LOUDER and brash--like it is a "dumbed-down" version of the original.

However, despite my complaint, the basic story itself is still excellent and couldn't help but produce a good movie. This one is sure worth watching, but if at all possible, find LADY FOR A DAY--it's a much better example of the magic of Frank Capra.
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Davis is wonderful. Confused about ending
papabearEG21 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Often people say these older movies are too smarmy and sweet, but thats the reflection of a generation raised on violent hard hitting films. Films of this era were about escapism from the harsh reality of the world outside the theater. They were a kind of childish hope for a world that could never be for the audience of that time. That said, Bette Davis gives a fantastic performance in this film. I watched it over and over again just to see the master at her craft. She plays the last half of the film as if she's stunned in a dream state, unable to quite grasp the kindness shown her. An element of fear of being found out, trying to pull off the elegance of a lady of stature, yet never loosing the the character of the first half of the film. She manages to pull off being a lady more from being shell shocked than from any real attempt by her character to try to be something she is not. I half hoped she would tell the truth to the count toward the end. Its a lovely film and is right up there with I remember Momma as one of my favorite films of this time. One thing I didn't quite understand that I hope someone here might can help me with. I have a 30 year old TV so I have a authentic experience watching these old movies. I suppose. The problem being the sound quality is horrible. That may have more to do with my aging ears but I'd rather blame it on the set.As a result I missed a lot of dialog toward the end and I couldn't figure out what the payoff for attending the party was for the Mayor and Governor. I felt as if an entire scene were missing between Dude and the officials. Did he turn in the mob boss he had been hauling around in the semi? Did he give himself up? Or was this just a Capra miracle that is never quite explained and we're to think that they were touched by Apple Annies story and wanted to do the right thing by her? I'm interested in what others with better viewing equipment took away from the end of this film.
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"The World's A Bright And Shiny Apple That's Mine, All Mine."
bkoganbing29 April 2007
Frank Capra got out of the directing feature film business right after Pocketful of Miracles, creating a symmetry of sorts in his career because this is a remake of Lady for a Day, his first film to garner any kind of award nominations. He felt that it was a mistake going into partnership with a star, in this case Glenn Ford because it meant yielding creative control of the product.

You never know what you get with collaborative efforts. It could be something like Gone With The Wind or Mister Roberts. Or it could be something as disastrous as Desire Me (go check my user comments on that one). Pocketful of Miracles falls somewhere in the middle of that. I still remember seeing it and enjoying it as a lad.

Originally Frank Capra wanted to do Pocketful of Miracles with Frank Sinatra with whom he had done good work in A Hole in the Head. Sinatra proved unavailable except to record the title song for a best selling record with a kid's choir.

Lady for a Day back in 1933 boasted the performance of May Robson as the disheveled Apple Annie who has the secret daughter in a convent school in Spain. All the panhandlers and street grifters chip in and support the girl who's about to marry into nobility. But she wants to visit her mother before the vows are taken. She thinks Robson is a society matron.

Stepping in and doing more than an adequate job in the remake is Bette Davis. Capra did put a curb on the Davis grand manner during her scenes as the apple seller in Depression era New York. And he gave her free reign as society matron, Mrs. Worthington Manley.

Robson got an Academy Award nomination for Lady for a Day. Pocketful of Miracles boasts an acting nomination itself in the Supporting Actor category. In this case for Peter Falk as Glenn Ford's second in command in his gang. Capra had nothing but praise for Falk as an actor in his memoirs. I agree, the man's range is astonishing, he's capable of a lot more than Lieutenant Columbo.

Capra gathered his usual outstanding group of identifiable supporting players including a few who've seen service with him before. This film marked the farewell performance of Thomas Mitchell who graced so many classic films for Frank Capra and others. He's wonderful as the smooth talking pool shark that Ford drafts into being Davis's husband.

One career ends, another begins; this was the debut film for Ann-Margret playing Davis's daughter. She even gets to sing to her intended, a rather stiff young actor named Peter Mann of whom little was heard after this. Both were given billing as being introduced in Pocketful of Miracles.

Both Lady for a Day and Pocketful of Miracles were based on a Damon Runyon short story and Runyon certainly lavished love on the Broadway characters he created. One of the problems I've always had with both versions of this story is that for all everyone's good intentions which surprise everyone, a fraud is being perpetrated here. Will there be a happily ever after ending when it's discovered?

I guess the moral of the story is that if you get enough VIPs involved in the fraud it's OK. That's not a great lesson to learn.

But when written by Damon Runyon and directed by Frank Capra it's not something we think about too much.
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a very feel good story
lyonstrings31 August 2006
I saw this movie in the theater when released originally. I find it a highly enjoyable movie. I liked seeing Glenn Ford out of the sagebrush. I though he was very credible. The too funny Peter Falk and Mickie Shaugnessey was a hoot. I generally have not been a fan of Bette Davis. In this movie role I felt she was highly believable in her portrayal. Ann-Margaret as the ingenue was fair enough. The usual cast of gangsters was the fine supporting cast as usual. I have always liked Thomas Mitchell. Here it is just another turn of his drunken, once great person down on his luck. Very much as pere O'Hara in GWTW.

The pairing of Capra doing his treatment of a Runyon story is a natural.

This movie is one of my fond memories of childhood movie going.
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Classic Capra fare with great cast and script.
plo-127 February 2002
I have sentimental attachments to this movie because it was the first one I saw in a theatre when I was a kid. But there are many more reasons why "A Pocketful Of Miracles" has a place in my heart. The story revolves around Dave The Dude (Glenn Ford), a gangster, who is connived into helping Apple Annie (Bette Davis), a down and out panhandler, into perpetuating an aristocratic facade to fool her daughter and fiancee. It is the wonderful script and the great character developments that make this movie. We come to feel for Apple Annie, even though we know she is a bum and a liar. And there's a soft spot for Dave The Dude in spite of his mobster dealings. We hope and pray he does the right thing.

Surrounded by a terrific supporting cast (in particular Peter Falk and Hope Lange), this movie weaves an almost fairy-tale like scenario. This is quite simply classic Capra fare that can
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