Review: The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek (1944)

the miracle of morgan's creek

When I courted my wife it was a tad less zany, but only a tad!

Written By: Preston Sturges
Directed By: Preston Sturges

Rapid fire and without pause, that’s what The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek is aiming for. It’s as if Preston Sturges is daring you to try and find the time to really see his characters. He’s mocking the idea of character development and depth with witty banter and one liners that come so fast the viewer will never have a shot at noticing anything about his characters. That approach works wonderfully, and by the end of the film it’s quite obvious that every character in The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek exists as nothing more than a rapid fire joke. That’s a rapid fire joke that hits time and time again, mind you. There’s a reason why The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek is so funny, it’s because it’s constructed to be funny and never wants to be anything other than funny, and a little risque.

Mr. Sturges always manages to impress me with the dialogue in his films. The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek is no different. The words come so fast that at times they are unintelligible. They are, however, always funny and always sardonic in some fashion. The brand of humor employed by Mr. Sturges is quite dark, moreso than any other screwball comedies from the 1940s that I’ve seen. Mr. Sturges’ comedy hits the viewer hard and fast and it never lets up. Relenting would give the viewer time to catch their breath, and that’s not something Mr. Sturges is willing to allow. Joke after joke, hilarious scene after hilarious scene, and an almost harrowing tempo that drives every single funny moment into the brain of the viewer as if it were guided by a missile.

I’m surprised that The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek made it past the Hay’s Code. I have no idea how the Hay’s Code approved a film about underage sex, multiple marriages, unwed pregnancy, and so on and so forth. The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek is quite taboo in the ground it covers. However, Mr. Sturges’ film is never taboo for the sake of taboo. Rather it’s taboo for the sake of a joke. I can’t help but think Mr. Sturges is lambasting the idea of the Hay’s Code without those behind the Hay’s Code realizing it. Everything escalates in The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek, to a point where it’s not plausible. The ludicrous nature that the taboo issues in The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek take on are like a jab in the ribs of the Hay’s Code, a jab that shows that even under their moronic watch quality films can be made that push the envelope of what is considered proper content.

In The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek Mr. Sturges has crafted yet another uproarious comedy. The affair moves at a breakneck pace, and I don’t think Mr. Sturges would have it any other way. A bevy of fine performers get across the lunacy of their situation and all I could do was laugh again and again. Sure, The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek is very, very funny. But what most impresses about the film is the way that Mr. Sturges constructs his comedy and delivers it to the viewer. I never felt like I was merely watching a funny movie in The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek. I was watching a fine motion picture that swept me up like a tidal wave and sent me crashing onto a beach of jolliness. The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek is another example of the genius that is Preston Sturges.

Rating:

***1/2

Cheers,
Bill

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2 responses to “Review: The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek (1944)

  1. Nice review. Double this up with Knocked Up and I bet you’ll find the older film is more hilarious than the newer one in may respects. I think Apatow was influenced a bit by Sturges, but ol’ Preston kills it right from the beginning. That said, I hope no one in your real life wedding was playing the William Demarest part, as that’s a LOT of pratfalls and pain for one man!

  2. Luckily my wedding was small, and the biggest problem was trying to get a group of onlookers to shoo away when we were taking post wedding pictures. ūüôā

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