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The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

An ordinary man suddenly finds that anything he says comes true. Or at least, almost anything.

Directors:

Lothar Mendes, Alexander Korda (uncredited)

Writers:

H.G. Wells (scenario), H.G. Wells (dialogue)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roland Young ... George McWhirter Fotheringay
Ralph Richardson ... Colonel Winstanley
Edward Chapman ... Major Grigsby
Ernest Thesiger ... Maydig
Joan Gardner ... Ada Price
Sophie Stewart Sophie Stewart ... Maggie Hooper
Robert Cochran Robert Cochran ... Bill Stoker
Lady Tree Lady Tree ... Grigsby's Housekeeper
Lawrence Hanray Lawrence Hanray ... Mr. Bamfylde
George Zucco ... The Colonel's Butler
Wallace Lupino Wallace Lupino ... Constable Winch (as Wally Lupino)
Joan Hickson ... Effie
Wally Patch Wally Patch ... Supt. Smithells
Mark Daly Mark Daly ... Toddy Beamish
George Sanders ... Indifference
Edit

Storyline

George McWhirter Fotheringay, while vigorously asserting the impossibility of miracles, suddenly discovers that he can perform them. After being thrown out of a bar for what is thought to be a trick, he tests his powers and eventually sends a policeman to Hades by accident. Worried, he sends the police officer to San Francisco, and seeks advice from the local clergyman, Mr Maydig. Maydig, after having Fotheringay's powers demonstrated to him, quickly planning for reform of the world by means of miracle, but eventually Fotheringay orders a miracle which, due to clumsy wording, backfires. He relinquishes his power and returns to the time before he had it. Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Modern Aladdin Who Could make Women Do Things! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

H.G. Wells' The Man Who Could Work Miracles See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Noiseless Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a painting over Mr. Maydig's (Ernest Thesiger's) fireplace of the interior of a Greek style palace. Later, Mr. Fotheringay's (Roland Young's) transformation of Colonel Winstanley's (Sir Ralph Richardson's) house into a palace looks pretty much like the one in the painting. See more »

Goofs

In the conversation with Maydig down by the river, Fotheringay places his cane on the log and rests his hands on it and also takes his cane off the log. There are several discrepancies in the relative positions of Fotheringay, Maydig and the cane in the cuts between these shots. There are also shots of each character by himself which it would be impossible to take if they were actually in the positions shown in the wider shots. See more »

Quotes

George McWhirter Fotheringay: You just stand there looking lovely, until I notice you!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a background of outer space. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Boxcar Bertha (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Exploration of moral dilemmas
26 January 2010 | by alasdair7See all my reviews

The film, almost seventy five years after its release as this review is written, still provides a dilemma that could be endlessly discussed on the human condition.

A man is given unlimited power by three deities as they look down on the earth. The mind of Wells is highly visible as the plot develops.

It is approached in a tongue in cheek manner and the special effects of the time must have been very labor intensive in relation to the genius of todays computer graphics.

The moral questions could employ any philosopher in endless discussion. A relatively young Ralph Richardson portraying an old character gives us a glimpse into the early career of a classic British actor.

In a strange way it is a kind of feel good movie and very thought provoking. It may also intrigue the present day viewer as they consider the possibility of the cinema goer in the 1930s wondering how the camera tricks were performed.


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