37 user 10 critic

The Miracle of the Bells (1948)

Approved | | Drama | 27 March 1948 (USA)
Granting her final request, a Hollywood press agent brings the dead body of an actress, who died after making her first and only film, back to her hometown for burial. To arouse public ... See full summary »


Irving Pichel


Russell Janney (novel), Ben Hecht (screen play) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Fred MacMurray ... Bill Dunnigan
Alida Valli ... Olga (as Valli)
Frank Sinatra ... Father Paul
Lee J. Cobb ... Marcus Harris (as Lee Cobb)
Harold Vermilyea ... Orloff
Charles Meredith ... Father Spinsky
James Nolan ... Tod Jones (as Jim Nolan)
Veronica Pataky Veronica Pataky ... Anna Klovna
Philip Ahn ... Ming Gow
Frank Ferguson ... Dolan
Frank Wilcox ... Dr. Jennings


Granting her final request, a Hollywood press agent brings the dead body of an actress, who died after making her first and only film, back to her hometown for burial. To arouse public interest, and to get the reluctant studio head to release the film, he asks all the local churches to ring their bells for three days. Written by Albert Sanchez Moreno <a.moreno@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Producer Jesse L. Lasky sought approval from the Catholic Church of Frank Sinatra before casting him as Father Paul. The church had no objections. See more »


In the street scene toward the end of the movie, there are shadows of those walking in the foreground and no shadows of those in the distance. Obviously created by scene lighting, and not natural sunlight. See more »


Olga: Bill, how can I ever repay you?
Bill Dunnigan: By knocking 'em dead!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are listed in the pages of a book with a front cover 'Russell Janney's The Miracle of the Bells'. See more »


References Joan of Arc (1948) See more »


Polish folk song written by Kasimierz Lubomirski
Sung a cappella by Alida Valli in Polish
See more »

User Reviews

Stranger Than Fiction and Funnier Too
25 December 2007 | by filmquestintSee all my reviews

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but the fact that this film may be based on a true story makes the whole thing insaner than it really is. The dialogue alone may have you roaring in the aisles. Frank Sinatra as a priest with a priestly voice even sings a song and Fred McMurray towering over Sinatra as he stands next to him tries to act convinced and at times he almost succeeds. The one remarkable feature here is Alida Valli or as she was billed "Valli" trying to sell her as the new Garbo. She is stunningly beautiful. You wouldn't guess it for her performance here but she went on to star for Luchino Visconti in "Senso" and years later for Bernardo Bertolucci in "The Spider's Stratagem" What she's asked to do here is virtually impossible. To makes us care, let alone believe in what she's suppose to be telling us and yet, there is something, don't ask me what but something, that makes "The Miracle Of The Bells" a guilty pleasure of major proportions.

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Release Date:

27 March 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Russell Janney's The Miracle of the Bells See more »

Filming Locations:

Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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