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The Miracle of the Bells

The Miracle of the Bells(1948)


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  • miracle of the bells

    • kevin sellers
    • 12/24/15

    Tedious tear jerker about a dying film actress who gets her big break when the gal she's understudying for Joan of Arc is fired by the producer for being insufficiently patriotic. Yeah, it's 1948 and HUAC is just around the corner and so we're treated to a little right wing nationalism. I guess, if you're down with such drivel, then you'll embrace this film, like good ol Jeff did. I'm not and I didn't. Sad to see the great screenwriter Ben Hecht involved in this witch hunting crap. Additional reasons to agree with Leonard Maltin about the general awfulness of this film is the bad performance of Frank Sinatra, never less convincing than when he's doing the humble bit, and the general air of dulness and lack of sexual chemistry between Fred McMurray and Valli (with a ribbon) But then, you would not want your reactionary saints to be hot, now, would you? Give it a D. P.S. Ironically, the film's director, Irving Pichel, would have his career derailed a few years later for being, you guessed it, insufficiently patriotic.

  • A tribute to God and our exceptional nation

    • Jeff Boston
    • 12/23/15

    The assumed reasons for the paid critic's panning. What's "ludicrous" is a 1.5 star rating. I've seen hundreds of far worse flicks. MacMurray and Cobb are very good, as always. Young Sinatra was new to film, and predictably wooden, but I liked him as a humble priest. Valli fit the part well. This heartening film was made as the Iron Curtain was descending Eastern Europe into darkness, released 1 year before China was lost to man-over-God communism (and millions of deaths for not being communist enough) and 2 years before the onset of the Korean War. I love Cobb's line to the arrogant and condescending foreigner "You don't like me; that's alright. You don't like this country; that's not alright." And the Gov of PA issuing a proclamation for the bells to continue ringing. When's the last time you heard church bells ringing? Saint Michael figures prominently in this film, which does what he did - fights for God.

  • miracle of the bells

    • Crystal
    • 12/23/15

    This is a must see film for anyone who has or had dreams..Just because you might not make it someone does,an they do for you.I love this film.

  • Incredibly Awful(1948)

    • shepardn
    • 12/23/15

    "Miracle of the Bells" has to be seen to be understood. Incredibly awful film designed to evoke inspiration due to the loss of actress Olga(Alida Valli). Classified as a weeper this film defies explanation as Bill Dunnigan(Fred McMurray) attempts to secure Olgas memory by ringing the Coaltown bells for three days and having the film released she died making. Lee J. Cobb is the producer who refuses to release the film. Frank Sinatra stars as the local priest. The REAL miracle is that someone made THIS film. Hilarious death scene makes one want to drink even more. Merry Christmas. B & W 118 or 120 min run time. One star for ripping off Going My Way and Belles of St. Marys plots.

  • The miracle of the bells.

    • maureen hamel
    • 12/19/15

    I worked night shift and in order to stay awake I watched movies all night. I came across this move about 3 am. It was so moving, that I cried like a baby and thought about it for years. I finally found it in a Blockbuster movie bin for 99 cents. Maureen Hamel

  • Len Maltin doesn't know what he's talking about!

    • Lainie Ross
    • 12/3/14

    This is a very unusually beautiful movie, almost ethereal presence of Alida Valli, and perfect and moving performances by Sinatra and MacMurray. The movie stayed with us for days, the magical, spiritual aura was so unexpected, like finding a happy surprise in your Christmas stocking. I watched it twice. It's an offbeat, quirky movie, not predictable like the rest. It could have been a little shorter but no complaints.

  • Inspiring movie - on DVD!

    • Heidi
    • 10/4/14

    We stumbled onto this movie at Costco today and had to watch it. We were rewarded with a touching and inspiring film that we will watch again and again.

  • Such a beautiful movie

    • Dina G
    • 12/29/13

    This movie, as other reviewers have stated, used to be shown around Christmas for years. Then it disappeared from the TV screen. Fortunately for me, I had taped it on VHS, so I'm still able to watch it each Christmas. It really is a beautiful movie, well acted, and with a fine cast of characters. The simple, yet haunting song "Ever Homeward" by Jules Styne and Sammy Cahn, sung a capella by Frank Sinatra is, for me, one of the gems of this film. The story's message lingers on, long after the movie is over. Please, please, PLEASE -- won't someone release this treasure on DVD?

  • What a great movie

    • Tobra
    • 12/4/12

    Just saw this movie last weekend on Netflix. It was so good, that Valli is about the most beautiful woman who ever walked the Earth. It was a colorized version. The colorization seemed to get less distracting as the movie progressed, but seeing Frank Sinatra with green eyes was a bit unsettling. Fred MacMurray and Sinatra are better actors than I thought, Lee J Cobb is every bit as great as I thought he was.

