"Daughters! They’re a mess no matter how you look at ‘em."
Description: William Demarest as police officer Kockenlocker complaining about his daughters in the motion picture The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944).
Constable Edmund "Ed" Kockenlocker lives in the small town of Morgan's Creek and is the father of two zany unmarried teenage daughters, Trudy (Betty Hutton) and Emmy (Diana Lynn). As he speaks of fatherhood and raising his daughters, Ed Kockenlocker shares these sentiments:
“Daughters! They’re a mess no matter how you look at ‘em. A headache till they get married—if they get married—and after that they get worse. Either they leave their husbands and come back with four kids and move in your guestroom or the husband loses his job and the whole caboodle comes back. Or else they’re so homely that you can’t get rid of them at all and they sit around like Spanish moss and shame you into an early grave.”
Now Ed has reason to be concerned because his daughter, Gertrude ("Trudy") is infatuated with giving the departing soldiers a good time before they ship overseas during WWII. Trudy believes the soldiers are good, clean and noble fellows, but her father, a veteran of WWI knows better when it comes to soldiers and romance.
One night, Ed refuses to let Trudy go to another USO dance. To get around his dictate, Trudy asks her friend, Norval Jones to take her to the movies, at which time, she tells Norval she will go to the dance but will be back after the movie is over. Norval, however, waits all night for Trudy to return and then delivers her home at eight o'clock the next morning.
Of course, Trudy's father is outraged and tries to kill Norval, but Trudy and her sister Emma hold him down, so that Norval can escape in his car. But the trouble doesn't end there.
A short time later, Trudy is pregnant and has no idea of the name of the father. All that she remembers is that the night she attended a farewell party for soldiers at the USO she got drunk and thinks she married one of the soldiers. Whom she can't remember because the same night she got a bump on the head that makes the whole affair a bit fuzzy. All that she does recall is a soldier with the name that sounds like Ratzkywatzky or something like that.
With a baby on the way, Trudy is in a jam. How can she redeem the family honor and not cause a scandal in the community? Soon, Trudy and her 14-year-old sister, Emma begin working on a marriage scheme that involves Norval Jones (Eddie Bracken), a shy, naive, 4-F bank clerk who has loved Trudy since they were kids. But when Trudy begins to fall in love with Norval, she realizes it would be a rotten thing to stick him with a baby, just to save her reputation.
"The only time a woman doesn’t care to talk is when she’s dead" - Ed Kockenlockler
Meanwhile, Norval agrees to marry Trudy and in an attempt to legitimize her situation, he assumes the name Ratzkywatzky and poses as a GI (in a World War I uniform), but that only further complicates matters.
|Newspaper editor:||There's only one thing more, Mr. Governor - the marriage!|
|Gov. McGinty:||What's the matter with the marriage? She's married to Norval Jones, she always has been! The guy married them, didn't he? The boy signed his right name, didn't he?|
|Newspaper editor:||But he gave his name as Ratzkywatzky!|
|Gov. McGinty:||He was trying to say Jones, he stuttered!|
|The Boss:||What are you looking for, a needle from a haystack?|
|Newspaper editor:||Then how about the first Ratzkywatzky?|
|Gov. McGinty:||He's annulled!|
|Newspaper editor:||Who annulled?|
|Gov. McGinty:||The judge, who do you suppose?|
|Gov. McGinty:||Will you get Mendoza on the phone?|
|The Boss:||I'm getting him.|
|Gov. McGinty:||He's out of the picture!|
|The Boss:||Was never in it!|
In the end, everything works out fine. Trudy gives birth to sextuplets (the "Miracles" of Morgan's Creek) and Governor McGinty (Brian Donlevy) intervenes to dismiss all of the charges against Norval while using the sensational news of so many healthy baby boys as a symbol of America's vigor and strength during wartime.