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The Cockeyed Miracle

The Cockeyed Miracle(1946)


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Sam Griggs, a sixty-year-old shipbuilder in failing health, has foolishly and secretly invested his family's savings in a bad real estate venture. In the hopes that he will soon be able to recoup some of his losses, Sam does not reveal the mistake to his wife Amy and his three grown children. He tries desperately to sell the worthless real estate, which he bought in his friend Tom Carter's name, but the only prospective buyer decides to wait until the passing of a storm to see if it holds up to bad weather. While waiting for the deal to go through, Sam dies in his sleep and is transported to the afterlife. There he is reunited with the ghost of his dead father, Ben Griggs. Ben tells his son that the world of the afterlife is a place where money is of no importance and where walls can be walked through with ease. Invisible to his family, Sam watches his wife and children interact, and sees them when they discover his body. When Ben tells Sam that he has special metaphysical powers over the weather, Sam asks him to create a storm over his daughter Jennifer and Howard Bankson, a boarder, to help spur their romance. The trick works, and Sam is pleased to see Howard and Jennifer embrace while taking refuge from the rain. When Sam explains to Ben the danger his family faces if the storm wrecks his property, Ben uses his special powers to control the storm, and, as a result, Tom is able to sell the property for thousands of dollars. While waiting to see his family's reaction to Tom handing over the check, Sam realizes, to his astonishment, that Tom is thinking about keeping the money for himself. Tom is about to leave the Griggses without giving the check to Amy, but Sam and Ben succeed in preventing his departure by creating another storm and sending down a bolt of lightning. Sam vows to haunt Tom until he hands over the check, but his eerie noises cannot be heard in the house. Tom finally decides to pocket the check, and tells Jim that his father lost the family's money in bad stock market investment. As he leaves, though, Tom is unaware that the check has fallen out of his pocket and has landed on the living room floor. While Ben brings the storm to an abrupt end so that Tom will leave, Sam watches in agony as his family walks by the check without noticing it. Moments later, Tom discovers the check missing, and returns to look for it. He finds it and pockets it undetected, but Ben sends down one last lightning stroke that kills him. Assured that his family will now find the check, and that his daughter will be happily married to Howard, Sam joins his father on the journey to the inner world of the afterlife.