The Palm Beach Story
Not rated, 90 min. Directed by Preston Sturges. Starring Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee, Robert Dudley, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Chester Conklin.
Sturges on the importance of money, sex, and guns – not necessarily in that order. Colbert plays yet another runaway heroine (a role she trademarked) in a screwball comedy, but with Sturges' usual subversive spin, she's running away from the man she loves so she can marry someone for his money. This is Sturges at his pithiest, with his choicest cast of supporting loons: the Wienie King, Rudy Vallee's hilariously understated John D. Hackensacker, the Princess Centimillia, Toto, and – yipes! – the Ale and Quail Club. The sequence under the opening credits is one helluva gag, with a shameless payoff in the final shot. Check out the Chronicle's story on the Austin Film Society's film festival www.auschron.com/issues/dispatch/2000-01-14/screens_feature.html; Unfaithfully Yours: The Satire of Preston Sturges.