Monday, January 9, 2012

"The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" with Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken and William Demarest (1944)

This is a delightful World War Two film starring the irrepressible Betty Hutton, who plays Trudy Kockenlocker, singing and dancing alongside, and around, Eddie Bracken, who plays her love stricken suitor Norvel Jones, and William Demarest; later Uncle Charlie on "My Three Sons"; as the long suffering father of two girls in a small town during the war. A military base is located nearby, which causes some legitimate concern for the widowed father of two attractive daughters.

Ms. Hutton, is at her all-time best in this tale of a night gone totally wrong for everyone involved. The film opens with the Governor of the State being notified that a woman who resides at Morgan’s Creek has given birth to 6 babies. In an effort to cash in on this phenomenon, and put the state "on the map", the Governor attaches himself to the event with gusto. But trouble lurks when the flashback begins and the identity of the father(s) is called into question.

Basically, after an all-night party for the troops, Trudy wakes up to find herself married and pregnant, but with no memory of her husband's identity. She was with six guys at a dance, and now with six children from that one night, a father must be found.

A very risqué film for its time, I suppose it was the result of the public fervor to "please the boys" in uniform that allowed this movie to achieve the widespread acceptance which it did. It's a fun movie to watch, with wonderful direction by Preston Sturges, who also wrote the script, along with a very talented cast, all of whom still bring life to this story almost 70 years after it was filmed. Here's a clip of Eddie Bracken speaking with William Demarest, who is his prospective father-in law, as well as the town Constable. It's every daughter's nightmare.

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