all hail The Miracle of Morgan's Creek DVD

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Maybe it seems so obviously Preston Sturges' greatest comedy because it was the first I saw as a teenager, or just cuz it's about a smalltown girl who goes to a party for departing soldiers, and wakes up hung over and pregnant (somehow released in 1944).

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews17/Miracle_of_Morgans_Creek_DVD_Review.htm


Indeed, "the biggest no-brainer purchase of the year."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 15:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks, Dr. M. I'll let my gf know.

'Cockenlocker' always seemed a bit much for '44 too.

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 15:40 (fifteen years ago) link

OH SHIT! William Demarest spends this whole movie getting the crap knocked out of him, and trying to kick his teenaged daughter in the ass. Also: TRUDY KOCKENLOCKER!

The Obligatory Sourpuss (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 15:41 (fifteen years ago) link

They should name the Oscar after Demarest.

I'm laughing just looking at the screen caps at the bottom of that review page.

"Psycho-lology!"

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 15:48 (fifteen years ago) link

And I was just thinking of starting a William Demarest thread. I love when he keeps on hinting various means of escape to Eddie Bracken- "I'll go outside and leave the door onlocked," turning his back to him and cocking his hip so his blackjack and keys are ready for the grabbing- always ending with "ya get me?"

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 17:07 (fifteen years ago) link

Demarest has choice moments in all his Sturges films, but Officer Kockenlocker tapped his full range.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:02 (fifteen years ago) link

Indeed. But I would say his performance as Ambrose "Muggsy" Murgatroyd in The Lady Eve is second, maybe even a close second.

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:04 (fifteen years ago) link

It's Demarest's greatest performance, but, man, Eddie Bracken is annoying as fuck.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:06 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't know why people can't get over their Eddie hate. The guy is SUPPOSED to be a dweeb- it's P Sturges satire on the clean-cut all-American type.

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:09 (fifteen years ago) link

THE SPOTS!

The Obligatory Sourpuss (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:19 (fifteen years ago) link

I have made it my mission to see every Betty Hutton movie, but have only actually seen four of them. It's kind of a lazy mission I guess.

The Obligatory Sourpuss (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:23 (fifteen years ago) link

I still haven't seen her in anything else! I have her CD comp tho.

Damn you Alfred, I got Bracken's autograph on Sturges' diary compilation about 12 years ago and was damn near speechless (imagine).

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Sturges on Sturges?

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Diana Lynn, who plays Emmy, the younger sister:
http://members.fortunecity.com/johnrobinson2/scansl/various/Diana%20Lynn.jpg

The Obligatory Sourpuss (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:30 (fifteen years ago) link

DAMMIT SORRY

The Obligatory Sourpuss (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:34 (fifteen years ago) link

(I clicked on the link and now it comes up on thread)

I believe my man Al Bridge also has a good bit in this film.

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:34 (fifteen years ago) link

yep, Sturges On Sturges. Bracken talked after "Hail the Conquering Hero" at Film Forum.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:35 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember that. He passed away shortly afterward, IIRC. Did you manage to get another signature? Bracken on Bracken on Sturges On Sturges?

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:45 (fifteen years ago) link

No, he didn't seem afflicted with THE SPOTS so a double signature wasn't in the cards.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 18:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Eddie Bracken was great in National Lampoon's Vacation, though.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:29 (fifteen years ago) link

And Joel McCrea, a much better actor, satirized the clean-cut all-American type in "The Palm Beach Story" and "Sullivan's Travels" more entertainingly.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Alfred, OTM.

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:33 (fifteen years ago) link

But, Alfred, he was still basically a leading man, not an Andy-Hardy-gone-wrong type.

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Eddie Bracken is NOT supposed to be the All-American type. Norval is supposed to be a sweet but annoying and neurotic nerd. What's wrong with you people?

The Obligatory Sourpuss (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Jeezus, McCrea (and he was brilliant not to mention studly) and Bracken are the ego and id of Sturges. (I think.) Who woulda been a better Norval?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:39 (fifteen years ago) link

TS: Eddie Bracken vs Joel McCrea

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, would you hataz have preferred a different actor, or do you just not like the characters he portrays?

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:41 (fifteen years ago) link

That's like pitting Seth Green against George Clooney.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:41 (fifteen years ago) link

One night over drinks I called Dennis Quaid our Joel McCrea: an underrated, handsome, all-American type, with an unassertive but winning sexuality. I keep wishing some director will take him up like Sturges did McCrea.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, would you hataz have preferred a different actor, or do you just not like the characters he portrays?
-- k/l (lauter...), September 7th, 2005.

