Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Magic of Preston Sturges

The Film Forum ends the year with a mini-fest of movies directed or written by the witty and inventive Preston Sturges, with BAT favorites in the opening and (especially) closing double bills. Among the many good reasons to go is the opportunity to see Barbara Stanwyck at her best.

The opening double bill (December 24-25) pairs the giddy Christmas in July (1940) with the Barbara Stanwyck-Fred MacMurray charmer Remember the Night (1940). If you see Christmas in July, you might understand why I submitted a certain cartoon caption more than eight years ago!

And for the grand finale (which ends 2008 and kicks of 2009) you can share in the joy of The Lady Eve (1941) and The Palm Beach Story (1941), which I'd say is the most sublime Sturges film, even more suitable for re-viewing on video than the others.

Another strong bill, on December 26-27, couples the political satire The Great McGinty (1940) and the O Brother, Where Art Thou? inspiration Sullivan's Travels (1941), featuring a "secretly" pregnant Veronica Lake.

And yes, 1940-41 was quite a productive time for Sturges.

Not included in this "Essential Sturges" festival is The Good Fairy (1935), a charming play adaptation that you can find on video.

Here's a kind of YouTube essay on connections between Sullivan's Travels and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Source (4:38)

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