HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO
1944, Universal, 100 min, USA, Dir: Preston Sturges

When Eddie Bracken is discharged from the military for chronic hay fever, his pals decide to send him home with a reputation as a great war hero. What ensues is a flurry of patriotic fervor, some genuine and some ridiculous, but all of it hilarious in writer-director Preston Sturges' hands. Sturges' incisive view of what defines true heroism during wartime is as spot-on today as it was in 1944, and his direction of an ensemble of gifted character actors is a timeless delight.


THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK
1944, Paramount, 98 min, Dir: Preston Sturges

Betty Hutton plays a World War II-era party girl who has a little too much fun while out with a soldier one night; when morning comes, she’s pregnant with only a vague memory of what happened. Writer-director Preston Sturges’ cheerfully eccentric riff on the Nativity story is as hilarious and inventive as anything he ever did, and astonishingly risqué for a Production Code-era film. Sturges regulars Eddie Bracken and William Demarest join Hutton in this comedy classic. [35mm]


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