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The Cockeyed Miracle

(1946 b 82')

En: 6 Ed: 7

Adapted from George Seaton's play, a father dies without telling his family where he invested his savings, but he and his late father try to influence the survivors to solve their problems.

Ailing Sam Griggs (Frank Morgan) puts up a storm signal so that his friend Tom Carter (Cecil Kellaway) will come over. Sam's wife Amy (Gladys Cooper) suspects that Sam may have invested the $1800 in the bank in another real estate deal, but Sam denies it. Tom comes over and tells Sam that he will make $3,000 on the deal when they sell the cove, but the buyer wants to see whether boats will be safe in a storm before he buys it. Jennifer Griggs (Audrey Totter) is in love with the detached professor Howard Bankson (Richard Quine), who is soon leaving for a better position in California. Like his father, Jim Griggs (Marshall Thompson) wants to build ships, and he tells his boss Ralph (Leon Ames) that he is leaving the fish-packing plant to go to England to see about a job. Jim asks his father Sam to write a check for his $300 in the bank so that he can buy his ticket. Sam tries to delay, and the doctor tells him he must be in bed and can write the check in the morning.

Ben Griggs (Keenan Wynn) appears, and Sam discovers that the others cannot hear or see him. His son Ben informs him that he is dead. Sam asks for some time to say goodbye to Amy. He also wants Jennifer to marry Howard, and Ben asks for rain to nurture their romance. After they take shelter in a barn, Jennifer takes off her wet dress and wraps herself in a blanket. As Sam and Ben comment, Howard realizes he is in love with Jennifer and says he will marry her.

When Sam goes to Amy, he realizes that she does not know what he did with the money. Sam asks Ben to make a storm come up so that Tom can sell the cove. This works, and Tom receives a check for $10,000. Ben stops the storm so that Tom can go to Amy; but after learning of Sam's death he puts the check he wrote for Sam's $5,000 into his pocket to Sam's consternation. However, Tom drops the check on the floor and leaves. Sam and Ben try to get the others to find the check to no avail. Tom comes back and finds it and then leaves again. To frighten him Ben causes another thunder storm. Amy tells Jennifer to marry Tom and go with him and urges Jim to go to England because she is capable of running a boardinghouse. Finally Tom appears and talks with Sam and Ben, and they realize that the check will be found on his dead body. Ben advises Sam to forgive his friend Tom.

This spiritual fantasy allows the two dead men to comment on what they witness and sometimes even influence what happens just as prayer can sometimes affect the weather and other people's thoughts.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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