The Miracle of Morgan's Creek
James Agee considered Sturges the most talented man in Hollywood as well as a highly neurotic figure whose brilliant satires of American Types and institutions masked an unhealthy cynical contempt for his native land and customs. Sturges inspired Agee to write his best reviews. Here is Agee (condensed) on this hilarious comedy.
“It seems to me funnier, more adventurous, more abundant, more intelligent, and more encouraging than anything that has been made in Hollywood for years. The essential story is hardly what you would expect to see on an American screen. A volcanically burgeoning small-town girl (Betty Hutton) gets drunk and is impregnated by one of several soldiers, she can't remember which. Her father (William Demarest), her younger sister (Diana Lynn), and her devoted 4-F lover (Eddie Bracken) do all they can to help her out. The result is a shambles, from which they are delivered by a ‘miracle' which entails its own cynical comments on the sanctity of law, order, parenthood and the sanctity of the American home - to say nothing of a number of cherished pseudo-folk beliefs about bright-lipped youth, childhood sweethearts, Mister Right, and the glamor of war. Sturges tells his story according to a sound principle which has been neglected in Hollywood - except by him - for a long time. In proportion to the insanity and repressiveness of the age you live in, play the age as comedy if you want to get away with it. Thanks to these devices the Hays Office has been either hypnotized into a liberality for which it should be thanked, or raped in its sleep.”