Superbly directed by the peerless Frank Capra, this remake of Lady For A Day is pure Hollywood magican unforgettable combination of comedy, whimsy and romance that was nominated* for three OscarsÂ(r)! Impoverished Broadwa... more »y peddler Apple Annie (Bette Davis) has a problem. Her daughter, Louise (Ann-Margret), educated abroad since infancy, is coming for a visit and bringing her wealthy fiancĂ(c) with her. The problem is that Louise has believed all her life that Annie's a wealthydowager, and the poor old woman doesn't know what to do! Enter Dave the Dude (Glenn Ford)a big-hearted racketeerwho enlists the aid of his colorful mob of hooligans in a wild and crazy schemeto pass Annie off as a high-society grande dame so Louise can marry her fairy-tale prince and everyone can live happily ever after! *1961: Supporting Actor (Peter Falk), Song, Costume Design« less
Love this movie. Saw it the first time on TV when I was a kid. All the actors are great (except maybe the guy playing the son of the Count), but the supporting actors are hilarious, just love them. And the script is a winner, great one-liners. A must see in my opinion. I watch it every Christmas.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
This film has aged quite well.
John M. Caffey | Marina Del Rey, CA United States | 08/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Capra didn't have kind words to say about this, his last feature film. Blinding headaches, a star/producer out of control, his memoirs reflect an experience which soured him on directing completely. Given that, and the lukewarm box office, Pocketful of Miracles has always been considered the ugly stepchild of the Capra cannon, especially when compared to his first version, Lady For A Day. But what a pleasure this film is, almost 40 years later. If you are familiar with Capra's films, you'll recognize many of the supporting actors, three from It's A Wonderful Life, such as Ellen Corby (Grandma on The Waltons,) who played one of George Bailey's depositors, Sheldon Leonard (in a cameo as Darcey the mob boss) who played bartender Nick @ Martini's and Thomas Mitchell who was George's Uncle Billy (also Scarlett's father Gerald O' Hara in Gone with the Wind.) Capra's wove the fabric of life into his films with his supproting cast, and he does much the same here. Peter Falk is great as Junior, deservedly winning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Also look for the fabulous Edward Everett Horton as the butler. While Bette Davis is given little to do in the second half, and while Glenn Ford and Hope Lange tend to the hammy, it is still Capra and there are many pleasures to be had. You may even find a tear in your eye at the end, for there is plenty of Capra corn. Indulge and enjoy! They truly don't make 'em like this anymore."
Capra revists his "Lady"
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 05/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES is a perfectly-acceptable update of LADY FOR A DAY. Frank Capra revisits the material with an amazing cast headed by Glenn Ford and Bette Davis (playing against her usual screen persona) as `Apple Annie' herself.
The story concerns the colourful apple-seller Annie, who has managed to send her daughter Louise (Ann-Margret in her movie debut) to an expensive overseas boarding school. Now the time has come that Louise is to be married (to a member of the Spanish nobility, no less) so Annie turns to her oldest customer `Dave the Dude' (Glenn Ford) to help her out. Dave turns Annie into the worldly and rich Mrs Worthington-Manville, so that Louise will not be ashamed of the poor apple-seller that her mother really is.
Bette Davis and Glenn Ford are marvellous as Annie and Dave. The entire cavalcade of Damon Runyon characters is perfectly-realised: Hope Lange as Queenie Martin, Peter Falk as Joy Boy and Mickey Shaughnessy as Junior all add great dimensions to their well-defined characters. Also featuring Arthur O'Connell, Thomas Mitchell, Sheldon Leonard and Peter Mann.
The DVD presents the film in 4:3 ratio letterbox."
Charming, tender, funny, and very touching!
