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Film: The Miracle Of Morgans Creek

Governor McGinty : This is the biggest thing to happen to this state since we stole it from the Indians!

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek is a Screwball Comedy from Preston Sturges set during World War II.

Trudy Kockenlocker (Betty Hutton), the daughter of the town constable (William Demarest), sneaks out against her father's wishes to a dance for the soldiers, using a date with Norval Jones (Eddie Bracken) as an excuse. She doesn't really remember what happens that night, except she thinks she got married to a soldier (named, or so she thinks, "Ratzkywatzky"). Later, she finds out, as a result of that night, she's pregnant, and her younger sister Emmy (Diana Lynn) convinces her to trick Norval into marrying her. She can't bring herself to do it, especially when she sees how Norval reacts to it, but Norval ends up wanting to marry her anyway. Because this is a Preston Sturges film, Hilarity Ensues.

Despite the fact this was delayed two years due to censorship issues with The Hays Code, this remains one of the most adroit examples of Getting Crap Past the Radar ever made.

Tropes:

  • The Cameo: Brian Donlevy and Akim Tamiroff reprise their roles from The Great Mcginty as McGinty and The Boss.
    • There's also a Continuity Nod when The Boss repeats a gag from the earlier film.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Well, Norval can say it, but because of his Speech Impediment, it just takes him a while.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Let's see now; a woman gets pregnant without any idea how she did, her boyfriend wants to leave her but is later convinced to marry her, they're eventually forced out of polite society, and she ends up in a house with a barn during Christmas season when she's finally about to give birth.
    • Also, the fact Trudy has six babies is a loose reference to the Dionne Quintuplets. Lampshaded by the headline "Canada Protests: 'Possible but not Probable' says Premier".
  • Executive Meddling: Because of Sturges' battles with the censors, the film sat on the shelf for two years. Also, the head of Paramount was unhappy with the film and wanted to edit it, but Sturges stood his ground.
  • Framing Device: The film starts with the editor of the local paper calling Governor McGinty to tell him the story, and it ends up being a flashback to what happened.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Where to begin?
    • Well, the name "Kockenlocker", for one.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Norval doesn't qualify for the army because every time he goes in for an interview, he gets nervous and excited, he starts to see spots, and his blood pressure gets too high. So he's jealous of all of the soldiers, especially about the fact Trudy seems more interested in them than him.
  • I Have This Friend: When Emmy and Trudy go to see Mr. Johnson, the town lawyer, they use this. Because they're more vague than most people who use this trope are, he doesn't see through the ruse. Later, when they're walking home, Emmy insists on using this trope when talking to Trudy because it makes things easier to discuss.
  • Insistent Terminology: See the quote at the top of the page.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Norval gets the idea of pretending to be "Ratzkywatzky", dressing up as a soldier, and driving to an out-of-way town with Trudy so she can have a marriage license that says she's married, and therefore will be spared the shame of being an unwed mother. So what happens? The marriage goes through without a hitch, but instead of signing Ratzkywatzky's name, he's signs his own name, which gets him and Trudy in trouble.
  • Papa Wolf: Constable Kockenlocker, though his daughters are normally able to get around that.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: Particularly at the beginning and the end.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Constable Kockenlocker may act rough with everybody, but he also wears an apron.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Trudy pretends to go to the movies with Norval so she can really go to the dance, she tells Norval she should be going to the dance instead because they should think of all of the soldiers who won't get to say goodbye to anybody, and she even gets his car because, otherwise, who would drive the soldiers around?
  • Running Gag: "Shut up! Not you!" "Retroactive!"
    • "The SPOTS!"
    • Whenever Emmy says something to annoy her father, he tries to kick her, but ends up slipping and falling instead.
  • Serious Business: The birth of the sextuplets literally changes the course of World War Two.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: The title card at the end quotes Twelfth Night: "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."
  • Speech Impediment: Norval has a pretty bad one.
  • Spinning Paper: The reactions from around the country, and the world, to the "miracle", including from Adolf Hitler and Mussolini.
  • Take That: The Hays Code wouldn't allow Sturges to portray Trudy getting drunk. His solution? Have her drink what looks like "lemonade", then have her hit her head, so she'd be acting drunk.
  • Wham Line: A rare funny example: "Six; all boys!"
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Trudy just can't remember who the father of her babies is.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Emmy. She's the one who comes up with the plan to marry Norval.

The Evidence Of The FilmNational Film RegistryAbbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
1941Works Set in World War IIRadio Days
Meet Me in St. LouisFilms of the 1940sMr Skeffington
Medium CoolCreator/ParamountMission: Impossible

alternative title(s): The Miracle Of Morgans Creek
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