The Palm Beach Story
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The raw materials of comedy are also those of melodrama and tragedy. A story of love imperiled by impending poverty can be taken down Heartbreak Road, but THE PALM BEACH STORY is filled with more delightful oddballs and surreal situations than any other movie I can think of, beginning with the Colbert character, who makes any number of odd decisions based on the `logic of the situation.' Problems begin when the `Wienie King' appears. He's a little old man in an oversized coat and hat who's a bit hard of hearing and a bit gruff of manner, wonderfully played by veteran character actor Robert Dudley. Generous of nature and a fount of common-sensical wisdom beneath his crust, the Wienie King's act of largesse early on in the film starts the jealously and resentment ball rolling. Like all the secondary characters in this one, though, he's more angel than devil, and his generosity will pay off in the end.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting! black and white. I thot I had seen them all! kit larsonPublished 2 days ago by Kit Larson
I love this movie and was so happy to find it at such a great price!Published 26 days ago by Robyn Weber
Great DVD! Delivery went smoothly and I'll add this movie to my "Black & White" library!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The curse of the dated comedy strikes again! I have always thought that it takes an exceptionally made comedy to stand the test of time which is why so very few of them get... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Frederick Baptist
No question, as I have mentioned before in reviewing a series of screwball romantic comedies from the 1930s and 1940s Preston Sturgis was the king of the hill, especially after he... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Alfred Johnson
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