Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)

This frenetic farce from Preston Sturges seems to have lost something through the years, or maybe it's just me. Much like Hail the Conquering Hero, this film takes its cues from nervous-nelly leading man Eddie Bracken, and for me at least, it makes the film grating. Sturges's films are generally so lightning-fast that they seem pitched on the edge of hysteria anyway; adding a character who is permanently on the verge of a nervous breakdown makes everything too jittery by half. William Demarest plays a welcome gruff respite from the high-pitched hijinx, but even he can't save a laborious setpiece near the end where he has to convince Bracken to assault him. The last twenty minutes are unmistakably top-drawer Sturges (brilliant use of montage to build humor, plus jokes involving Hitler and Mussolini), and the rest of it does have fine moments (only Sturges could get away with naming a character Kockenlocker in the '40s), but mostly it's more daring than funny.

Grade: C+


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home