At this point in the Holiday season we have been watching our usual repertoire of Christmas movies we plan to watch. For me – I love to have it include watching Frank Capra’s movie “Pocketful of Miracles” (1961). The entire plot of the movie hinges on the results of our Bette Davis getting her hands on a letter (she has been corresponding for years) and what the news of the letter sets into motion.
Even while watching it today, (have seen it many times before) you see the Christmas decorations, the poinsettias, and at two different points Bette Davis will have Tchaikovsky playing in the scene. My favorite being the scene when the character Apple Annie (Bette Davis) is made beautiful and meets the Judge they play March (1892) from “The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a”, composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The late Peter Falk has some fantastic lines – so much so he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Ann-Margret made her screen debut in this movie. Glenn Ford was the winner of a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Bette Davis was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and Frank Capra was a nominee for Outstanding Directing Award by the Directors Guild of America. The butler played by Edward Everett Horton, and the Judge played by Thomas Mitchell are priceless. Hope Lange pulls off the makeover of the year on our Apple Annie character.
The scene where Bette has to go into the fancy hotel and ask to receive her letter is amazing – she has you feeling you are in her shoes, underdressed, knowing she doesn’t want to be in there but holding her ground to please let her have her letter that has arrived – all the while seeing poinsettias in the background amid very affluent hotel guests. The hotel did not now that for years they had an employee of theirs giving her their beautiful stationery so she could correspond – it is only because her friend has gotten fired that she has to go inside and ask for the letter herself. The hotel staff Manager upon hearing her pleas for help is kind is his trying to help – and to then have them both discover it has been ‘sent back’ she makes a dash to try to keep her letter getting sent back with “party not known” – well it strikes a chord.
“Pocketful of Miracles” Trailer” 1961
So why did they do it? It is truly a joy with the ending. I like to think of “Betty and David” years later happily married. And next year, we get to revisit them all again.
Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced today —
Reference to Tchaikovsky from “Pocketful of Miracles” (1961)
Image above of Bette Davis 2007 Bette Davis 42 cent U.S. Stamp Announcement 08-41
Image above of Frank Capra 2011 Forever U.S. Stamp from “24 Frames” Los Angeles Times August 11, 2011 “Director Frank Capra to be honored with U.S. postage stamp.
YouTube Pocketful Of Miracles Trailer 1961 posted by Video Detective