The Miracle Woman

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The Miracle Woman
The Miracle Woman 1931 Poster.jpg
theatrical release poster
Directed by Frank Capra
Produced by Harry Cohn
Written by Dorothy Howell (continuity)
Screenplay by Jo Swerling
Based on Bless You Sister
by John Meehan and Robert Riskin
Starring Barbara Stanwyck
Cinematography Joseph Walker
Edited by Maurice Wright
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • August 7, 1931 (1931-08-07) (US)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Miracle Woman is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, and Sam Hardy. Based on the play Bless You Sister by John Meehan and Robert Riskin, the film is about a preacher's daughter who becomes disillusioned by the mistreatment of her dying father by his church. Having grown cynical about religion, she teams up with a con man and performs fake miracles for profit. The love and trust of a blind man, however, restores her faith in God and her fellow man. The Miracle Woman was the second of five film collaborations between Capra with Stanwyck. Produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures, the film was reportedly inspired by the life of Aimee Semple McPherson.[1]


Florence Fallon (Barbara Stanwyck) is outraged when her minister father is fired after many years of selfless service to make way for a younger man. She tells the congregation what she thinks of their ingratitude. Her bitter, impassioned speech impresses Bob Hornsby (Sam Hardy), who convinces her to become a phony preacher for the donations they can squeeze out of gullible believers. She builds up a devoted national following. Then she meets a blind John Carson (David Manners), falls in love, and the sham comes tumbling down.



The film shares themes with other Capra films, namely Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town in that the central character gives up power and fortune for the sake of their principles. What is different here is the gender roles are reversed, with the main character being a woman who is supported by the man who loves her.[2]



  1. ^ "The Miracle Woman (1931)". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Miracle Woman (1931)". A Life at the Movies. October 8, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 


  • Capra, Frank (1971). The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography. New York: Macmillan. pp. 130–134. ISBN 978-0306807718. 
  • McBride, Joseph (1992). Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 228–230. ISBN 978-0671734947. 

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