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The Palm Beach Story (BFI Film Classics) Paperback – January 22, 2008
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About the Author
John Pym is the editor of the annual Time Out Film Guide and was associate editor of Sight and Sound from 1980 to 1990.
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Top Customer Reviews
John Pym, in this beautifully illustrated little book, touches on many of the film's most intriguing elements--the wacky, episodic plot, the rapid fire dialogue, the late Depression era fixation on millionaires, and the erotic charge that jumps between Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea. He also gives us a few details of director Preston Sturges's life that put some of the scenes and attitudes in a fresh perspective. One of his original contributions is relating elements of the the movie to the outbreak of WWII.
What he skips, for the most part, is the actors. With his focus on Sturges, who also wrote the script, Pym appears to undervalue the contributions of the actors whose presence on screen makes Sturges's words sparkle. Throughout the book he writes mostly in terms of the script and the characters when discussing a scene, while in my mind I see and hear Rudy Vallee, Claudette Colbert, and the rest.
Overall, however, this book is a valuable companion to the film. The British Film Institute would do themselves and us a favor by combining five or six related "classics" titles into volumes of reasonable price.