Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

It might be a strange choice, but one of the gifts my wife bought me for our anniversary was a copy of THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK, a hard-to-find Preston Sturges film which I had wanted to see ever since I heard the name of the lead character was Kockenlocker.

This is not the funniest of Sturges' films, but in many ways, it is the most interesting. Writing a movie about a woman getting knocked up by a serviceman about to leave could very well have been career suicide during the Hays' Code era. And it almost was for Sturges, the film was not released for two years, and after its successful release was pulled. To this day, it is still hard to find on DVD. The fluency with which Sturges writes around the code for the majority of the movie only adds to his brilliance as a writer.

Sturges is an exceptionally strong writer for female characters. The two most interesting characters in the film are played by young women. Betty Hutton was only 22 when shot the film, but gives a great performance. But my favorite scene in the film belongs to Eddie Bracken, who has a great monolog telling Hutton's character why he has loved her his whole life. As in Sturges' other films, the dramatic scenes are as powerful as the comic ones.

Highly recommended for fans of Sturges.
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