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The Cockeyed Miracle

The Cockeyed Miracle title card

Year - 1946
Studio - Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Stars - Frank Morgan, Keenan Wynn, Cecil Kellaway, Audrey Totter, Richard Quine, Gladys Cooper, Marshall Thompson, Leon Ames, Jane Green, Morris Ankrum
Director - S. Sylvan Simon
Writing Credits - George Seaton (play), Karen DeWolf (writer)
Music - David Snell


Sam Griggs (Frank Morgan) is a retired shipbuilder, in poor health. Concerned about their future, his wife, Amy (Gladys Cooper) asks him how much money they have. He evasively replies that they "should" have about eighteen hundred dollars, but, in truth, he's given that money to his friend, Tom Carter (Cecil Kellaway), to invest in some coastline property. Tom believes he can sell the property to Mr. Spellman (Arthur Space) for a huge profit, once Spellman is assured that ships anchored in the harbor can withstand major storms.

The Griggs' daughter, Jennifer (Audrey Totter) is engaged to Howard Bankson (Richard Quine), an absent minded college instructor, who has an offer to take a full professorship in California. Sam's son, Jim (Marshall Thompson), plans to go to England and work for a prestigious shipbuilding firm, but when he requests the three hundred dollars his mother had put into their account, Sam tries to stall him.

The Cockeyed Miracle poster

Sam goes to the bedroom for a nap, and dies in his sleep. His ghost, not yet realizing he is dead, goes to the parlor and discovers that no one sees or hears him. Then the spirit of his late father, Ben Griggs (Keenan Wynn), arrives to escort him to Heaven. Sam, worried about his family's finances, begs to stay. The two ghosts observe the family members as they discover Sam's checkbook with a zero balance. Ben has the power to change the weather, so, when Tom Carter is attempting to close the sale with Spellman, he creates a violent thunderstorm. Spellman sees that, despite the storm, the harbor is reasonably calm, so he gives Tom a check for ten thousand dollars. Tom rushes to the Griggs home to give Sam his 50% share.

There, Tom learns that Sam has died. With Amy out of the room, he writes a check, made out to her for five thousand dollars. But he then realizes she doesn't know about the money, and he put it in his pocket before she returns, to the disgust of the watching ghosts.

After Tom leaves the house, Ben causes another thunderstorm just to give him a scare. But he is struck and killed by a bolt of lightning. His ghost returns to the house, full of remorse, where only Sam and Ben can see him. Realizing that the check will be found in Tom's body's pocket and turned over to Amy, the trio of ghosts leave for their Heavenly ascent.

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The Cockeyed Miracle was directed by S. Sylvan Simon, who was the father of Stephen Simon, producer of Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come.