Warner Bros.' multi-million dollar spectacle, though laid in the 19th century is a 'biblical' subject with elements and approach of such films. The production has bullfights, military battles, lavish ballroom parties, music, dancing, gypsies and vaulted cathedrals echoing to choirs of nuns. It has about everything, in fact, except a genuinely spiritual story.

Warner Bros.’ multi-million dollar spectacle, though laid in the 19th century is a ‘biblical’ subject with elements and approach of such films. The production has bullfights, military battles, lavish ballroom parties, music, dancing, gypsies and vaulted cathedrals echoing to choirs of nuns. It has about everything, in fact, except a genuinely spiritual story.

The Miracle was a costume special of the German stager Max Reinhardt. Its theme is the recurrent one in religious legend, of the god, goddess or angel who assumes human shape to intervene directly in the affairs of men.

According to the screenplay, based on Karl Vollmoeller’s old play, Carroll Baker is a postulant at a Spanish convent when she falls in love with Roger Moore, a soldier in the future Duke of Wellington’s army, then battling Napoleon in Spain. When she leaves the convent to follow Moore, the statue of the Virgin in the chapel comes down from its pedestal and assumes the form of the postulant. And Baker is off on various adventures.

Irving Rapper’s direction is effective in the spacious exteriors, moving massed groupings with force and interest. It is less perceptive in the handling of individuals and their interaction. As for the theme itself, it is not exactly clear what ‘The Miracle’ is supposed to do, other than give Baker a chance to gallivant about Europe in a variety of costumes.

The Miracle

Production

Warner. Director Irving Rapper; Producer Henry Blanke; Screenplay Frank Butler; Camera Ernest Haller; Editor Frank Bracht; Music Elmer Bernstein

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1959. Running time: 121 MIN.

With

Carroll Baker Roger Moore Walter Slezak Vittorio Gassman Katina Paxinou Gustavo Rojo

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