Pocketful of Miracles

You have to see it to belove it
You have to see it to belove it


D: Frank Capra

United Artists/Franton (Frank Capra)

US 1961

136 mins




W: Hal Kanter & Harry Tugend [based on the screenplay "Lady For A Day" by Robert Riskin]

DP: Robert Bronner

Ed: Frank P. Keller

Mus: Walter Scharf

PD: Hal Pereira & Roland Anderson

Cos: Edith Head & Walter Plunkett


Bette Davis (Apple Annie / Mrs. E. Worthington Manville), Glenn Ford (Dave 'The Dude' Conway), Hope Lange (Elizabeth 'Queenie' Martin), Arthur O'Connell (Count Alfonso Romero), Peter Falk (Joy Boy)


Frank Capra remakes his own 1933 film 'Lady For A Day' for a 1960's audience.  A gangster, feeling that his luck is taking a downward slide, assists in the creation of an illusion that a penniless apple seller is a lady of wealth for the visit of her long-lost daughter, engaged to a Spanish nobleman. 

The opening act of this remake does tend to drag, leading to the film to feel overlong, but the technical aspects such as cinematography, art direction, costumes and makeup are very good. The performances are also great, though it's Peter Falk who steals the show as a gangster henchman, providing some welcome comic relief.  The story itself is typical of the self-indulgent fantasies that Frank Capra built his name on, and though it does seem whimsical and old-fashioned by modern standards, this was pure guilty-pleasure escapism for the time of original release.


Bette Davis in Pocketful of Miracles
Bette Davis in Pocketful of Miracles