"Art makes life, makes interest, makes importance"

August 21, 2011

"The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" by Preston Sturges, with Betty Hutton (1944)

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek is a screwball comedy, helmed by comedy specialist Preston Sturges and with Betty Hutton and Eddy Bracken in the main roles. The story is simple. Small-town girl Trudy Cockenlocker defies her cruel father (William Demarest) and joins an all-night send-off party for troops going to the front (this was after all 1944). When Trudy wakes up, she is still drunk from the "lemonade" she was made to drink, and she also remembers vaguely that she got "married," but has no memory of her partner's identity. A morning-after check at the local doctor indeed reveals that she is pregnant.

How to get out of this fix? Luckily, there is dim-witted local boy Norval Jones, who has been in love with Trudy for years and who is more than willing to help her find a way out of her predicament - he is even ready to marry her! Snowballing events keep that marriage out of reach until the end of the film, when he may call himself the proud "father" of a sextuplet - six boys to help the war effort as future cannon fodder - a miracle!

I don't mind that content, but this film is just too ridiculous - I almost stopped watching at the very beginning when in the record shop where she works Betty Hutton is play-backing to the deep voice of a male singer. Awful! The film is too loud, everybody is shouting all the time and running around without going anywhere. The slapstick is stupid - physical comedy of people falling down or hitting their heads. This is dated stuff, and no classic.