I’ve gotten into the habit of posting little things that occur to me on Facebook. But I’m in the process of leaving Facebook. It really is an evil dump. And it bugs me that I’m creating free content for it.
Few songs feel me with so much energy as “Murder, He Says” written by Frank Loesser and Jimmy McHugh for the film Happy Go Lucky (1943). It is sung by Betty Hutton who co-starred in the film.
Hutton was never what I would call a movie star. Her focus was more on live performance although she had a number of hit records like the Hoagy Carmichael song Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief. If you watch the video for that song, you can tell that Hutton was something of a goof.
Her biggest success was probably in the title role of Annie Get Your Gun — a role she was born to play. I’m just not that fond of musicals like that anymore. (I loved them when I was a kid!)
The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
The film I most associate her with is The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944). It was one of the handful of Preston Sturges classics made during World War II. In it, Hutton plays a classic girl who can’t say no. She wakes up one morning having remembered that she married a soldier the night before but can’t remember his name (except that it had a “z” in it). Later, she learns that she is pregnant.
The film is a maze of absurdities in its attempt to justify what everyone watching knows is about premarital sex in the age of the Hays Code. If you get a chance, you should watch it. The plot doesn’t make much sense. But Sturges’ dialog is as witty as ever and Betty Hutton is her usual effervescent self.
Murder, He Says
Here is Hutton performing “Murder, He Says” for the troops: