The Palm Beach Story (1942) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
The Palm Beach Story (1942).rtf
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The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Gerry and Tom Jeffers are finding married life hard. Tom is an inventor/ architect and there is little money for them to live on. They are about to be thrown out of their apartment when Gerry meets rich businessman being shown around as a prospective tenant. He gives Gerry $700 to start life afresh but Tom refuses to believe her story and they quarrel. Gerry decides the marriage is over and heads to Palm Beach for a quick divorce but Tom has plans to stop her.
Claudette Colbert ... Geraldine 'Gerry' Jeffers
Joel McCrea ... Tom Jeffers ('Capt. McGlew')
Mary Astor ... The Princess Centimillia
Rudy Vallee ... John D. Hackensacker III
Sig Arno ... Toto
Robert Warwick ... Mr. Hinch, Ale and Quail Club
Arthur Stuart Hull ... Mr. Osmond
Torben Meyer ... Dr. Kluck
Jimmy Conlin ... Mr. Asweld, Ale and Quail Club
Victor Potel ... Mr. McKeewie
William Demarest ... First Member Ale and Quail Club
Jack Norton ... Second Member Ale and Quail Club
Robert Greig ... Third Member Ale and Quail Club
Roscoe Ates ... Fourth Member Ale and Quail Club
Dewey Robinson ... Fifth Member Ale and Quail Club
When commenting on a film as brilliantly constructed and deeply entertaining as The Palm Beach Story, it's hard to know just where to start.
Do you tip your hat to the uniformly wonderful performers?
Do you pay tribute to the bizarre and hilarious conversations held by the Weenie King (Robert Dudley), an incidental character who manages to be a lot more than a mere plot contrivance?
Do you mention the fact that the film was clearly an influence upon the (slightly superior) screwball classic Some Like It Hot?
Nope. You just say, Preston Sturges was a genius and this is his best film.
Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) has decided that she needs to divorce her husband Tom (Sturges regular Joel McCrea). Why? We're not quite sure. Perhaps she's looking for thrills, perhaps she simply wants a partner who can pay the rent and perhaps she's truly come to believe that she no longer loves him. No matter. Her mind is made up and there's nothing Tom can do about it. Try as he might, Gerry slips through his fingers and ends up on a train to Palm Beach, the divorce capital of the world.
Echoes of Some Like first appear on the train ride when Gerry finds herself unable to sleep do to the racket being caused by The Ale and Quail Club. It's bad enough when they start shooting out windows, and what comes next... let's just say that it's a lot funnier than it would be if it happened in real life.
Still, Gerry makes it to Palm Beach, in the company of nutty millionaire John D. Hackensacker (Rudy Vallee). Things only get really out of hand once Tom arrives and becomes pegged as a bachelor, Captain McGlew. And spoil more of the plot for you I will not.
Sturges was capable of operating in many modes: responsible and patriotic (Sullivan's Travels) and outrageously madcap (The Miracle of Morgan's Creek) are two that come to mind. But Palm Beach shares its elegance, wit and reserve with The Lady Eve, in which con artist Barbara Stanwyck sets her sights on absent-minded professor Henry Fonda. (Even the mistaken identity plot is similar upon examination).
Between the two, Eve may end on a slightly more graceful note, but Beach seems to be made with a bit more... well, experience. Sturges seems at his most relaxed throughout the film and it does a world of good. (The story is bogged down only by brief moments of racism early on). And leaving, it's hard not to feel sunny and refreshed.
For those in need of a vacation, I recommend a stay at Palm Beach. And the rest of you should come along as well.
THE PALM BEACH STORY is not to be confused with reality. It's a zany romantic comedy given full speed treatment by director Preston Sturges who brought screwball comedy to an art form.
His script, full of hilarious one-liners that fly by almost too fast to catch, is acted to perfection by CLAUDETTE COLBERT, RUDY VALLEE and MARY ASTOR--with a less enthusiastic turn by JOEL McCREA who gives the only so-so performance, perhaps because none of the wittiest lines come his way. I've always liked this actor but here is performance is almost muted and strangely remote.
Nevertheless, if screwball comedy is your dish, this is one you can relish. From the moment Colbert gets aboard a train carrying her to Palm Beach, the fun starts and gets into high gear, racing toward a conclusion that is not altogether satisfying nor even remotely hinted at until the final few minutes of film. It's a twist that somehow doesn't ring true--the only really false note in an otherwise perfect screwball comedy.
Rudy Vallee is outstanding as a nutty millionaire, a role written expressly for him (and he even gets to sing a little)--and Mary Astor, as his husband hunting sister, is hilariously over the top as a woman who can't stop talking while pursuing her man.
The "Palm Beach Story" has a poor title but it's a hilarious movie by the sometimes cynical master of comedy, Preston Sturges. "Palm" comes a year after Sturges far lesser comedy, "The Lady Eve", staring Stanwyck and a dull Henry Fonda. The superior comedy, "Palm," rivals the greatest screwballs like "Bringing up Baby" and "The Awful Truth" for sustained insanity and strength of characterization.
In this screwball masterpiece, the characters' flakiness is shared by the rest of their absurd world. It climaxes in a fantastic scene set on a train where an "Ale and Quale" club goes on a drunken shooting spree, forming a posse that tramps from car to car singing "A hunting we will go".
As Anthony Lane argues, "Palm" presents a realist view of the prominence of sex and greed as motivating and blinding forces. In a key scene, Colbert gives a little speech about "the look", or the copulatory gaze, that she's been getting from every man since she was 14. This movie is slightly cynical and funnier for it's richness. Comedy is set off against discussions of lost opportunity and youth. "Topic A" is what runs the world of "The Palm Beech Story", but sometimes topic B, money, is temporarily more important. After leaving her struggling husband, Gerry gets prizes from any horny man she comes in contact with: rent money from the regretful wiener king, taxi rides, a train ticket from hunters, and dresses and rubies from a millionaire. Also, the Princess has a kept pet-man who tags along as she pursues new husbands.
Sturges shares with Wilder and Allen a slighlty cynical view of human "nature". As Lane points out, they don't have a conservative Catholic view of the inherent selfishness and sinfulness of human kind, but a liberal, more Deweyan, view of human potential, slightly jaded from their experience. They are not without hope, but aware of limitation. Sturges is beyond naivete, like many of his screwball compatriots, and frankly examines weaknesses that others avoid or deny, and he criticizes conventions that supposedly created a utopia in the 1950's.
This is one of the highlights of the screwball genre that illuminatingly explores, like no other group of films, life, love, gender, sexuality, and desire in 20th century America in an endearing and always fun manner.
The Palm Beach Story is one of the best examples of the wonderful nonsense that Hollywood used to turn out in its best comedies. It's only in the movies that circumstances like these happen and it's quite beyond my powers to describe them.
Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert come to a dry patch in their marriage and decide to split. Colbert takes a train to Palm Springs and McCrea pursues her by plane. And they both wind up with a brother and sister pair of gazillionaires in the persons of Rudy Vallee and Mary Astor.
I will say that Preston Sturges did kind of reach into left field for his romantic ending, but that's half the fun of The Palm Beach Story.
Only half because the other half is the fun of the journey. Not much happens to Joel, but Claudette is on one wild ride when she's adopted by a gang of drunken millionaire sportsmen known as the Ale and Quail Club.
The proponents of gun control should get the right to The Palm Beach Story and run it at all opportunities. Seeing these louts, plastered out of their minds and shooting off their weapons is pretty funny and the best argument I know for gun control. Preston Sturges used some of his favorite players from his usual stock company for members of Ale and Quail.
Also look for a very funny performance by Robert Dudley as the 'wienie king' whose encounter with Colbert sets everything in motion.
Rudy Vallee gets to sing in this which is also nice. He sings a chorus of Isn't It Romantic and then sings his own hit, Goodnight Sweetheart which has the opposite effect from what he intended.
The Palm Beach Story is the object lesson in how to make screen comedy and make it to last.