Movie Moments for Me #2

Another self-indulgent clip. This one is from 1944’s “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek. Preston Sturges was arguably the first really well-known writer-director in Hollywood, and he was in the position of writing a film that almost certainly influenced “Juno” — only the self-imposed censorship of the time meant you couldn’t openly discuss sex in any way in an American film, nor could you say the word “pregnant” and the shame attached to premarital pregnancies was exponentially greater than today.

“Miracle” stars Betty Hutton as an irrepressible young woman who takes the matter of raising wartime morale among America’s troops a bit too personally and, with the help of some spiked punch, winds up married to a man who name and face she can’t quite remember. Her ensuing pregnancy makes matters a bit worse, especially for her long-suffering, long-time friend, Norville Jones (Eddie Bracken), whose entirely unrequited love for Trudy Kockenlocker is suddenly assumed to be highly requited by everyone, especially her father, Police Constable Edmund Kockenlocker (the utterly awesome William Demerest).

And here’s our first introduction to Ms. Kockenlocker. No wonder poor Norville’s so in love.


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