Dec. 6, 2008, 5:53 a.m. CST
Quint, just for your information, look out for the sequel to the book "The Sentinel" called "The Apocalypse" (never was a film as far as I know) because The Sentinel sets the ground rules and the Apocalypse is a real whodunnit - as in this time, you don't know who the Sentinel is and who Satan is disguised as. It's really quite good. <p> As for this item - it's a shame Peter Falk didn't a) get better known for his non-Columbo work and b) as of yet, didn't get one last outing as Columbo to give the character a send off.
Dec. 6, 2008, 5:57 a.m. CST
by greigy just wanted to say
One of the few Capra movies I've never seen... curiosity peaked to see it now...(which I supposed is what this column's all about).... But always felf Ford was very unappreciated underrated actor.. Much missed...
Dec. 6, 2008, 6:05 a.m. CST
One of the stranger things about The Sentinel is its almost completely all star cast (some of whom were admittedly still on the way up). Christopher Walken and James Goldblum for example had small parts and they were just 2 of a lot of famous names in it. Beverly D'Angelo as best as I can remember didn't even have any dialogue ...
Dec. 6, 2008, 7:04 a.m. CST
awesome The party? Sorry, i just don't see it It makes me feel bad for both Blake and Sellers.
Dec. 6, 2008, 9:14 a.m. CST
I saw it a few times as a kid and now it's on my DVD shelf. There's some great lines and it's a fun movie. "Aww, come on, I've been bowing so much I've got callouses on my bellybutton!" "They wont even let me see my mama since they put her into solitary."
Dec. 6, 2008, 10:48 a.m. CST
you forgot to mention that this is Capra's last film. he writes quite a bit about the making of the movie and his notorious fights with Ford. he was also experiencing health problems and studio difficulties. turns out his brand of sentimentality was on the wane and he wasn't particularly in demand. this was the end of a magnificent career that few if any modern filmmakers could emulate.
Dec. 6, 2008, 1:31 p.m. CST
Pocketful of Miracles was a remake of one of Capra's earlier films, Lady for a Day, made in 1933 and based a Damon Runyon story. While Pocketful of Miracles was fun and had a much better cast (both in acting talent and in star power) I prefer the original much more. In part because it was filmed in 1933, the height of the Great Depression, giving the film a much more “real” feel to it and a much greater emotional impact. The scenario in Pocketful of Miracles plays much more as a plot device, while Lady for a Day the plot plays off as some deep wish and fantasy that many in the audience might have. Sure the characters are loopy and zany, but they also project the real pain of poverty and the sense of disappointment in your lot in life, something the new film fails to do in my opinion. <p> The best version of this story though was a wacky adaptation in a 40's Batman or Detective Comics, involving Bruce Wayne/Batman helping a homeless woman pull off the con that she is successful socialite to her visiting daughter and her rich fiancé'. “Holy Capra, Batman!” “Watch your language, Robin.”
Dec. 6, 2008, 1:32 p.m. CST
...hands down is Fritz Lang's The Big Heat. Have you seen that one yet Quint?
Dec. 6, 2008, 2:55 p.m. CST
by greigy just wanted to say
Some prick will remake it no doubt...
Dec. 6, 2008, 7:19 p.m. CST
It's easy to find as it's frequently on TCM. It has a slow build-up by current standards but it pays off with great lines delivered by a who's who of Hollywood's greatest character actors. Terrific holiday movie - if you're in the mood to sit back and relax you could do a lot worse!
Dec. 6, 2008, 11:18 p.m. CST
by vroom socko
Every year as far back as I can remeber, my dad would put this one in the machine on Christmas Eve. I'm pretty sure there hasn't been a year where he didn't laugh at the hotel manager's bit with Apple Annie's basket. <p> Also, while this was a remake of Lady For A Day, it's not the only remake. Jackie Chan, of all people, did a version called Miracles. Or Black Dragon, or Mr. Canton and Lady Rose, depending on where you live. If you ever thought "Glenn Ford is good in this, but how cool would it be if he got in a fistfight with Sheldon Leonard in a warehouse full of rope..."
Dec. 7, 2008, 7:42 a.m. CST
This is a remake of "Lady For A Day" (1933). It's based on a Damon Runyon short story, the 1933 version is less saccharine.
Dec. 7, 2008, 8:44 a.m. CST
I totally agree with you about the 1933 original having a greater impact because of when it was filmed. I enjoyed both movies, but the original feels authentic because it is.
Dec. 8, 2008, 10:49 a.m. CST
... I'm glad this was his last film. When you start ripping yourself off, it's time to go. A very mediocre remake that the young Capra would have hated. He didn't have a lot of nice things to say about Ford in his autobiography, either.