Summer classic: ‘The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek’

Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton in the 1944 Preston Sturges screwball comedy "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek," which plays Aug. 13, 2014 on the Kentucky Theatre's Summer Classics series.

Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton in the 1944 Preston Sturges screwball comedy “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek,” which plays Aug. 13, 2014 on the Kentucky Theatre’s Summer Classics series.

After a day of mourning his death, Robin Williams would probably be the first person to tell movie lovers they could use a good laugh. The Kentucky Theatre Summer Classics series has just the thing for us in the Preston Sturges screwball comedy The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, which shows at 1:30 and 7:15 p.m. today.

The film’s plot reads like something out of a modern day comedy along the lines of The Hangover or Knocked Up: Small town party girl Trudy Kockenlocker (Betty Hutton) wakes up after a drunken send off for the troops married and pregnant. But she has no idea who her husband is. It gets crazier from there in typical Sturges style.

Sturges was regarded as ahead of his time, particularly for his touch with dialogue, taking home an Oscar for best original screenplay for The Great McGinty (1940) and earning two other nominations, including Miracle.

The film co-stars Eddie Bracken as Norval Jones, a local guy who’s been in love with Trudy and tries to help her, which adds to the hilarity. Bracken, who died in 2002, visited the Bluegrass a few years before his passing to film The Ryan Interview for KET as part of the network’s American Shorts series. Ashley Judd co-starred in that film as a reporter interviewing a man on his 100th birthday in the short play by Arthur Miller.

In the film, the reporter realizes Ryan is a repository of stories from a bygone era. And presenting movies like Morgan’s Creek, the Kentucky keeps films and filmmakers past fresh in our memories. And we can also get a much-needed laugh.

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