The Palm Beach Story

The Palm Beach Story

Claudette Colbert
Director: Preston Sturges Cast: Claudette Colbert
Claudette Colbert
, Joel McCrea
Joel McCrea
, Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Preston Sturges

Blu-ray (Black & White)

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As for the opening reels, the principal motivating factor is money. After a deliberately confusing pre-credit sequence (not explained until the film's punch line), Tom Jeffers (Joel McCrea) and Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) are married. "And so they lived happily ever after," exults a title card, ."..or did they?" Well, they didn't. After five years of marriage, Tom hasn't raised a dime with his pie-in-the-sky inventions. Using the sort of logic common to Sturges heroines, Gerry decides that the only way to help her husband is to divorce him, marry a wealthy man, and use the second husband's money to finance Tom's schemes. Borrowing money from a generous self-made business mogul known only as the Wienie King (Robert Dudley), Gerry boards a train to Palm Beach, FL, where all the rich folk go. En route, she is "adopted" by the Ale & Quail Club, a group of perpetually drunken millionaires whose idea of a good time is to shoot their rifles at everything that moves (among the club members are such Sturges regulars as William Demarest, Robert Warwick, Jimmy Conlin, Robert Greig, Jack Norton, and Dewey Robinson). Taking refuge from this rowdy crew, Gerry makes the acquaintance of likeable stuffed shirt John D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee), who happens to be one of the wealthiest men in the Western Hemisphere. While Gerry spoons with Hackensacker in Palm Beach, the confused Tom (remember him?) dallies with Hackensacker's man-crazy sister, Princess Centimillia (Mary Astor). How all this straightens itself out is better seen than described, which is pretty much the case whenever one discusses Sturges' singular work, and The Palm Beach Story is vintage Sturges with one side-splitting sequence after another.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/28/2014
UPC: 0715515135917
Original Release: 1942
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W]
Time: 1:28:00
Sales rank: 14,497

Special Features

New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; New interview with writer and film historian James Harvey; New interview with actor and comedian Bill Hader; Safeguarding Military Information, a 1941 World War II propaganda short written by Preston Sturges; Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of the film from March 1943; PLUS: an essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Claudette Colbert Gerry Jeffers
Joel McCrea Tom Jeffers
Mary Astor Princess Centimillia
Rudy Vallée John D. Hackensacker III
William Demarest Members of Ale & Quail Club
Sig Arno Toto
Robert Warwick Mr. Hinch
Robert Dudley Wienie King
Franklin Pangborn Manager
Jack Norton Second Member Ale and Quail Club
Esther Howard Wienie King Wife
Jimmy Conlin Mr. Asweld
George Anderson The Gent
Harry Hayden Prospect
Monte Blue Doorman
Dewey Robinson Fifth Member Ale and Quail Club
Esther Michelson Near-sighted woman
Torben Meyer Dr. Kluck
Robert Greig Third Member Ale and Quail Club
Roscoe Ates Fourth Member Ale and Quail Club
John Farrell MacDonald O'Donnell
Julius Tannen Proprietor of Store
Arthur Stuart Hull Mr. Osmond
Victor Potel Mr. McKeewie
Chester Conklin Sixth Member Ale and Quail Club
Sheldon Jett Members of Ale and Quail Club
Arthur Hoyt Pullman Conductor
Al Bridge Conductor
Fred "Snowflake" Toones Bartender
Charles Moore Porter
Frank Moran Brakeman
Harry Rosenthal Orchestra Leader
Wilson Benge Steward
Frank Faylen Taxi driver
Byron Foulger Jewelry salesman
John Holland Best man
Mantan Moreland Waiter in Diner
Harry Tyler Gateman at Penn Station
Max Wagner Rough-looking comic
Edward McNamara Officer in Penn Station
Howard Mitchell Man in Apartment
Keith Richards Shoe Salesman

Technical Credits
Preston Sturges Director,Screenwriter
Hans Dreier Art Director
Ernst Fegte Art Director
Stuart Gilmore Editor
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Jones Producer
Harry Lindgren Sound/Sound Designer
Victor Milner Cinematographer
Walter Oberst Sound/Sound Designer
Wally Westmore Makeup
Victor Young Score Composer

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