The Miracle Woman
|The Miracle Woman|
theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Frank Capra|
|Produced by||Harry Cohn|
|Written by||Dorothy Howell (continuity)|
|Screenplay by||Jo Swerling|
Bless You Sister|
by John Meehan and Robert Riskin
|Edited by||Maurice Wright|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
The Miracle Woman is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, and Sam Hardy. Based on the play Bless You Sister by John Meehan and Robert Riskin, the film is about a preacher's daughter who becomes disillusioned by the mistreatment of her dying father by his church. Having grown cynical about religion, she teams up with a con man and performs fake miracles for profit. The love and trust of a blind man, however, restores her faith in God and her fellow man. The Miracle Woman was the second of five film collaborations between Capra with Stanwyck. Produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures, the film was reportedly inspired by the life of Aimee Semple McPherson.
Florence Fallon (Barbara Stanwyck) is outraged when her minister father is fired after many years of selfless service to make way for a younger man. She tells the congregation what she thinks of their ingratitude. Her bitter, impassioned speech impresses Bob Hornsby (Sam Hardy), who convinces her to become a phony preacher for the donations they can squeeze out of gullible believers. She builds up a devoted national following. Then she meets a blind John Carson (David Manners), falls in love, and the sham comes tumbling down.
- Barbara Stanwyck as Florence Fallon
- David Manners as John Carson
- Sam Hardy as Bob Hornsby
- Beryl Mercer as Mrs Higgins
- Russell Hopton as Bill Welford
- Charles Middleton as Simpson
- Eddie Boland as Collins
- Thelma Hill as Gussie
The film shares themes with other Capra films, namely Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town in that the central character gives up power and fortune for the sake of their principles. What is different here is the gender roles are reversed, with the main character being a woman who is supported by the man who loves her.
- Capra, Frank (1971). The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography. New York: Macmillan. pp. 130–134. ISBN 978-0306807718.
- McBride, Joseph (1992). Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 228–230. ISBN 978-0671734947.
- The Miracle Woman at the Internet Movie Database
- The Miracle Woman at the TCM Movie Database
- The Miracle Woman at AllMovie