© 1944 Paramount Pictures

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)

I watched The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek once before around two years ago, when I was trying to watch all of the Betty Hutton movies I could get my hands on, which wasn’t many. Recently, I was reading about Preston Sturges, which made me want to watch some of his movies, and I realized that this is the only one I have. Although The Great McGinty is probably Sturges’ most well-known film, this also a great example of the Sturges style, with screwball comedy, skirting the film production code while dealing with taboos, and devilishly clever dialogue. The story is about a girl in a small Midwestern town that marries a soldier the night before he leaves for war, only she can’ t remember marrying him, what his name is, or what name she gave instead of her own. The story is set completely in the small town of Morgan’s Creek, except for scenes at the beginning and end set in the governor’s office which receive an excited call from the local reporter. The rural setting works to magnify the story, as virtually everyone in the town becomes involved.

I watched this before as a Betty Hutton movie, and so mainly noticed Hutton’s trademark goofy facial expressions and broad, physical comedy. Watching it again as a Sturges film, I realized just how good the dialogue is.

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