Miracle on Main Street


1h 18m 1939

Brief Synopsis

On Christmas Eve in the Spanish quarter of L.A. police try and arrest a couple running a shady floor show. Hiding in a church, the girl finds an abandoned baby and uses it as cover to escape capture. Thus she finds herself with a baby she is becoming ever more fond of, a helpful doctor himself too fond of the bottle, and a husband who has disappeared. Dare she try and change her ways and keep the child?

Film Details

Also Known As
El milagro de la Calle Mayor
Release Date
Oct 29, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Arcadia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Los Angeles--Olvera Street, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

Maria Porter, a striptease dancer in a carnival side show in the Mexican quarter of Los Angeles, is unhappily married to Dick, a carnival barker with a criminal nature. Attempting to drum up business on Christmas Eve, the pair try to rob an undercover policeman disguised as a lecherous drunk, and when the officer announces that they are under arrest, they flee. Maria joins a crowd entering a church, where she finds an abandoned infant in the Christ child's manger. As a disguise, she picks up the baby and carries it to her boardinghouse. To avoid the police, Dick leaves Maria to fend for herself and disappears. The deserted Maria is helped by Dr. Miles and her landlady, Mrs. Herman, and soon finds herself unable to part with the infant. To support herself, Maria takes a job sewing so that she can stay home with the baby, but she is unable to earn enough money to pay her bills. When Mrs. Herman urges her to return to dancing, Maria goes to Pepito's nightclub to ask for work. At the club, Jim Foreman, a lonely, recently divorced rancher, overhears Maria imploring Pepito for a job and, taking pity on her, invites her for a drink. Their drink initiates a courtship, and Maria, with Jim's support, becomes a fashion designer. Jim falls in love with Maria, but his proposal of marriage puts her into a quandry about revealing her sordid past. Just as she is about to confess all to Jim, Dick returns and offers to get out of his wife's life for a price. To prevent Dick from extorting money from Jim, Maria pretends that she still loves the man who caused her such anguish. In revenge, Dick tells the welfare department that Maria is an unfit mother. All ends happily, however, when Dick is killed in an attempted robbery, and Jim returns to take care of Maria and the baby.

Film Details

Also Known As
El milagro de la Calle Mayor
Release Date
Oct 29, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Arcadia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Los Angeles--Olvera Street, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to materials contained in the Production Files at the AMPAS Library, this picture was made in 1939 under the Arcadia Production banner as a possible Grand National release. After the demise of Grand National, it was picked up by Columbia. Twentieth Century-Fox released a Spanish-language version, El milagro de la Calle Mayor, which was filmed simultaneously with the English-language version. A news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that Maurice Moscovitch was set to take over William Collier's role, but Collier remained in the picture. This picture was Hungarian director Steve Sekely's first American film. According to the pressbook in the copyright materials, scenes of the film were shot in the Mexican quarter of Los Angeles, including Olvera street, using Hispanic players in bit and extra roles; some scenes of a Mexican fiesta and Christmas procession were included.