The Palm Beach Story Reviews
February 13, 2015
Not as good as the Lady Eve or Sullivan's Travels, but this is still a great Preston Sturges film.
January 18, 2015
What a strange film...
June 19, 2013
Another Sturges tour-de-farce, just keep the powder dry!
May 19, 2014
There is no lack of screwball comedies that love can conquer poverty. But few like The Palm Beach Story that features drunks shooting around and making fool themselves.
December 2, 2014
Real life hidden behind a Classic Screwball comedy... In the bath tub with the Wienie King--It's a slightly cynical screwball comedy about lust and greed... Zany fun...overflowing with Sturges madness!!
February 4, 2014
A woman married to a broke architect decides to divorce him out of "practicality". Along the way, she meets a charming millionaire. I've been meaning to see more of Preston Sturges' filmography since I really loved his other two films. This one is yet another great one. It is a screwball comedy. Apart from a few politically incorrect but of-its-time depiction of African-Americans, it holds up very, very well. Surprisingly quite a bit racy! I'm surprised the words "ass" and "sex" sneaked through. Is this pre-Code? I don't think so. Correct me if I'm wrong! The dialogue is sharp and witty and the cast plays it to the hilt. They don't make them like these anymore.
|The Movie King||
July 19, 2013
One of the most acclaimed directors in the comedy genre is Preston Sturges. Sturges is famous for comedies like Sullivan's Travels and The Lady Eve. My introduction to this acclaimed director is The Palm Beach Story, a comedy that is not really the funniest film I've seen, but remains an entertaining film nonetheless.
After a crazy and part-confusing opening credit sequence, Tom and Gerry Jeffers (Joel McGrea and Claudette Colbert) get married (And they lived happily ever after.. or did they?). Five years later, the couple remains broke despite Tom's job. Gerry is fed up, so she heads to Palm Beach to divorce and remarry a wealthier man. Tom, who still loves her, follows her and attempts to bring her back.
Also, Rudy Vallee plays rich man John D. Hackensacker, who falls for Gerry, Mary Astor as Princess Centimella, Hackensacker's sister, Sig Arno plays the Princess's servant Toto, and Robert Dudley plays The Weenie King.
The Palm Beach Story is an interesting comedy. The opening sequence was a bit confusing, but was still entertaining (everything gets explained in the end). There were many comedic sequences that were funny as well. The scenes with The Weenie King are flat-out hilarious, and are the funniest scenes in the whole film. Other hilarious sequences include The Ail and Quail Cub, a group of drunken millionaires who love to shoot on trains and sing "A Hunting We Will Go.", a sequence where Tom is chasing his wife while covered in his bed comforter, and a suspicion that Tom's wife had an affair with The Weenie King ("You met in the bathtub?"). As for the couple in the film, Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert are a good couple and had good chemistry.
While the general Tomatometer for this film is 100%, this is not a perfect film. The second half is not as funny as the first, where the rich millionaire and his princess sister comes in the picture. While there are a few funny moments, such as the rich man believing that Gerry and Tom are brother and sister, the film shifted towards a plain comedy to a little melodrama. While it didn't screw up a comedy, like Groundhog Day did, The Palm Beach Story wasn't as fun. But I still rooted for the couple and wanted them to get back together, which helps me like the picture more.
While not as hilarious in the second half, The Palm Beach Story is an interesting comedy, with some wacky humor, a likeable couple, and The Weenie King. I'm hoping to watch Sturges's other famous films in the future, since I've heard them to be good, especially Sullivan's Travels.
|Four Star Film Fan||
February 4, 2013
Starring Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea with direction by Preston Sturges, the film opens with the chaotic marriage of a couple. As the story progresses we learn they are essentially broke because the husband is a lowly architect and his wife cannot do much anything. She resolves to divorce him so that he will not have to support her. She makes her way to Palm Beach by train, using her feminine charm on many men. One such millionaire is especially smitten with her. Despite his awkwardness, she continues the relationship as she wants to send money to her husband so his airport can be built. However, things get complicated when her husband comes for her and the millionaire's chatterbox sister comes to visit as well. In order to save face Colbert's character introduces him as her brother. Now her husband is being pursued by another woman and she is close to being proposed to. Finally, she explains what is going on leaving the brother and sister disappointed. However, there is still hope thanks to a hilarious coincidence. The film ends with there beautiful simultaneous wedding ceremonies. Preston Sturges definitely has a knack for the quirky dialogue and situations. I have to say I personally enjoyed the Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels more but this film was certainly all over the place.
April 26, 2013
I enjoyed it very much however i felt that Joel McCrea's role seems to be scaled back for a person of his career at the time and Claudette seemed to be extended with a lot of fluff that didnt really need to be in the movie. The ending comes out from left field and seems to be a hashed together ending to a film that started out rather charming
March 22, 2013
A comedy that must have been controversial at that time.
March 3, 2013
Not the Best Sturges Out There
Preston Sturges always had a complicated relationship with the Production Code. The original title for this film was "Is Marriage Necessary?" As you can imagine, this was not approved by Joe Breen. Then again, his next film was the considerably funnier, considerably more shocking [i]Miracle of Morgan's Creek[/i], a film about a woman who either got pregnant out of wedlock or else committed bigamy, depending on which interpretation of the story you prefer. And it featured a family by the name of Kockenlocker. By those standards, this film is pretty much tame. Yeah, the story is still a little disturbing, as we'll get to in a minute, and honestly it's more unsettling by today's standards than [i]Morgan's Creek[/i], which is among other things considerably less calculated. Trudy Kockenlocker gets herself into a ridiculous situation because she didn't think; the problem with these characters is that they are thinking.
