PALM BEACH STORY
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The captivating Claudette Colbert stars as the frustrated wife of struggling engineer Joel McCrea. In a seemingly amicable agreement, Colbert hops a train to Palm Beach where divorces come easy. Desperate to escape a group of obnoxious millionaires on the train to Florida, Colbert hides out in a sleeping car where she meets, unbeknownst to her, one of the world's richest men (Rudy Vallee) who is relentless in his attempt to romance her.Upon their arrival in Palm Beach, Colbert is met by her husband who has come to claim her back only to find that Vallee's man-crazy sister (Mary Astor) is after him! The foursome's story unfolds through intensely humorous dialogue, flirtatious situations and a splendid soundtrack.
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. New interview with writer and film historian James Harvey about director Preston Sturges. New interview with actor and comedian Bill Hader about Sturges. Safeguarding Military Information, a 1942 World War II propaganda short written by Sturges. Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of the film from March 1943. PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This gem of a feature boasts total excellence in all areas, sparkling performances from a top notch cast, superb writing, delicious one liners delivered with relish, rapid fire direction and a beautiful overall look to the proceedings. Indeed so rapid is the pace of this film that it almost requires repeated viewings to be able to fully appreciate the genius of the comic situations and dialogue.
To describle the plotline as being involved and complex is a definite understatement. Convoluted in an endearing way is the best way to describe it. It tells the story of young married couple Tom and Geraldine "Gerry" Jefferswho are struggling financially as Tom is an inventor who has difficulty in getting his original ideas to sell. Gerry being of a harder nature is fed up with being poor and when they are in danger of being evicted from their apartment Gerry decides to do the only thing that a girl like her knows; divorce Tom and find herself a rich husband who can keep her in the style she would like to become used to, while also helping Tom to obtain the financing for his new airport project. What develops from this point onwards adds up to one crazy comic situation after another. Gerry firstly encounters the unforgettable "Wienie King" (Robert Dudley in an absolutely scene stealing performance) an elderly gentleman who is hard of hearing and who gives Gerry a stack of money to get her out of her troubles because he likes her.Read more ›
One of Preston Sturges four or five masterpieces, and IMHO his most masterly piece. The beautiful Geraldine (Claudette Colbert) and Tom Jeffers (Joel McCrea) are your (seemingly) normal everyday working-class married couple in financial straits; Tom needs some cash to develop his invention, a suspension-airport-tennis-racket, but this being 1942 and venture capital more difficult to raise in those days, Geraldine helps her husband and does the next sensible thing, deciding to divorce Tom, marry someone rich, and then invest in Tom's project. She hies herself to Palm Beach, touted to her by a helpful cab driver as the second most popular divorce resort next to Reno, "but for my money Palm Beach is your best bet for this time of year, you got your beaches, you got your hotels." Tom for some reason disagrees with her plan, valuing their marriage over his fortune, and hies himself Palm Beach-ward to fend off his divorce-minded wife.Read more ›
Highpoints include a trip on the railroad with the Ale and Quail Club; an introduction to The Weenie King, on of the funniest characters I know of in any film; Rudy Valee's unexpectedly delightful portrayal of a Rockefeller-like multi-millionaire; Mary Astor's excellent performance as Rudy Valee's sister; and a gentleman of unspecified ethnic origin known simply as "Toto."
The opening credits of the movie are among the most fascinating of the thirties or forties. While the credits are running, we see onscreen an entire prequel somehow involving two sets of identical twins (one set played by Joel McCrea and the other by Claudette Colbert).
Preston Sturges is not the best director the United States has ever produced, but he unquestionably enjoyed the finest five year period of any director we have ever seen. From 1940 until 1945, Preston Sturges enjoyed a run of amazingly crafted comedy masterpieces that by themselves place him on any list of the essential directors. In the late 1930s, Sturges built a name for himself by penning a number of first rate comedy scripts, including the classic EASY LIVING as well as REMEMBER THE NIGHT. Paramount gave him a shot at directing, and he responded with films like THE GREAT McGINTY, CHRISTMAS IN JULY, the great THE LADY EVE, SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, THE PALM BEACH STORY, THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK, and HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO. But then, suddenly and without warning, his genius deserted him.
But this is one of the best of his best. Just sit back, get yourself pleasant to drink, and have a good time.
Most recent customer reviews
Although it gets a little hysterical at times, this is a great screwball comedy with Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Rudy Valee and Mary Astor. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Susan Reynolds
Oh, I love these old movies. There is "meat on the bone", contentwise, humorwise, etc...The DVD technically speaking is of very good quality as well.Published on Feb. 19 2013 by B. D. Loosen
This is a classy, sexy, side-splitting comedy. So why is it not out on DVD?!
Buy it, Please! Maybe if enough copies are sold someone will release this gem on DVD. Read more
Preston Sturges, as a director, had a strong fancy for trains. In SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, he had a great railroad yard sequence in which an old tramp was killed by a streamliner, and... Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2001
Hollywood comedy barely gets better than this Preston Sturges glory. It's impossible to work out which is better - the wild imaginings and swiss-watch precision of the comic... Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2001 by David J. Phillips
There was a time when the movies were meant to be an escape from reality. Durning the 30's and 40's this was most definitely true. Read morePublished on May 30 2001 by Alex Udvary
The movie is a light frothy comedy, too insubstantial for my taste. There is not much story and no depth to the characters. Read morePublished on May 12 2001 by M. Halai
When buying a movie on VHS, DVD or Laserdisc, there's only one rule I'll consider: Is this movie rewatchable? Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2001 by E. Lambeth
I hope I'm this funny when I'm almost 60! Comedies don't always hold up well over the years; *we* just don't find the same things funny that *they* did. Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2000 by Peggy Rust