Bracken is a shrill actor. I understand that he was playing a dork, but he played a dork gratingly.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Maybe. I don't find him quite as grating as others do, but I think if he had been too lovable, it would defang the satire.

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Wasn't Bracken/Norval's squeamish "unmanliness" pretty rare for even a comedic hero in a big-studio 'A' feature -- in the middle of The Good War, no less? I think Sturges deserves a lot of credit for that. Usually you found panicky, neurotic dweebs in comedy shorts or as supporting players (eg Grady Sutton)... Harry Langdon comes to mind, but he came from silents where the level of 'reality' was different.

(btw, Dennis Quaid's sexuality wasn't assertive? in the '80s he practically dropped his cock in the audience's lap, and how I loved him for it.)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 19:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Let me qualify that: assertive in a non-boorish way. He was sexy as fuck in The Big Easy and The Right Stuff.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 20:14 (fifteen years ago) link

Eddie Bracken was always preceded by his ears and his Adam's apple; not far behind were his crooked grin, his orbiting eyes, and whatever chaos-theory disposition passed for his coiffure on any given day. He stood somewhere between a Boy Scout and Alfred E. Neuman, an All-American simpleton ready to take the rap and to pose proudly for pictures while doing so. He wasn't a patsy, exactly; maybe he just spoke for the patsy in every voter's heart. His career barely outlasted the 1940s. Preston Sturges made the best use of him (The Miracle of Morgan's Creek and Hail the Conquering Hero, both 1944). The national amour-propre might not have withstood the denting he would have given it as an adult figure.
--Luc Sante, "Rogues' Gallery" in O.K. You Mugs

Frank Kogan (Frank Kogan), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 20:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Vindicated by Luc Sante on an All-American beef.

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 20:23 (fifteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
I watched it this weekend on cable, but maybe it's time to pony up for the DVD. I still think Al Bridge is great as the lawyer, with his speech about "Marriage has the woman's responsibility- it's up to her to have the man hogtied and dragged to church as quickly as possible," and then later with his "Why, Norval, what are you doing in your Boy Scout uniform?"

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 13:15 (fifteen years ago) link

eleven months pass...
The whole stock company is astounding in thisone, and I love how nearly everyone but Norval and the Kockenlockers acts out of the basest possible motives. When the JOP (Porter Hall) tears up the marriage license, he says TWICE to Officer K "I may call on YOU someday," Corleonelike.

"Listen, zipper-puss, some day they're just gonna find your hair ribbon and an axe someplace. Nothing else. The mystery of Morgan's Creek."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 18 September 2006 12:39 (fourteen years ago) link

I like it a lot more than when I first saw it -- the last third is pure lunacy unrivalled in American film -- but Eddie Bracken annoys the piss out of me. Probably Demarest's best performance.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 18 September 2006 14:32 (fourteen years ago) link

wow, and I see that I wrote exactly the same thing last year. Well, all that's changed is greater admiration for Unfaithfully Yours.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 18 September 2006 14:33 (fourteen years ago) link

"C-c-camp Sm-m-um."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 18 September 2006 14:38 (fourteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

"Crick! CRICK! Like a little river!"

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 19 August 2014 18:50 (six years ago) link

three years pass...

I've been sick 'all year' so I rewatched this as treatment today.

There are three long walking-around-town takes, two with Norval-Trudy and one with Trudy-Emmy, and they unfold pristinely, except one where there are two jarring blowups docused on betty Hutton. There's no way Sturges wanted that, some production asshole at Paramount must've insisted on breaking up the shot.

Among all the censor-baiting ribaldry, Trudy and Norval spend at least a minute of dialogue considering joint suicide as one solution to their predicament (ending with "What's wrong with gas?" "What's wrong with bigamy?").

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 January 2018 00:42 (three years ago) link

blowups *focused on Betty Hutton

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 January 2018 00:43 (three years ago) link

acc to the DVD features, Al Bridge's line “I practice the law. I am not only willing but anxious to sue anyone anytime for anything!” was flagged by the Hays Office to be cut; it wasn't. So they were out to protect the good name of lawyerin'.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 January 2018 19:07 (three years ago) link

Straight shootout btwn this, it happened one night and your pick of the thin man movies, morbs?

remember the lmao (darraghmac), Monday, 8 January 2018 20:21 (three years ago) link

those others not in the same stratosphere

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 January 2018 20:53 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

Morbs was never more correct than he was about this movie.

edited for dog profanity (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 18:22 (two days ago) link


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