Preston Sturges - Rotten Tomatoes

Preston Sturges



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.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Howard Hughes
  • Director
2004
No Score Yet Virtual Obsession
  • Screenwriter
2001
No Score Yet Paris Holiday
  • Serge Vitry
1958
No Score Yet Mad Wednesday
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1951
71% The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
1949
93% Unfaithfully Yours
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1948
89% Sin of Harold Diddlebock
  • Director
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
  • Producer
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet Star Spangled Rhythm
  • Himself
1942
96% The Palm Beach Story
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1942
95% I Married a Witch
  • Producer
1942
100% Sullivan's Travels
  • Studio Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
1941
100% The Lady Eve
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1941
94% Christmas in July
  • Director
  • Man at Shoeshine Stand
  • Screenwriter
1940
100% The Great McGinty
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
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
No Score Yet 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
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1921

Quotes from Preston Sturges' Characters

No quotes approved yet.