Friday, August 10, 2007

The Miracle Woman

Yeah...I didn't really connect with this movie. It stars a startlingly young Barbara Stanwyck as one of those preachers in a big tent, a lot like a televangelist without the "tele". And then she meets a blind man who teaches her the value of love and truth and all that. And the whole time, the sound is really loud and harsh because it's 1931 and they haven't really figured out the subtleties of sound recording.

There were two things that stuck with me. First, there's a scene where the blind guy entertains Barbara Stanwyck in his living room, and it's like a horrifying tour of what people did before television and the internet. There's a wind-up music box, a marionette, a card trick, and a ventriloquism act. And the ventriloquist's dummy ends up with a lot of dialogue. I do not believe it's a good idea to try to seduce a lady preacher with a dummy.

The other thing was that a messenger boy gives someone the finger. It's not much these days, but when it happens in a 1931 movie directed by Frank Capra, it comes as quite a surprise.

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