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The Miracle Woman

The Miracle Woman(1931)

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The film opens with the following quote and title: "Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing. . . Mat. VIII,15" and "The Miracle Woman is offered as a rebuke to anyone who, under the cloak of Religion, seeks to sell for gold, God's choicest gift to Humanity-- FAITH." In his autobiography, director Frank Capra states that the play Bless You Sister was inspired by the life of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Although the British magazine Kinematograph Weekly reported on December 31, 1931 that the film was "ready for immediate release," records of the British Board of Film Censors state that the film was "rejected" on October 26, 1931, confirming the statement Capra made in his autobiography that the picture was not released in Britain.
       Copyright material for the film states that the bust of the Miracle Woman, bought by "John Carson" in the film, was sculpted by popular thirties actor Richard Cromwell. The copyright material also notes that the tabernacle that was burned seated 25,000 people and had to be built outside Hollywood city limits for safety reasons. Although most contemporary reviews and modern sources list Russell Hopton's character as Dan Welford, in the film and one instance in the copyright material, he is called Bill Welford. Modern sources list the following additional cast: Ed Le Saint (Parishioner); Ivan Linow (Gunboat); John Kelly (Stagehand); Bud Osborne (Man in audience); Fred Warren (Pianist); Mary Doran (Party guest); Lorraine Hubbell and Mary Bracken. The treatment of evangelism and the climactic temple fire in The Miracle Woman are depicted in a similar fashion in the 1960 United Artists film Elmer Gantry, based on the book of the same name by Sinclair Lewis, which was directed by Richard Brooks and starred Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons.