REVIEW: Pocketful of Miracles (1961)

Film Review 42
 
Title: Pocketful of Miracles
Release Year: 1961
Genre: Comedy & Drama
Cast: Bette Davis & Glenn Ford
Plot: A gangster transforms a beggar into a socialite after she learned that her daughter is marrying royalty.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️_



Review: Rasha and I both love Ford and Davis so we were very happy to find that they had made yet another film together. Unlike "A Stolen Life", this film is a comedy but it still has elements of drama.
This is a remake of "Lady For A Day", 1933, also directed by Frank Capra which I have not seen.

Bette Davis plays "Apple Annie", a beggar woman who sells apples in the streets but earns most of her profits from a superstitious gangster "Dave The Dude" (Glenn Ford) who thinks her apples are lucky.
Over the years she's been sending her daughter - who has been living in Spain - all the money she'd earned. When she learned that her daughter is bringing her future husband and his father to visit her in New York, she fell into a depressive state.
Now the only way "The Dude" could get his lucky Apple a day was to help her, so the New York gangsters and beggars joined hands to trick her daughter and in-laws into believing Apple Annie is a society lady.


 


Katherine Hepburn and Helen Hayes amongst others were considered for the role of "Annie" but turned it down. I think Bette Davis was much more suitable for it than they.
Davis was exceptional as usual but I was hoping we'd see more of her beggar personality after her transformation. Unfortunately it felt like it was a totally different person. I get that she was supposed to be scared to be found out but in certain scenes with the gangsters or beggars, I think she could've been less worrisome. Especially that in front of her, everything seemed to run smoothly because everyone hid any complications.
I felt that Davis was in a supporting role!

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Kirk Douglas, Jackie Gleason & Steve McQueen were considered for the role of "Dave" but after it was turned down, Ford was cast. He then took care of production.
Ford was hilarious! I loved his character so much. All I've ever seen him in were dramatic roles but I wasn't surprised that he did just as well in a comedic role.




Peter Falk as the gangster's sidekick was Oscar-worthy! He is one of my favourite supporting actors because anything he does or say makes me laugh like a monkey. He was an integral part of this film.

Thomas Mitchell as Annie's fake husband was as he always is in any of his films; witty and charming. This was his last film and he did wonderfully for his career!

I was so happy to see Edward Everett Horton again because after the 1940s, he switched to television except for one film in the 1950s I think. I wonder how people at the time reacted to seeing him on the screen again. I felt like I was seeing an old friend even though I didn't live through all that hehe

Capra wanted Shirley Jones for the part of Queenie (Dave's girlfriend) but instead Ford chose Hope Lange because she was his girlfriend at the time...unfortunately for us - not that Capra's choice was any better.
Lange slightly ruined the film for me. I wish they had casted someone big for the role, it was a stupid move by Ford. He reminded me of Citizen Kane, when he forced everyone to accept his wife as an opera singer when she obviously couldn't hit a note.
I know it's a comedy and obviously nobody's supposed to be so realistic but Lange did the most unrealistic acting of all. She never made me forget she was acting. I didn't like her at all and anyway she wasn't fit to be in a starring role. She's the only cast member they could've done without.

As for all the character actors, they were great. It was like watching a cartoon.

I enjoyed the film because it had a top-notch cast and a wonderful fairytale story. Plus they kept playing Tchaikovsky's "None But The Lonely Hearts", Rasha's favourite song hehe

The film could easily be on my Christmas films list!

Comments

  1. I love Bette Davis and Glenn Ford and I was hoping to see them as romantic interests in this one. I thought he was the one who was going to act as her husband but was disappointed when he wasn’t. Maybe if Hope Lange wasn’t the lead actress then the fact that Bette and Glenn weren’t love interests wouldn’t bother me as much.
    All the choices for Dave the dude were great choices, and I’m sure it would’ve been hilarious if Jackie Gleason was cast, but I’m more than happy with Glenn Ford’s performance. I’m sure you would’ve given it a 5/5 if it wasn’t for Hope Lange...

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    Replies
    1. Exactly how I felt! Yes Hope Lange was behind the lost star for this film. It's a shame because I really laughed so much watching it but she kept appearing on the screen hahahhaha

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    2. Haha yes, the moment I she appeared I knew she was going to ruin it.

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