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The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

Unrated | | Comedy, Fantasy | 19 February 1937 (USA)
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
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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:

H.G.' Wells 'spectacular mystery story of mindsmashing, 20,000 wondrous thrills. 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

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

Theatrical movie debut of Michael Rennie (San Francisco Cop). See more »

Goofs

In the final scene in the pub, Fotheringay is shown with his hands on the bar as another patron addresses him, but in the next immediate shot, his right hand is up to his cheek. See more »

Quotes

Maggie Hooper: Oh Mr. Fotheringay, you're a healer. You've got the gift of healing.
George McWhirter Fotheringay: It ain't everything I've got.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Bruce Almighty (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very thought-provoking
4 January 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a nice little film that I'd never heard about but should have, as it's a nice little film. In many ways it's a lot like the "Twilight Zone" episode with Burgess Meredith where aliens give him extraordinary strength as an experiment. Here, however, angelic beings are talking in the heavens and one of them decides to pick a random person on Earth and give them practically limitless power--to see what effect this would have on the person and planet.

Ordinary Roland Young (sporting a toupee) is the guy chosen for this gift. However, unlike what you'd expect, he is slow to exploit this power and only does mostly simple tricks with it at the beginning. However, when it comes to making bigger changes in his life and to the planet, he's hesitant and seeks out advice from respected members of the community on what to do with his powers. One, a vicar, wants Young to do good with the power--but what, exactly, should this be and what are the repercussion? Another, played wonderfully by Ralph Richardson, is a pompous caricature of an English "gentleman" and wants Young to use his powers to kick butt! Others have various ideas and ultimately Young gets in well over his head.

Overall, the film is quite funny (particular in Richardson's scenes) as well as thought-provoking--an interesting combination. It makes you wonder what you might do if given god-like powers. An interesting portrait of human nature and our obvious foibles.


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