Starring Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange, Thomas Mitchell, Peter Falk, Ann-Margret, Arthur O’Connell, Edward Everett Horton
(7-Very Good Film)
Sentimental. Appealing. Long.
Frank Capra was one of Hollywood’s best filmmakers. His sentimental style might not appeal to those inclined to be cynical, but for anyone else, his filmography is full of truly great classics. His last film, Pocketful of Miracles falls short of his best work but will make you smile, and it’s wonderful to see the cast of old Hollywood greats together decades after most of their work: Thomas Mitchell (in his final role), Edward Everett Horton, and Bette Davis. Davis stars as Apple Annie, a vagrant street merchant favored by slick gangster, Dave the Dude (Ford). Dave is superstitious and believes that Annie’s apples bring him luck. Because of this superstition, he’s inclined to help her, and so when her somewhat estranged daughter plans to visit, Annie asks Dave to help her pretend to be a great lady; to impress her daughter. This is a fine premise for a Capra comedy, and, in fact, he made this film twice-Lady for a Day (1933). Pocketful of Miracles is a beautiful production with plenty of moving moments and a fantastic cast. It runs slightly overlong at 2 hours and 20 minutes and isn’t as funny as it is warm-hearted.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-