The Miracle of the Bells (1947)

This film, a rare little gem, is about a press agent who grants the dying wish of a talented unknown actress. Starring Fred MacMurray and Alida Valli.

I came across this film on BBCi Player recently and thought it was worth a view. I have a subconscious linkage in my mind between Fred MacMurray and the famous film Double Indemnity. As a result, I can only imagine him in roles like that. In the case of Miracle, the story is mostly told in flashback and Alida’s character Olga is revealed thus as she lands a film role portraying Joan of Arc but is a completely unknown actress much to the studio’s chagrin.

I’m not too sure what I was expecting when I watched this film. It is quite long (it has a running time of around 2 hours) and I thought it was going to be not very good because the premise sounded really treacly and boring. However, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Alida brought a freshness to the film and was more than the typical female character. The relationship between Olga and MacMurray’s The whole film’s overriding message seemed to be about hope and miracles.

I wouldn’t have sought this film out myself but finding it on the BBC player was a delight. The film was very moving but not the sort of melodramatic sobbing kind of film. Frank Sinatra as the young priest, Father Paul, was great to see and shows that he was talented as an actor and not just a singer.

This film is a rare jewel and I recommend you watch it if you get the chance. However, I’m not too sure about the film’s replay value. It depends on personal preference I suppose.

MY RATING: *** / *****

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