Pocketful of Miracles is a 1961 theatrical film directed by Frank Capra, starred Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange, Arthur O'Connell, and Ann-Margret in her film debut, and originally released by United Artists on December 19, 1961. The film, a remake of Capra's 1933 Columbia Picture Lady for a Day, was noted to be the final film the director made as well as the final film for actor Thomas Mitchell who previously worked with Capra playing Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life.
Like It's a Wonderful Life, the film was not directly a Christmas film, but because it takes place during December, it is often shown on television during the holiday season.
Dave the Dude (Glenn Ford) is a successful, very superstitious New York City gangster who buys apples from street peddler Apple Annie (Bette Davis) to bring him good luck. On the eve of a very important meeting, he finds Annie terribly upset.
Annie, it turns out, has a daughter named Louise (Ann-Margret), who was sent to a school in Europe as a child, but is now a grown woman. Louise believes her mother to be wealthy socialite Mrs. E. Worthington Manville, and she is bringing her aristocratic fiancé Carlos and his father, Count Alfonso Romero (Arthur O'Connell), to meet her. Annie has been pretending that she resides in a luxurious hotel (writing her letters on stolen hotel stationery) and has Louise's letters mailed there, then intercepted by a friend and handed over to her.
Dave's good-hearted girlfriend Queenie Martin (Hope Lange) persuades him to help Annie continue her charade. Queenie takes on the task of transforming the derelict into a dowager. Dave arranges for cultured pool hustler "Judge" Henry G. Blake (Thomas Mitchell) to pose as Annie's husband. He installs her in an out-of-town friend's suite in the hotel, complete with Hudgins (Edward Everett Horton), his friend's butler.
When Dave keeps postponing a meeting with an extremely powerful gangster to help Annie, his right-hand man Joy Boy (Peter Falk) becomes increasingly exasperated. Dave manages to engineer a lavish reception with New York's mayor and governor as guests. Louise and her impressed future husband and father-in-law return to Europe, none the wiser about her mother's real identity.
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