Bette Davis' guttersnipe perhaps too easily transforms into a regal lady but she is wonderful here no matter. Secondly,there is absolutely top-notch cast,most of the actors make truly memorable performances except for Peter Mann,who was rather stiff. And he did it exceptionally. Existing in a Damon Runyon universe this charmer has only the most ephemeral touch in common with the real world but is that necessarily what you watch a Frank Capra movie for?. And, the last scene with Bette Davis can't say more for fear of divulging too much is a marvel.
There might have been some problems on the set between Miss Bette Davis Apple Annie and Glenn Ford Big Duke , but that didn't, thank heaven, ruin the movie. I also thought the ending was slightly rushed and I really wanted to see more of what happened to Apple Annie and the others. And that's a shame, because despite its unnecessary length, leisurely pacing, and an extraneous subplot, 'Pocketful of Miracles' remains an endearing, amusing, and heartwarming bit of light entertainment that's nicely played by a colorful cast and imbued with Capra's inimitable optimistic spirit. The people Apple Annie hangs out with are other street vendors who are social misfits of various sorts; but, they have one thing in common: poverty. Meanwhile, the police, the comissioner, the governor, and mayor are hot on the job to track down missing reporters kinapped by the Dude.
As I indicated, there are many unique features to it. I, personally, would recommend this film as highly as I would Lady For a Day. In addition, 'Pocketful of Miracles' is very pleasing to the eyes. Filming was completed in late June 1961, and Capra painfully struggled to get through the post-production period. However, from looking online, I see that Lady for a Day runs a mere hour and a half, compared to this film's bloated two and a quarter hours. Affable small-time hood Dave the Dude Glenn Ford , however, only looks out for number one, and hopes a hotshot mob kingpin from Chicago Sheldon Leonard will let him run the New York arm of his massive crime syndicate and thus gain the notoriety he's always craved. Dave buys an apple from Annie every day believing it gives him luck.
A 'Pocketful of Miracles' is more of a fairy tale comedy. 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. The material is based on a Damon Runyon story, quite the character who knew all about Broadway, the high society and the low life. I agree that Lady for a day is a great,memorable film,special in many ways. All these elements should make this film an unforgettable experience,and not just a film you watch for fun no classic film lover should watch films just for fun.
Mary Robson was wonderful as the first Apple Annie. Pocketful of Miracles is a must-see for any Capra lover,classic film lover in general,and for all the people who still believe in miracles. Glenn Ford is quite good. Before Bette Davis accepted the role, Shirley Booth was Capra's first choice for boozy as well as brassy Apple Annie. Trouble now is that Ann is getting engaged to a count and they're coming to New York to look mom over.
Rating: This was Frank Capra's swan song as a producer-director, and although it was not well received upon initial release, it's still a good movie with some outstanding performances. I have always liked Thomas Mitchell. Runyon's oddball guys and dolls, but their is dated and sometimes uneven and listless. Fortunately, for him, the film has anything but that kind of ending. Because of Ford's involvement with the financing of the film, Capra refused to intervene in any of the disagreements between the two stars, but he suffered blinding and frequently incapacitating headaches as a result of the stress. It is wrong to say that this film doesn't make you think after seeing it-it is much more than just a morality story,with tastefully and artistically presented characters. As a result I missed a lot of dialog toward the end and I couldn't figure out what the payoff for attending the party was for the Mayor and Governor.
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. Interesting enough, this crowd pleaser works quite well. The direction is flawless,as usual when Capra is in charge. Then approached Capra with an offer to help finance the film through his production company if he was cast as the lead. Annie admits to Dave that she has exaggerated about her life in the letters that she has written to her daughter, so Dave, with the assistance of his moll, Queenie Martin Hope Lange decide they are going to make Annie appear like a queen for her daughter's visit. When Dave keeps postponing a meeting with an extremely powerful gangster to help Annie, his right-hand man Joy Boy becomes increasingly exasperated.
She seemed to be a pathetic character, a product of misfortune and the times. Runyonesque era films rarely interest me. Most take a tight narrative and make it tedious, balloon the budget, and slather on a thick coating of gloss, but bigger and shinier is rarely better, and most of these bloated productions collapse under their own weight. Peter Falk received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his hilarious performance as Joy Boy, Dave's stooge. While the off-kilter rhythm certainly doesn't help, miscasting is the film's greatest weakness. The story is set in the 1930's, the cars are of that era but the automobile following in the back window looks like a 1950 Cadillac! The big screen debut of Ann-Margaret. Annie has led her daughter to believe that she is living a life of wealth and luxury.
I generally have not been a fan of Bette Davis. It's too bad that there were personality conflicts between some of the actors, and that Capra had to endure the infighting. Her change of heart towards Annie is wonderful. Did he turn in the mob boss he had been hauling around in the semi? 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. Enjoy it, warts and all. The director felt Ford was wrong for the part but out of desperation he agreed to the arrangement, which called for each of them to receive 37½ percent of the film's profits. Here, Capra produced and directed the remake with an independent company set up for that purpose.
The remake is rather brash and a little dragging in places when compared to the original, nevertheless still an entertaining and fun film. All along Apple Annie's been writing her daughter on stationary from an upper-crusty city apartment complex, in order to pretend that she's a well-to-do lady. Glenn Ford and the late Hope Lange in a comedy with Bette Davis taking a supporting role. It was, in fact, the second screen version of the story directed by him. Billy Wilder,his mentor Ernst Lubitsch and of course,Frank Capra. Bette Davis is excellent as is Glenn Ford and Thomas Mitchell. This is another wonderful Frank Capra's magic movie.