The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

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Overview

This wild, once-controversial comedy stars Betty Hutton as Trudy Kockenlocker, a man-crazy single girl whose favorite pastime involves entertaining every visiting GI in town. One morning after a particularly wild night, Trudy labors under the apprehension that last eve, she'd married a soldier named Ratzkywatzky or something. Evidently something had happened that night, for soon Trudy discovers that she's pregnant. She hides this information from her bombastic policeman father William Demarest, and before long, ...
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Overview

This wild, once-controversial comedy stars Betty Hutton as Trudy Kockenlocker, a man-crazy single girl whose favorite pastime involves entertaining every visiting GI in town. One morning after a particularly wild night, Trudy labors under the apprehension that last eve, she'd married a soldier named Ratzkywatzky or something. Evidently something had happened that night, for soon Trudy discovers that she's pregnant. She hides this information from her bombastic policeman father William Demarest, and before long, Trudy's on-again, off-again boyfriend, hapless bank clerk Norval Jones Eddie Bracken, gets tapped to be the father of the unborn child. He takes the assumed name Ratzkywatzky and poses as a GI in a World War I uniform!. Unfortunately, this only leads to further complications. Disasters pile up thick and fast, and before long Norval is facing arrest on a variety of charges. Then the miracle of the title occurs. This vintage Preston Sturges farce plays so fast and loose with the censorial restrictions of mid-1940s Hollywood that critic James Agee was moved to comment that, "the Hays office must have been raped in its sleep." As usual, Sturges populates his cast with steadfast members of his stock company-- including, in guest roles, Brian Donlevy and Akim Tamiroff, the stars of his previous film, The Great McGinty. Originally filmed in 1942, Miracle was held from release for an inordinate period of time. The picture was remade and considerably laundered as the 1958 Jerry Lewis vehicle Rock-a-bye Baby.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Of all the comedies made in the 1940s by writer-director Preston Sturges, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek is likely the funniest. It's a rib-tickling romp from the first frame to the last, loaded with this filmmaker's patented blend of dazzling wordplay and dizzying slapstick. Betty Hutton plays a small-town girl who does her patriotic duty by entertaining soldiers about to depart for World War II. After too many drinks and a clunk on the noggin at an all-night party, she wakes up unable to remember anything -- except that she and one of the just-departed G.I.s, swept up in the enthusiasm of the moment, got married under assumed names. Before long she learns that she's pregnant, which further complicates matters. Eddie Bracken plays her rescuer, a longtime admirer stuck in Morgan's Creek during the war because he's 4-F. William Demarest has a showy supporting role as the girl's perpetually apoplectic father, and he takes some bone-crunching pratfalls to punctuate Sturges' gags. The film was rather daring for its day; Hutton's plight, while hardly extraordinary in real-life America at the time, was not exactly the stuff of mainstream Hollywood comedies. The hoops and rewrites Sturges had to jump through to get the story past the strict Hayes Code censors are documented in one of the DVD's swell bonus featurettes. But the inspired treatment made Miracle relatively innocuous, and by today's standards it's positively tame -- in regard to subject matter, that is. The humor is Sturges at his zaniest, especially as the story draws nearer its wildly improbable but somehow fitting conclusion.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
In 1944, with the restrictive Hays Code very much in effect, the mere fact that Preston Sturges was allowed to make The Miracle of Morgan's Creek was remarkable in itself. After all, a comedy about a girl who gets drunk at a party with a bunch of soldiers and wakes up the next morning hung over and pregnant, with no memory of who the guilty party might be (except that his name sounded like "Ratzywatzy"), hardly conformed to Hollywood's ideal of womanly virtue. But while the film's audacious content was out of the ordinary in its day, its lasting importance comes from the fact that it's a very, very funny movie. Sturges' superb ear for dialogue is in evidence throughout, as is his knack for bringing out the best in his cast: Betty Hutton gives the best and funniest performance of her career, while Eddie Bracken's work is rivaled only by his turn in Sturges' other 1944 masterpiece, Hail the Conquering Hero. If the premise seemed daring, Sturges gleefully heaped absurdity after absurdity upon it, to the point where even Norval and Trudy are barely able to keep track of their own hare-brained scheme to retain Trudy's good name (as well as that of Mr. Ratzywatzy, wherever he is). While the movie can be accused of playing Trudy's unwed pregnancy for laughs, she certainly seems painfully aware of the gravity of her situation, no matter how funny the circumstances it puts her through. And the scene between Trudy and Norval shortly after she's given birth is sweet and unexpectedly moving, as, after a genial assault on propriety, we're reminded in all sincerity of the simple power of love between two people. In Sturges' best movies, people do ridiculous things but somehow land on their feet; his characters rarely fell farther, or landed with more unexpected aplomb, than in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/25/2013
  • UPC: 883316745403
  • Original Release: 1944
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount (Pmt)
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,345

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eddie Bracken Norval Jones
Betty Hutton Trudy Kockenlocker
Diana Lynn Emmy Kockenlocker
William Demarest Constable Kockenlocker
Brian Donlevy Governor McGinty
Porter Hall Justice of the Peace
Al Bridge Mr. Johnson
Emory Parnell Mr. Tuerck
Akim Tamiroff The Boss
Victor Potel Newspaper Editor
Esther Howard Sally
Almira Sessions Justice of the Peace's Wife
John Farrell MacDonald Sheriff
Julius Tannen Mr. Rafferty
Frank Moran First M.P.
Georgia Caine Mrs. Johnson
Torben Meyer Doctor
George Melford US Marshal
Budd Fine 2nd MP
Jan Buckingham Nurse
Nora Cecil Head Nurse
Chester Conklin Pete
Jimmy Conlin The Mayor
Hal Craig State policeman
Roger Creed State Police
Joe Devlin Mussolini
Robert Dudley Man
Byron Foulger McGinty's Secretary
Kenneth Gibson Secret Service man
Arthur Hoyt McGinty's Secretary
Judith Lowry Nurse
Jack Norton Man Opening Champagne
Keith Richards Secret Service man
Harry Rosenthal Mr. Schwartz
Freddie Steele Soldier
Bobby Watson Adolf Hitler
Technical Credits
Preston Sturges Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Charles Bradshaw Score Composer
Hans Dreier Art Director
Ernst Fegte Art Director
Stuart Gilmore Editor
Hugo Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Sigmund Krumgold Musical Direction/Supervision
Walter Oberst Sound/Sound Designer
John F. Seitz Cinematographer
Stephen Seymour Set Decoration/Design
Leo Shuken Score Composer
Wally Westmore Makeup
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Customer Reviews

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