The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

  • Review Date: July 12, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Classic
  • Release Year: 1944

Common Sense Media says

Hilarious WWII comedy flirts with taboos.
  • Review Date: July 12, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Classic
  • Release Year: 1944

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As nervous and wimpy as he seems, Norval valiantly tries to do what's right and good for Trudy, no matter the disaster it brings him. He's such a guileless innocent that he practically has to be walked through how to break out of jail. Trudy is a party girl who pays a price for her dishonesty and shows real remorse at the way she uses Norval.

Violence

A gun waved around (and fired, harmlessly). Some slapstick pratfalls.

Sex

Even though the movie is about sex, unplanned pregnancy, and abandonment, everything is couched in suggestion and innuendo.

Language

The family name "Kockenlocker" is an off-color pun.

Consumerism

Some references to other 1940s movies, music, and dance fads.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and partying (with dire consequences, but still looks like a lot of fun).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that morning-after nightmares about sex and unplanned pregnancy are at the center of this comedy, even though the scandalous material is presented within the boundaries of good taste (and old Hollywood's strict censorship code, though it's pretty amazing how much they got away with). Technically, at least, there's no pre-marital sex -- it's just that heroine Trudy can't remember whom it was that she drunkenly married and took to bed.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK takes place during WWII. Vivacious small-town girl Trudy Kockenlocker (Betty Hutton) wants to go out and join the frantic dancing and drinking with young servicemen on their way to the war, but is kept a virtual prisoner at home by her protective, widowed father (William Demerest), the local cop. Norval Jones (Eddie Bracken), a wimpy bank clerk who disqualified from the military, agrees to pretend to take Trudy to the movies so that Trudy can go to a party. When she wakes up back at home after the party, she has a makeshift wedding ring and a vague memory of spending a passionate night with a man whose name she thinks goes something like "Ratsky-Watsky." When Trudy realizes she's pregnant, she and Norval, who will do anything to help her, scheme to elope and get married. But because Trudy is technically married already, Norval has to impersonate "Ratsky-Watsky," which is what brings down the law on him, for impersonating a military officer, bigamy, corrupting public morals, and host of other charges. It takes the "miracle" of the title to suddenly turn Norval into a national hero -- maybe even turn the tide of the war.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Long before Knocked Up there was this classic, rapid-fire comedy about unintended pregnancy and the consequences of casual sexual intercourse -- made in a Hollywood so strictly ruled by iron-fisted censorship that even using terms like "pregnancy" and "casual sexual intercourse" were forbidden. Director Preston Sturges was a master of rollicking comedies that heavily utilized suggestion, character reaction, and innuendo, and he made this farce surrounding some of the most taboo subjects without holding back. A few of the supporting characters, whose role in the action is rather puzzling, are holdovers from a previous Sturges comedy, the more politically oriented The Great McGinty.

Bracken is hilarious in his nonstop comical meltdown as a jittery but pure-hearted suitor -- so incredibly naĂŻve and innocent he has to be walked, step-by-step, through a jailbreak, not comprehending what's going on. Hutton was a blonde, wholesomely gorgeous singer-actress who has an early scene here lip-syncing to a record that could stand by itself as one of Hollywood's funniest moments. Ever. Even with the laugh-out-loud stuff, the basic pathos of these folks, trying so hard to make backpedal from the consequences of one reckless night, is touching as it convulsive.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the WWII historical backdrop to this film -- when young male soldiers were departing regularly for battle, and there was a certain expectation that they were entitled to get married, or even fool around, before marching off to fight and likely die. Premarital sex and single mothers no longer carry the stigma they did when this film was made. Do you think that's a good thing? Do you think this film could have been in today's R-rated climate and remained as funny? It might need explaining that a few of the supporting characters, whose role in the action is rather puzzling, are holdovers from a previous Preston Sturges comedy, The Great McGinty.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 19, 1944
DVD release date:September 6, 2005
Cast:Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken, William Demarest
Director:Preston Sturges
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Classic
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Miracle of Morgan's Creek was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families