CHRISTMAS IN JULY
1940, Universal, 67 min, USA, Dir: Preston Sturges

Preston Sturges’ second feature as director stars Dick Powell as a humble clerk who thinks he’s won a big contest and starts spending like it’s, well, you know. Big problem: He doesn’t know he’s the victim of a practical joke. Typical madcap mayhem with Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn and the rest of the Sturges stock company.


THE PALM BEACH STORY
1942, Universal, 88 min, USA, Dir: Preston Sturges

Though Claudette Colbert still loves her failed-architect hubby Joel McCrea, she nonetheless leaves him for greener pastures. Enter Rudy Vallee as a mild-mannered zillionaire and Mary Astor as his nympho sister and, well, the possibilities are just endless. Another hysterical Sturges classic, highlighted by the all-star Ale & Quail Club and the unforgettable Wienie King!


THE GREAT MCGINTY
1940, Universal, 82 min, USA, Dir: Preston Sturges

Writer Preston Sturges famously offered the script of this classic comedy to his studio for $1 - with the proviso that he be attached to direct. This potent satire about the rise of Dan McGinty (Brian Donlevy) under the tutelage of a corrupt political boss (Akim Tamiroff) earned Sturges an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Many of the character actors here became part of the director’s stock company; William Demarest went on to appear in seven more Sturges films.


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