Preston Sturges

Preston Sturges

Highest Rated: 100% Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Lowest Rated: 63% The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend (1949)

Birthday: Aug 29, 1898

Birthplace: Not Available

One of Hollywood's genuinely legendary directors, Preston Sturges redefined the boundaries and meaning of screen comedy during part of the early '40s. The son of a socially prominent couple, Sturges had a cosmopolitan upbringing throughout Europe and America, and served in the Air Corps during World War I. He worked for a time in his mother's cosmetics company before moving into other fields, including inventing. He began writing plays in the late '20s, creating one major hit, Strictly Dishonorable. Sturges then got some experience writing screen dialogue and became a scriptwriter in 1933. By the middle of the decade, he had developed a reputation at Paramount Pictures for his witty, sophisticated, but unpretentious writing, most notably in The Good Fairy and Easy Living. He also learned a lot about filmmaking during this period, and, in 1940, convinced the studio to allow him to direct his first picture, The Great McGinty, a political satire (always considered a risky category for films) that astonished everybody by becoming a major hit. Sturges subsequently directed Christmas in July (1940), The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), and Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), all of which were solid commercial and critical successes and seem even more extraordinary today considering their subject matter. Through its pacing and sheer bravado, Morgan's Creek somehow made it past the censors with its story of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, while Sullivan's Travels (considered by many to be Sturges' best film) managed to satirize Hollywood on numerous levels. He got the movie business to laugh at itself and Americans to laugh at their own sentimentality and cultural sacred cows, and he was so successful that many screenwriters began to move into directing. However, Sturges' own career faltered after a dispute with studio management and the failure of an ill-advised "serious" historical drama, The Great Moment (1944). He left Paramount in 1944 and tried to restart his career in collaboration with screen legend Harold Lloyd in Mad Wednesday (1947). After that failed, Sturges then made the successful, sophisticated comedy Unfaithfully Yours (1948) and faded out of Hollywood after making The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend (1949), a Western satire that was a shadow of his former work. A difficult partnership with Howard Hughes ended disastrously, and Sturges retreated to Europe, where he directed one more movie, The French, They Are a Funny Race, four years before his death in 1959. A superb writer and dazzling stylist in his prime, Sturges' reputation loomed larger even decades later, all the more amazing considering that it rested principally on a half-dozen pictures made during a relatively short period of time.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Virtual Obsession Screenwriter 2001
No Score Yet Paris Holiday Serge Vitry 1958
No Score Yet Mad Wednesday Screenwriter Director 1951
63% The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend Screenwriter 1949
93% Unfaithfully Yours Producer Director Screenwriter 1948
89% Sin of Harold Diddlebock Director Screenwriter 1947
No Score Yet I'll Be Yours Screenwriter 1947
95% Hail the Conquering Hero Screenwriter Producer Director 1944
88% The Miracle of Morgan's Creek Screenwriter Director Producer 1944
No Score Yet Star Spangled Rhythm Himself 1942
97% The Palm Beach Story Director Screenwriter 1942
95% I Married a Witch Producer 1942
100% Sullivan's Travels Studio Director Screenwriter Director Producer 1941
100% The Lady Eve Director Screenwriter 1941
95% Christmas in July Screenwriter Director Man at Shoeshine Stand 1940
100% The Great McGinty Screenwriter Director 1940
No Score Yet Broadway Melody of 1940 Screenwriter 1940
100% Remember the Night Screenwriter 1940
No Score Yet Never Say Die Screenwriter 1939
No Score Yet If I Were King Screenwriter 1938
No Score Yet Port of Seven Seas Screenwriter 1938
100% Easy Living Screenwriter 1937
No Score Yet Hotel Haywire Screenwriter 1937
80% The Good Fairy Screenwriter 1935
No Score Yet Diamond Jim Screenwriter 1935
No Score Yet We Live Again Screenwriter 1934
No Score Yet Thirty Day Princess Screenwriter 1934
No Score Yet The Power and the Glory Screenwriter 1933
No Score Yet Fast and Loose Screenwriter 1930
No Score Yet The Big Pond Screenwriter 1930
83% The Great Moment Screenwriter Producer Director 1921


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