In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”



The multiple twists, double-crosses and leaps in logic are more likely to prompt giggles than gasps, despite the impressive production values and the earnest efforts…


Oasis: Supersonic

While Oasis: Supersonic is never boring, especially for fans, it’s also not quite deep enough to justify its narrow focus, especially at its overlong running…

Other Reviews
Review Archives

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives


More Than a Miracle


At last, a family movie the old man can enjoy. He is always the guy who gets stuck with taking the kids to the movie while the wife scatters his paycheck to the four winds on Christmas presents. And usually the miserable slob can't even forget his impending bankruptcy for a couple of hours because the screen is filled with syncopated chipmunks or Santa Claus fighting the Martians.


That is not the case with "More Than a Miracle," which is a lighthearted and entertaining fairy tale about a handsome prince and the humble peasant girl he takes as his princess. And if the humble peasant girl turns out to be Sophia Loren, well, who wants chipmunks anyway?

The story is based on several old legends; I forgot exactly which ones. The prince (Omar Sharif) has a wild white stallion that he is trying to tame. It runs away and deposits him in a hidden monastery. This is no ordinary monastery since it has a Flying Monk. The monk lands and tells the prince he will marry a girl as stubborn as he is. Then the monk gives him a bag of flour and tells him to have the girl bake him seven dumplings. If he can eat all seven, it's not the right girl. The prince has some more questions, but the monk has to leave since he's the next flight to Sicily.

The prince discovers Sophia Loren pulling turnips in a field and gives her the flour. She bakes seven dumplings but can't resist eating one herself. A-ha! Then there are all kinds of great fairy tale twists: a contest to choose which of seven princesses the prince will marry, a mysterious trail of flour, an omelet with 3,000 eggs and a dishwashing contest.

The beautiful thing is, everything works. The movie doesn't get bogged down in trying to make fun of itself. Director Francesco Rosi (who made "The Moment of Truth," a beautifully photographed bullfighting film) is apparently a romantic at heart, and it is enough for him that the prince is noble and the peasant girl heroic.

I imagine the kids will enjoy "More Than a Miracle," which moves along quickly and has lots of sight gags and action. If they don't, snarl at them or tell them a rabid chipmunk will get them if they don't watch out.


Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

No Longer an Inconceivable Future: The Vision of Alfonso Cuarón's "Children of Men"

FFC Seongyong Cho on watching 2006's dystopian thriller "Children of Men" ten years later.

Hooray for Hillary: Commander-in-Chief

An article about Hillary Clinton's historic nomination as the first female presidential candidate and the most qualif...

How 2016 Became the Year of Adventurous, Original Horror Films

2016 has been a very good year for horror movies.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus