Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street, Chicago, IL
When: January 14, 2017
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald
Director Frank Capra (It Happened One Night and It’s a Wonderful Life) directed five movies starring Barbara Stanwyck. The Miracle Woman (1931) was their second collaboration and considered among their best. It’s a story of faith, disappointment, and redemption that was made at a time when American evangelism was at its peak.
|Barbara Stanwyck and David Manners in The Miracle Woman|
What’s it all about?
Stanwyck plays Florence Fallon whose pastor father is forced out of his church to make way for a younger man. Heartbroken over losing his pastorate, Florence’s father dies right before he’s set to give his farewell sermon. Florence starts to deliver her father’s sermon, but ends up scolding the church for firing her father so abruptly. After driving the congregation from the church with her fiery rebuke, Bob Hornsby, a con man, approaches her. He asks Florence to join forces with him to become a fake evangelist and faith healer. Bitter, disillusioned, and with no income of her own, Florence takes Hornsby up on his offer. In no time, “Sister Fallon” becomes a famous evangelist who heads a large church and whose sermons are broadcast over the radio. When one of Sister Fallon’s sermons helps a depressed, young blind man from committing suicide, Florence begins to reevaluate her life. Will she return to the faith of her father or will she continue to go down a path leading to her own destruction?
This pre-Code classic is as powerful today as it was 86 years ago. Filmmakers like Ron Howard (Apollo 13) consider it one of Capra’s best efforts.
The Miracle Woman is part of the “Stanwyck on State Street” film series.
|Barbara Stanwyck (left) and Frank Capra (right) made five films together|
Stephen Reginald is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked at various positions within the publishing industry for over 25 years. Most recently he was executive editor for McGraw-Hill’s The Learning Group Division. A long-time amateur student of film, Reginald hosts “Chicago Film Club,” a monthly movie event held in the South Loop, for the past two years. Reginald has also taught several adult education film classes at Facets Film School, Chicago.