Movie Review: The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)


Title: The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
Release Date: February 1944
Director: Preston Sturges
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Summary/Review:

During the Second World War, the town of Morgan’s Creek becomes home to several military bases.  Local teenager Trudy Kockenlocker (Betty Hutton) finds it to be her patriotic duty to attend dances for the servicemen before they leave to go overseas.  One night Trudy loses her memory after a head injury and when she comes to she realizes that she’s married one of the soldiers (and become pregnant!) but can’t remember who it is.  Trudy’s nebbish and 4-F childhood friend Norval Jones (Eddie Bracken) has always been in love with her and agrees to marry her, but Trudy is fearful of being charged with bigamy.

The old-fashioned moral values and gender essentialism are laid on thick in this film, but it took me a while to realize that the excess is in fact a satire of those social mores.  In fact, many of the complex plot points are simply due to having to dance around the Hays code.  Because this movie is both subversive and utterly bonkers, I wanted to like it more than I did.  But the repeated gags of Norval and then Trudy stuttering and the repeated pratfalls were more irritating than funny.  Diana Lynn is hilarious as Trudy’s wisecracking younger sister while William Demarest plays their cranky father, Constable Lockenlocker.

This is the third Preston Sturges film I’ve watched and I do want to watch more!  The long tracking shots of characters walking through the streets are quite impressive.

Rating: **1/2