Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 1944. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Preston Sturges. Cinematography by John F. Seitz. Produced by Preston Sturges. Music by Charles Bradshaw, Leo Shuken. Production Design by Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte. Costume Design by Edith Head. Film Editing by Stuart Gilmore. Academy Awards 1944.
All-American gal Betty Hutton comes home from a party for departing GIs drunk as a skunk, unable to remember just how it is that she stayed out at all night long. She discovers the reason when she finds a wedding ring on her finger and a growing bun in her oven, then realizes she has no idea who the lucky guy is. Eddie Bracken is brilliant as her befuddled childhood sweetheart who decides to marry her in order to legitimize her state of expectancy, only to be thrown into jail when their plan doesn’t work. Preston Sturges, like most directors in Hollywood during the mid-forties, was commissioned to make Pro-American, patriotic propaganda that would help keep morale high while the boys were fighting overseas, so naturally he wrote this totally controversial but exceptionally brilliant comedy. The studio was so nervous about its content that it delayed release for an entire year. Hutton has never been more comical or lovely, William Demarest is brilliant as her father and Diana Lynn a perfect zinger as her wisecracking sister, but it is Sturges and his fantastic writing that presides beautifully over it all.