  • Outstanding movie

    • Thomas Bunnow
    • 9/29/12

    My wife and I just watched this for the first time. I instantly looked to buy it on line as it is a fantastic gem of a find that deserves to be in any avid movie-buff's collection. What a shame to find it is not available...

  • need to see

    • Nan R
    • 3/22/12

    My husband and I have been waiting for years to get "The Miracle of the Bells", on vhs to begin with and now that vhs' are outdated, we are waiting to see it on dvd. It was always a tradition for us to watch it at Christmas time and now it's not shown at any time. Please bring it back and make it available for sale so we can keep our tradition going. We love this movie.

  • Do you Believe in Miracles?

    • Boguszewski
    • 1/11/12

    This movie is based on a true story in a small coal town"Glen Lyon" PA, as a child I was told that this actress did die in this manner is indeed is buried at St. Michael's Cemetery up on the hill, I have seen her grave. St. Michaels was the church where most of the polish coal mining community went to church, always looked down upon by the more elaborate church in town, St. Adalberts "Leos in the film" The whole concept of the film is based on having a better life, and making life better for those we leave behind. Whether or not this miracle really occurred I never heard for sure, but the fact that she was able to go and make something of herself from a small town USA gives everyone HOPE! St Micheals was torn down not too many years ago, and a smaller catholic church has also closed due to a lack of money, some of the community tried to save St. Micheals from being torn down, but St. Adalberts prevailed. The two Polish Roman Catholic parishes, Saint Adalbert's and Saint Michael's were founded in the late nineteenth century. Things really have not changed much in the past 100 years.(I cherish 2 bricks)News Article:Glen Lyon church will fall to wrecking ball in March By Debby Higgins , Citizens' Voice Staff Writer 02/21/2004 When the wrecking ball crashes into St. Michael the Archangel Church, Glen Lyon, a small part of its history will remain to tell its story. The brick church that sits on a hill in Glen Lyon will fall to the wrecking ball in March.Despite its history and integral role in the religious community, a lack of funding, shortage of priests and a declining number of parishioners led to the church's closing and pending demolition. A parish community committee made the decision."These are helpful, loving people. It was not easy for them to let their church be razed," said the Rev. Jacek Bailkowski, parish priest. The church was made famous by the 1948 movie, "The Miracles of the Bells." The film, which starred Frank Sinatra, Lee J. Cobb and Fred McMurray.

  • Miracle of the bells

    • Victoria Vandervest
    • 12/9/11

    Fantastic movie!! Why oh why don't they release this on DVD? I have been waiting for years and my VHS is almost worn out.

  • Where to start.

    • Godzilla 97
    • 8/9/11

    Make sure to bring along lots of Kleenix before watching this one. Also barf bags. Where to start... How about Frank Sinatra. As a priest. Fred MacMurray as a hot shot Hollywood press agent who falls for the doomed Alida Valli, who plays a Polish (?) Joan of Arc in her debut/swan song film, before succumbing to Ali McGraw Syndrome In her final movie-within-a-movies scene when she gives her Joan of Arc speech before being set aflame, one can almost hear the extras pleading for some lighter fluid. In the end all comes out neatly. She is still dead, but everybody has found God due to a very convenient miracle and Frank Sinatra is almost ready for Sainthood himself, having practised his beatific expression for the entire time he is on screen.

  • " THE" Christmas movie to watch!

    • Noel
    • 10/27/09

    THis is one of those movies that wereonce very popularly shown at the holidays,but have disappeared again. It's a shame,because while this is not a "great" movie,it does have some fine acting, an inter-esting plot line, and a particulary touching subplot and scene of the trialof Joan of Arc, that is impressively played by Valli. I've always enjoyed thismovie since I saw it as a teenager, andfor me, this is "THE" Christmas movie that I watch every year. Thankfully, I own a copy!

  • Why not?

    • John Doro
    • 11/22/08

    I had read this book when I was in HighSchool and a few years later started see-ing it on TV (pre VCR days). I've alwaysbeen an old movie buff and always loved watching this movie. A few weeks ago Iwas shopping in a supermarket and stopped by their discount movie bin. "Evil RoySlade" caught my eye, a made for TV moviethat I only saw once, but never forgot it.As I browse DVD sections of stores I seemovies I never heard of. If they can popthese out, why not Miracle of the Bells.I'm sure if people see this it might justcatch their eye. Give it a shot. Thanksfor listening.


    • janice korynta
    • 10/2/08

    I saw this movie many years ago and would like to see it again. There are many people who would enjoy this movie if they could only see it. EXCELLANT> Deserves to be seen again and again.

  • simply memorable

    • terri binder
    • 12/5/07

    beautifully written,watched it once and it touched me so, will never forget it,will love to own it, if it becomes available on home video

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