The Miracle Man is a 1919 American silent drama film starring Lon
Chaney and based on a 1914 play by George M. Cohan, which in turn is
based on the novel of the same title by Frank L. Packard. The film was
released by Paramount Pictures, directed, produced, and written by
George Loane Tucker, and also stars
Lon Chaney during the production of The Miracle Man.
1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Background and production 4 Reception 5 Preservation 6 Home media 7 References 8 External links
The film takes place in a small,
The plan is clear: in a small town outside of Boston there is a Patriarch (Joseph Dowling) who has been healing people. The group heads to the town and plans to use the Patriarch in a faith healing scheme. When the townspeople gather to see the Patriarch heal the sick, the Frog is there, posing as a cripple. As he crawls to the path of the man, his limbs become straightened and soon he walks to the Patriarch, supposedly healed. Unexpectedly, a crippled boy, his faith in the Patriarch overpowering him, loses his crutches and runs to the Patriarch. The story spreads across the country (mostly on account of Burke), and people flock in from all over to visit the Patriarch and be healed. When a millionaire, Richard King (W. Lawson Butt), brings his sister to be healed, he gives Burke $50,000 after the Patriarch cures her. During this visit, King meets Rose, and the two fall in love. Meanwhile, all is not well with Burke. One by one, he sees his gang disbanding because, unbeknownst to him, the healing power of the Patriarch is at work. The Dope gives up his drug addiction, The Frog gives up his life of crime and takes care of a widow left all alone, and Rose laments King's departure. Burke becomes jealous, but when King returns to propose his marriage to Rose, she realizes that she loves Burke. The Patriarch dies, and the two lovers begin anew. Cast
Lon Chaney – The Frog
Tula Belle T. D. Crittenden Ruby Lafayette Frankie Lee
Background and production
Initially intended as a vehicle for Meighan after he saw the Cohan
play, Cohan sold the rights to the story to Paramount for $25,000.
Packard sold the rights to his original novel for $17,500. George
Loane Tucker had previously been hailed as one of the "first of the
immortals" of film directors after his 1913 success, Traffic in Souls.
Lon Chaney was chosen by director George Loane Tucker, and this was
his eighth film as a free-lance artist after leaving Universal Studios
in 1918. His work in the
William S. Hart
Character name in movie Character name in novel
The Frog The Flopper (uses alias Michael Coogan)
Rose Helena Smith (uses alias Helena Vail)
The Dope Pale Face Harry
Tom Burke John Garfield "Doc" Madison
Richard King Robert Thornton
The Miracle Man was well received by both critics and audiences.
Initially produced for $126,000, the film grossed an estimated
$3,000,000 in theaters and became the second highest-grossing film of
1919. During the film's run at the Orchestra Hall in Chicago,
(where it broke all house records), airplanes dropped free tickets and
brass coins which read "The Miracle Man is here" printed on one side
and "Have faith, keep this" on the other.
Because of the film's success, it launched its leads, Compson, Meighan
and Chaney, into stardom. Meighan later went on to major leading roles
while Chaney became one of the highest paid character actors in
Hollywood until his death in 1930. Compson's name rose above the
titles of most of the movies she made for the rest of the silent
George Loane Tucker
^ Box office at IMDB accessed January 27, 2017 ^ a b The Miracle Man (1919) at SilentEra ^ a b McKay, John W., Jr. (January 1, 1921). "Money and Motion Pictures". Maclean's. XXXIV (1): 13, 42. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Lombardi, Frederic (2013). Allan Dwan and the Rise and Decline of the Hollywood Studios. McFarland. p. 101. ISBN 0-786-43485-6. ^ Keil, Charlie; Singer, Ben, eds. (2009). American Cinema of the 1910s: Themes and Variations. Rutgers University Press. p. 228. ISBN 0-813-54445-9. ^ McCarty, John (2005). Bullets Over Hollywood: The American Gangster Picture from the Silents to "The Sopranos". Da Capo Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-306-81429-3. ^ Lombardi 2013 p.117 ^ "The Twelve Best Motion Pictures". Photoplay. Macfadden Publications. 18 (2–6): 24. ^ Soister, John T. (2012). American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913–1929. McFarland. p. 394. ISBN 0-786-48790-9. ^ a b Lahue, Kalton C. (1970). Collecting Classic Films. American Photographic Book Pub. p. 62. ^ Fleming, E.J. Wallace Reid: The Life and Death of a Hollywood Idol. McFarland. p. 259. ISBN 0-786-48266-4. ^ Klepper, Robert K. (1999). Silent Films, 1877–1996: A Critical Guide to 646 Movies. McFarland. p. 169. ISBN 0-786-40595-3. ^ Blake, Michael F. (2001). The Films of Lon Chaney. Madison Books. p. 96. ISBN 1-568-33237-8. ^ "The Penalty (1920): 2012 Kino Classics DVD edition". silentera.com. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Miracle Man (1919 film).
The Miracle Man on IMDb
The Miracle Man at AllMovie
Surviving Footage of The Miracle Man on YouTube
The Miracle Man at Virtual History
surviving lantern slide
Lon Chaney and Ruby Lafayette
v t e
Films directed by George Loane Tucker
Their First Misunderstanding (1911)*short
The Scarlet Letter (1911)*short
Behind the Stockade (1911) *short
Traffic in Souls