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Palm Beach Story, the


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  • Actors: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee, Sig Arno
  • Directors: Preston Sturges
  • Writers: Preston Sturges, Ernst Laemmle
  • Producers: Buddy G. DeSylva, Paul Jones
  • Format: Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Feb. 1 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006H32DY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,299 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on 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: DVD Verified Purchase
Although it gets a little hysterical at times, this is a great screwball comedy with Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Rudy Valee and Mary Astor. Astor, in particular, shines as the chatty and man-mad Princess Centimillia.
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By B. D. Loosen on Feb. 19 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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By A Customer on May 28 2004
Format: VHS Tape
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.
Criterion, are you listening?
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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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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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