6.7/10
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33 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 »

Director:

Irving Pichel

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 31, 1948 with Fred MacMurray, Frank Sinatra and Alida Valli reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 »

Connections

Featured in From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
(Played on a juke box at Ming Gow's restaurant on Christmas Eve)
See more »

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User Reviews

When all you need is a Miracle
23 December 2003 | by tanysareSee all my reviews

I discovered this movie about ten years ago, on TV. The next day, a co-worker asked if I had watched it; I said yes, and we both agreed we had been moved by it. For my co-worker, this was not surprising; she was a Catholic. But for me, a Jewish semi-secular humanist, it was odd to admit I had felt something close to faith because of a late-40s studio picture. The message of "The Miracle of the Bells" is that regardless of one's faith, there is the possibility of hope. The goodness that exists in human beings is not brought out by rigid observance to rules, but by acts of kindness and understanding. I don't want to say how this comes about or whether there really is a miracle in the Biblical sense. That is for viewers to find out. But the film brings tears to my eyes. Alida Valli is amazing-watch her face, her eyes, especially in the sequences where she plays Joan of Arc-she seems lit from within by faith. I love the scene in the Chinese restaurant, a scene of friendship and love. I wish this movie, like its heroine, was more well-known. I try to help it along by mentioning it whenever I can as one of those little gems, a quiet picture that may make you think, a nice example of Hollywood fantasy films of the 1940s, and a movie that will help you feel better if you feel down.I know I just rented it for that reason.


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