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1935, Universal, 98 min, USA, Dir: William Wyler

Before he became one of the world’s greatest comedy directors, Preston Sturges scripted this gem about a well-meaning but naïve cinema usherette (Margaret Sullavan) who inadvertently spreads chaos. Adapted from Ferenc Molnar’s farce, the comedy follows Sullavan as she juggles men including Herbert Marshall and Frank Morgan, piling up comic misunderstandings along the way.

1944, Paramount, 98 min, Dir: Preston Sturges

Betty Hutton plays a World War II-era party girl who has a little too much fun while out with a soldier one night; when morning comes, she’s pregnant with only a vague memory of what happened. Writer-director Preston Sturges’ cheerfully eccentric riff on the Nativity story is as hilarious and inventive as anything he ever did, and astonishingly risqué for a Production Code-era film. Sturges regulars Eddie Bracken and William Demarest join Hutton in this comedy classic.

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