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The Man Who Could Work Miracles


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Product Details

  • Actors: Roland Young, Ralph Richardson, Edward Chapman, Ernest Thesiger, Joan Gardner
  • Directors: Alexander Korda, Lothar Mendes
  • Writers: H.G. Wells, Lajos Biró
  • Producers: Alexander Korda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cheezy Flicks Ent
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2008
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WS4SBC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,058 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Roland Young stars in H.G. Wells light-hearted comedy about what happens when some bored celestials decide to give an ordinary little fellow the power to work miracles just to see what he will do with it. George, a drapers assistant, is suddenly endowed

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Oldest & Wisest on January 16, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Man Who Could Work Miracles" is a marvelous humorous fantasy the screenplay of which was both written by and based on a short story by the great early science fiction writer H. G. Wells of "Time Machine" and "The War of the Worlds" fame.

"Miracles" tells of a Mr. Fotheringay, a simple dry goods clerk in early 20th England who is given the power to work miracles by a god who wants to see what use he will make of it. Starring Roland Young (best known in this country as the original "Cosmo Topper" in the film "Topper." The film is highly entertaining as it depicts Mr. Fotheringay's adventures and also raises some genuine moral and philosophical issues about how power should be used and its limits. The FILM is highly recommended.

On the other hand, this is a lousy transfer of the film to DVD, blurry and with a constant annoying flicker. True, the film is nearly 70 years old, but I have a transfer that I made from a laserdisc copy I owned to a DVD-R which is still far superior in quality to this one. In this case, the name of the publisher "Cheezy Flicks" is, I'm afraid, merely a case of truth in advertising!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin Siegel on August 17, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie was made in 1937 or thereabouts. Is it extremely interesting and well-acted from start to finish, especially Roland Young as meek retail clerk George McWhirter Fotheringay. It starts in the clouds on high, with three gods discussing whether man is good or evil. One takes the side that man needs a chance, and in the end these gods grant supernatural powers to someone you would least expect: Fotheringay. To his amazement, Fotheringay finds he can do anything. As the story proceeds he decides to do the most good he can. Why should humanity go hungry, why poor, why uneducated, why resort to war and so on? Of course, he runs into obstacles. Get this film to find out what happens, you won't regret it. What is also nice is the understated style: no simplistic music to tell you: "Hey stupid, you're supposed to feel this way."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian on November 8, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Don't be deterred by Cheezy Flicks' name or checkered reputation-- the picture and audio quality of this charming little British fable are fine; in fact, considering it's an inexpensive public-domain print, I would rate this release of 'The Man Who Could Work Miracles' good to very good. As for the film, Wells' anti-fascist message (as you might expect) does get heavy-handed at times, but thanks to Roland Young's expert performance as the meek everyman endowed with temporary omnipotence, a brisk script and a slate of top-notch supporting players (the most memorable being Ralph Richardson as pie-eyed Colonel Winstanley), the proceedings are kept mainly buoyant. 3 1/2 stars each for presentation and content.
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H. G. Wells' adapted and expanded his own short story "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" into a screenplay for a film which ultimately is a delightful romp. Roland Young was always a character actor who provided reliable support in films such as "King Solomon's Mines" (1936) and "And Then There Were None" (1945), but here, as in "Topper" (1937), he is the leading man, and is capable of carrying the film...though he doesn't have to: the fine supporting cast includes Ralph Richardson, Ernest Thesiger (Dr. Pretorius from "Bride of Frankenstein"), and Joan Gardner amongst others. George Sanders and Torin Thatcher have what are almost cameo roles in the opening and closing of the film.

The film quality on DVD (courtesy of Cheezy Video---what a name, eh?) is about the same as it was on VHS: not that great, but sufficient until a restoration is done by the likes of Criterion, or if another digital transfer is made, this time from BFI's master print.

Amusing and engaging, but just a whisker below being a genuine classic.
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Format: DVD
It's not perfect, but for 1936, the visual effects are astonishing, they really are... They get simple appearance and disappearance more perfect than many episodes of Bewitched. And at one point, my jaw literally dropped (as the old cliché goes) and it took a while for me to notice that I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open. Given the time it was made, this one amazing shot had more impact than most CGI effects do today.

The story is at once fun, sweet, alarming, funny, and somewhat deep.

It starts out a light hearted comedy, and then becomes a light hearted drama, and suddenly, without warning, huge things start to happen. I was fascinated beginning to end and highly recommend it.
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I remember seeing this movie as a boy, back in the 40s. It's a wonderful story of a very meek man [Roland Young} who worked in a small department store, that was given the power of God, by the gods in heaven, just to see how he would use it. It's a cute story, kinda far fetched, but I think you'll like it. I guess you could classify it, as almost a sci-fi. I really enjoyed seeing it again.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful By B. Frederick on February 23, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As an atheist, I don't believe in miracles. But that did not stop me from enjoying this movie immensely. For one thing, his power is granted by one of three gods who talk it over in space before he is given his power. For another, he was chosen at random, had not requested ("prayed for") the power, and only learns he has it by accident.

One of the things I liked about it is that his miracles have consequences. They change things he does not intend as well as things he does. It's funny, really funny, but it is also thought-provoking.
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