Combustible Celluloid
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With: Joel McCrea, Claudette Colbert, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor
Written by: Preston Sturges
Directed by: Preston Sturges
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: English
Running Time: 88
Date: 11/02/1942

The Palm Beach Story (1942)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Coupling and Re-coupling

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

One of Preston Sturges' best films, The Palm Beach Story is a fairlysimple love quadrangle, not unlike Leo McCarey's The Awful Truth.Struggling couple Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert attempt to split,and each finds a temporary new partner; she hooks up with rich RudyVallee, and he with Vallee's sister Mary Astor. Sturges concentratesmore on his trademark dialogue than on absurd situations, and so thecharacters always act intelligently. What sets this film apart, though,is its frenetic opening sequence, unexplained. Largely forgottenthroughout the film, it pays off amazingly in the very last moments.

DVD Details: Universal has released this title on a budget DVD (about $12) with no extras.