Great movies to watch: Pretty much anything from Preston Sturges

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Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/22/great-movies-to-watch-pretty.html

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#2

Thanks, I’ve heard praises sung of him, but haven’t seen these films.

A look at his filmography shows that the only one I’m familiar with is Imitation of Life (he was a “contributing writer”), which has all sorts of things about it that make it worth watching, both versions actually. So, lots to look into, yay.

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#3

Great post, Joel. I so appreciate when experts share their insights, passion and all.

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#4

You are missing out. Heck I am missing out. But I have seen Sullivan’s Travels and would happily watch it again. (Veronica Lake may be a big factor in that though)

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#5

Ummm Chaplin?

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#6

Must admit I hadn’t heard of him till the Coens did Oh Brother. And shamefully he’s still on my to watch list…

Bumped now.

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#7

Interesting. I guess I have to stand corrected on that. Chaplin’s great.

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#8

Yes, watch his films… but not “Hail the Conquering Hero.”

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#9

I’ll have to admit to being ignorant in relation to the works of this Preston Sturges.
That said I still feel compelled to ask; would the world be a worse place without the fabled Rom-com?

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#10

All of them? Surely it depends on how well done they are. And on what one’s tastes are (in which case, yeah, i suppose some people could just do without every single one of them).

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#11

Judd Apatow? Really? I guess that’s a statement on how bad our current comedies are that he’s the best you could come up with. Because I can’t come up with someone better, either. But I think it’s a poor comparison, because there’s a whole lot more going on in Sturges’s films.

Sullivan’s travels is one of the great films, period.

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#12

I loved Freaks and Geeks tho.

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#13

My favorite has to be Ants in Your Pants of 1939.

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#14

I agree Judd Apatow’s films are horrid, whereas Sturges’ produced multiple masterpieces. Apatow’s early TV work is commendable though. Freaks and Geeks is clearly a masterpiece (although Paul Feig deserves as much credit, if not more) and Undeclared was really well made.

Favourite piece of Preston Sturges trivia is that he spread the club sandwich throughout Germany during his travels as a boy.

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#15

I have to disagree. I think HTCH is one of his best. It’s small town life and small town politics and all the weird, crazy characters which inhabit that world. Very much a part of the times (1944) there’s some jingoism/racism when referring to the Japanese, but there’s also a sense of nobility in the men in uniform and the townspeople on the home front. There’s also an election – with a bit of scandal – which seems pale in comparison to our current times but in the end there’s truth and honesty triumphant. And it always brings a tear to my eye at the final scene. Personally, I think this is his best film.

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#16

One day I’ll be able to watch full length movies that I want to see again, and when I can Sullivan’s Travels is high on the list.

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#17

Some of his movies, like The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, are a little cringey to watch today. Also, he has a painfully cynical view of relations between men and women. That said, for me the movie of his that stands up the best today is The Lady Eve.

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#18

My favorite is The Palm Beach Story.

Joel McCrea is an inventor in need of cash to pursue his dream. His wife, Claudette Colbert, decides to divorce him and marry a millionaire to get him the money he needs. She runs off to Florida and gets involved with millionaire Rudy Vallee. McCrea pursues and gets involved with the millionaire’s sister Mary Astor, while masquerading as his wife’s brother. And then complications ensue.

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#19

My favourite is that Sturges’ mother, Mary Desti, was in the back seat with Isadora Duncan on 14 September, 1927 when Duncan’s scarf caught in the rear left wheel of the car. The scarf choked Duncan to death.

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#20

According to his memoir, Sturges’ mother sold (or gave) Duncan the scarf but wasn’t in the car for the snap.

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