Josh P. | 12/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Pocketful of Miracles" was Frank Capra's last motion picture he directed. For a last picture for him, I think it is quite a masterpiece. This is a remake of the 1933 movie "Lady For A Day" which Capra directed then. Bette Davis is wonderful as Apple Annie, a boozy street peddlar whose best customer is gangster leader Dave the Dude (Glenn Ford) who thinks her apples bring him luck. His flashy girlfriend Queenie Martin (Hope Lange) thinks otherwise, and the Dude can't keep her out of his hair. Peter Falk plays on his sidekicks named Joy Boy, and Mickey Shaugnessey (Elvis' costar in "Jailhouse Rock") plays the Dude's other sidekick and chauffeur Junior. They all help Apple Annie a.k.a. Mrs. E. Worthington Manville prepare for her daughter (Ann-Margret) to come from Spain to visit with a Spanish count (Arthur O'Connell) and his son (Peter Mann). They announce that she will marry the count's son, and will give a reception. The Dude, Queenie, Joy Boy, Junior, and Apple Annie's temporary "husband" Judge Blake painstakingly round up the gang members of the dude and Queenie's chorus girls to try to impersonate officials and attend the reception. Meanwhile, the police, the comissioner, the governor, and mayor are hot on the job to track down missing reporters kinapped by the Dude. (We all know even though their tied up, Dude's still kind-hearted underneath). They're in a jam, when Queenie's nightclub is surrounded by cops. Dude makes a deal with the comissioner. What ends up happening is, the governor and mayor get word and the people at the coincidental party for the mayor show up miraculously for Annie's reception. At the end, it shows, Louise (Ann-Margret), the count and son Carlos leaving to go back to Spain where the two will get married. This is a real fanciful scene there. It's a real great classic everyone will enjoy."
A forgotten Christmas charmer.
R. Christenson | Pine, CO USA | 12/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What do you get when you mix Frank Capra, Damon Runyon, Glenn Ford and Bette Davis? Just a pockeful of miracles that includes the first great performances of Peter Falk (Columbo) and Ann-Margret (Bye Bye Birdie) and the last great performances of Edward Everett Horton (Top Hat) and Thomas Mitchell (Gone With The Wind). Ford plays Dave The Dude, a depression era (post prohibition) racketeer dominating New York city by sheer luck - luck from the charmed apples he purchases from and old beggar, Apple Annie (Bette Davis), who's been corresponding with her estranged daughter (Ann-Margret) in Spain, impressing the girl with a phony return address at a ritzy hotel. But luck's running out as Annie receives news of her daughter's impending visit with her fiance and his royal father, a Duke (Arthur O'Connell). Annie's at her wit's end with dread of exposing her true self to the young couple, and hits the bottle as The Dude's about to make the deal of his life with a Chicago mob boss (Sheldon Leonard), and if things go wrong for Annie, they can't go right for Dave The Dude. It's a group of beggars and The Dude's girl (Hope Lange) that suggest Annie must be put up in a penthouse suite during the Duke's visit. The story takes on a sort of Cinderella aspect and romantic charm as the thugs, beggars and servants help transform Annie a la My Fair Lady, with the help of the penthouse butler (Edward Everett Horton) and a shady judge (Thomas Mitchell) to play her husband. This was sort of a comeback and transitional role for Davis, absent from Hollywood movies in the late fifties. Falk is at his funniest as the Dude's top thug, with some great one-liners that must be heard in context. The cast is tremendous and studded with familiar faces like Hayden Rorke (Dr. Bellows on I Dream Of Jeannie), Mike Mazurki, Jerome Cowan (the D.A. on Miracle On 34th Street), John Litel (who played Nancy Drew's father), Barton MacLane, Frank Ferguson, Ellen Corby (Grandma Walton), Jack Elam, and even young Grace Lee Whitney in an uncredited bit (she was Yeoman Rand on Star Trek). Pocketful of Miracles is a Christmas movie in the sense that it takes place during the Holiday season, with Christmas music, Santa Claus, etc. in the background, especially The Nutcracker Suite is used very effectively in some of Bette Davis's scenes."
Stanislaus M. Stewart | 03/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just love this movie, the comedy, the acting-especially that of Bette Davis.I bought the DVD version of only to discover that an important scene is missing from it-the part when the Governor, Mayor, Police Commisioner ,and the Governor's party decided to rescue Apple Annie and go to her party. That's a nice heart-warming scene and they should not have taken it out. Stan."