An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves. His latest attempt is the Maxford House Coffee Slogan Contest. As a joke, ... See full summary »
Twenty years after his triumphs as a freshman on the football field, Harold is a mild-mannered clerk who dreams about marrying the girl at the desk down the aisle. But losing his job ... See full summary »
J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it off the roof, it lands on poor hard-working... See full summary »
Trudy Kockenlocker, a small-town girl with a soft spot for American soldiers, wakes up the morning after a wild farewell party for the troops to find that she married someone she can't remember--and she's pregnant. Norval Jones, the 4-F local boy who's been in love with Trudy for years, tries to help her find a way out of her predicament. Trudy complicates matters further by falling for Norval, and events snowball from there. Written by
James Meek <email@example.com>
With changes to the first group of script pages still being negotiated, Preston Sturges did something he had never done before: he began shooting on the scheduled start date of production with barely ten pages of a finished script. In fact, so dependent was he on last minute improvisation and sudden bursts of creativity that it was almost at the end of production before he even knew what the miracle of the title would be. He shot for eight hours every day, then stayed up most of the night writing. This gave the whole process a sense of pressure atypical for a Sturges production. See more »
When Norval and Mr. Kockenlocker are sitting on the front porch talking, Mr. Kockenlocker is cleaning his gun. He has an automatic pistol, he cocks it to open the chamber for cleaning, and in the next scene he cocks it again. See more »
Sturges was a genius at combining slapstick with talk.
Seeing this movie consolidated 2 things for me: Sturges's genius and an interesting view of life in the United States during World War II. This is at the same time a fascinating sociological study and a sample of what made Sturges a popular director/writer. The history of motion pictures takes us through a long (more than 30-year) period during which no sound was available except that provided in the performance space--organ, orchestra or piano music. During that time, performers were made up to emphasize facial expressions, and they mimed and mugged for the camera, using broad gestures and waiting for reactions and intertitles. When sound came in, slapstick mostly went out, and writers flocked to Hollywood to make the sophisticated comedies so popular in the 30s. Sturges deftly combined the physical comedy of the early Chaplin/Sennett/Keaton/Lloyd era with the sophisticated comedy of the early talkies. Watch William Damarest mug in this movie, or the perfection of his pratfalls. His portrayal of physical comedy is worthy of the best early Sennett or Chaplain or Keaton. At the same time, there is sophisticated talk, social commentary and political satire. Akim Tamiroff as "The Boss" is a wonderful little portrayal of the influence of "Tammany Hall" tyrants on politics in the US of this time. Hutton gets a chance to do comedy denied elsewhere, and she shows good timing and an ability to laugh at her own public image. Eddie Bracken is a well put-together package of the Sturges comedy trademark: physical humor, good comedic timing, articulate performance just a little beyond the fringe but not too broad for the time (remember that Laurel and Hardy were simultaneously competing for screens). This is a great movie for students of film, US history and culture, and of comedy.
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