This is the story of Gerry (Claudette Colbert) and Tom (Joel McCrea) Jeffers, a young couple who fell hopelessly in love and got married, only to discover that two cannot, in fact, live as cheaply as one. Especially when one is crazy jealous and sabotages working relationships when men hit on his wife. Or even just mildly flirt with, by the sound of things. Gerry decides that the best solution to the problem is to divorce Tom, marry a wealthy man, and use her new husband's funds to finance Tom's invention. So that's a thing to do, I suppose. She manages to finagle her way onto a train to Palm Beach by flirting with the members of the "Ale and Quail Club." While on the train, she meets wealthy J. D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee), who takes care of her after the Ale and Quail Club's car gets left on a siding somewhere--along with her clothes. Tom manages to get to Palm Beach himself, where he promptly catches the eye of J. D.'s oft-divorced sister, currently the Princess Centimillia (Mary Astor).
You see what I mean. She's basically prostituting herself to J. D. She doesn't dislike him, but she also doesn't seem to be all that attracted to him. She doesn't seem to be all that attracted to Tom, come to that; no one in the movie really seems to have chemistry with anyone else in the movie. However, there isn't even having his best interests at heart, the way there is with Tom. She's embarrassed that he's spending as much money on her as he is, at least at first, but her plan is to get men to pay for, you know, everything. She cons the cabbie into a ride to the station. She cons the Ale and Quail Club into a ride to Palm Beach. We don't know how much J. D. spends on that first shopping trip, but he buys her a $300 dress--in, let's be clear, 1942. (Apparently, this equates to over $4000 in 2012 dollars!) Her embarrassment doesn't last for long. Though I will say it's better than hanging out with the gun nuts she gets on the train with.
As for Tom, he's pretty much a cipher. Joel McCrea was never exactly the King of Charisma, as far as I'm concerned, though he was entertaining enough to watch. However, it's hard for me to see him as the impassioned lover he has to be in order to make the story work. I don't mean to say that I think he'd just let Gerry go, but I don't think he'd go along with her dimwitted story, either. The whole story is shaky, even aside from the dubious morality. I don't see Tom as being crazy in love with Gerry; I'm not even sure he likes her very much. There's not much to like about her as far as I can see. Tom is a nice enough guy, even if his airport idea is dumb, but I rather think he'd be happiest if he just took off and let all these people figure things out on their own. He seems smart enough so that I'm sure he can find a backer if he only manages to get away from Gerry. All his problems seem to be related to her, and she doesn't seem to be worth it.
The final point I'd like to make, here, requires spoilers. It indicates to me that all these people really are completely interchangeable. We find out literally minutes from the end that the thing that first attracted Tom and Gerry to one another is that they are both twins. (It isn't even the dumb joke of their names!) So okay, this means that they get to stay married to one another--that part, you knew was coming--and J. D. and Centimillia get to marry the twin! Of course, twins do not have matching personalities at all times. I've known several pairs of twins over the years, and while mostly, they're similar, you can't assume that. Certainly they're not identical enough in most cases that you can marry one assuming that they will be exactly like the other, with whom you've fallen in love. None of these people are interested in one another's personalities, because none of them really have much personality to be interested in. No, if I'm going to watch Preston Sturges, I'll just go watch [i]Miracle of Morgan's Creek[/i] again.
February 6, 2013
In the late 1930's, a couple (Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert) enter into marriage and the first few years seem great. However, the wife begins to contemplate whether it was a good idea or not and one night, she leaves him. She then heads down to Florida to get a divorce and gets mixed up with one of the nation's wealthiest men (Rudy Vallee) and his sister (Mary Astor), and the husband follows her into the web of confusion. It seems to me that the best comedies from the 1940's are always directed by Preston Surges, and this one, along with several others, proves it. A nice combination of good dialogue and slapstick humours. The shooting brigade on the train is a riot. The first ten minutes are also interesting in that Colbert speaks so much that I thought I was going to have an asthma attack. She doesn't take one breath, which is fairly impressive.
November 12, 2012
Preston Sturges ha sido denominado el "Anti-Capra" por su posicion cinica y acida sobre los valores morales norteamericanos. En esta cinta, vemos como un matrimonio se desintegra debido a los problemas economicos y como la esposa (una maravillosa Claudette Colbert) se ve llevada a utilizar sus encantos para que los hombres le aporten algo de dinero a su vida, a pesar de la objecion de su esposo (Joel McCrea). Sturges nos brinda muchos enredos y dialogos punzantes en esta loca comedia, que ademas logra ser dulce y romantica, ademas de tener un final mas que desquiciado.
October 25, 2012
the cast were great, too bad the story was not that strong enough :)
September 24, 2012
It is completely nonsensical and even offensive at times but, all in all, "The Palm Beach Story" is a fairly entertaining comedy featuring some admirable efforts in developing drama.
September 2, 2012
delightful screwball comedy from the master sturges
August 21, 2012
Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert play Tom and Gerry Jeffers who are in love but about to get a divorce (making this likely to be one of those screwball comedies of remarriage, often discussed). You see, Gerry has some feminine wiles that she'd like to use to help Tom with his business (he's an inventor), but he's too scrupulous (and jealous) to let that happen. So, she up and leaves to Palm Beach to get a divorce and marry a richer guy (with Rudy Vallee, the richest guy, as the most likely candidate). The Wienie King funds her trip and then Tom's trip to win her back. Should I mention that this was written and directed by Preston Sturges? As such, you should know that you are in for a wry and ridiculous treat. Quite possibly, there is no logical route out of the romantic dilemma created here, unless...(well, I won't tip you to a screenwriter's safely guarded tricks of the trade).
August 15, 2012
More marvellous mayhem from Preston Sturges.
July 14, 2012
Yep, true Preston Sturges right here.