The Twin Geeks 112: The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1943)

In only three short years, Writer/Director Preston Sturges managed to climb from the lowly rung of Hollywood screenwriter to become one of the highest paid men in the entire country, making the unprecedented transition from doctoring hackneyed studio scripts to directing superlative auteur efforts, culminating in the smash success of The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek. This eccentric romantic comedy, set and shot during the nadir of America’s involvement in World War II, manages to accomplish what very few Hollywood movies had ever managed up until that point. Sturges’ deft penmanship allows him to skirt around the strict censorship of the Production Code office, during a time of hyper internal scrutiny no less, as Hollywood gave over all their efforts to supporting the war effort. Somehow, someway, Sturges manages to insert some sly ridicule into this small town comedy, while also tackling such brazen themes as overzealous military infatuation, shameless political maneuvering through savvy media manipulation, and perhaps most shocking of all, teenage pregnancy and bigamy. How Sturges got that subject past the censors we may never know, but thank god he did, as it gives The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek its astonishingly hysterical premise, catapulting the dynamic talents of Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, and the most popular Sturges Stock Company actor William Demarest, ultra ripe comedic material that will send you rolling into the aisles. What was once Paramount’s highest grossing film of the year is now something of a sometimes overlooked gem in Sturges’ filmography, one we are all too happy to rediscover and laugh out loud to again.

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32:35 The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek

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