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Palm Beach Story, the

Claudette Colbert , Joel McCrea , Preston Sturges    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Preston Sturges Screwball Classic Delight Nov. 6 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Rarely have I enjoyed a screw ball comedy more than Preston Sturges's classic look at the lives of the idle rich and those that aspire to be that way in 1942's "The Palm Beach Story". Taking over the reins as both writer and director here Sturges has produced a gem which came hot on the heels of his classic "The Lady Eve" of the previous year.
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.
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Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie years ago and remembered it with affection as an unfailing pick-me-up. I've just seen it for the 2nd time on telly and wrote my review. In my enthusiasm I neglected to avoid spoilers, so for those who haven't seen this screwball masterpiece, please see the movie first and then read my review! Regardless of what you may think of me, you will not be disappointed by this movie. I dare you not to be charmed.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Sturges's greatest comedies Dec 17 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is an absolutely stunning comedy, with one comic shock and delight after another, and hilarious performances by a bevy of some of the best character actors in the history of Hollywood.
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Preston Sturges gem
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 more
Published 3 months ago by Susan Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
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 19 months ago by B. D. Loosen
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Film!
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
Published on May 28 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars 1942 STURGES CLASSIC
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 more
Published on Nov. 10 2001 by "scotsladdie"
5.0 out of 5 stars Bliss
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 more
Published on Aug. 23 2001 by David J. Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Slapstick Comedy
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 more
Published on May 30 2001 by Alex Udvary
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
The movie is a light frothy comedy, too insubstantial for my taste. There is not much story and no depth to the characters. Read more
Published on May 12 2001 by M. Halai
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a movie worth owning
When buying a movie on VHS, DVD or Laserdisc, there's only one rule I'll consider: Is this movie rewatchable? Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2001 by E. Lambeth
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic
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 more
Published on Sept. 7 2000 by Peggy Rust
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Watch IT!
I wouldnt even try to describe this film in a detailed fashion. The dialogue is crisp, and its of the type that will have you watching it again to ensure that what you heard ... Read more
Published on June 5 2000 by charles pope
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