Crooked, but never common : the films of Preston Sturges / Stuart Klawans.

Klawans, Stuart [Browse]
New York : Columbia University Press, [2023]
366 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 22 cm


Summary note
"For a brief period of about five years in the early 1940s, Preston Sturges sat on the top of Hollywood. At the time, he was one of the few people, along with Orson Welles and Frank Capra, who both wrote and directed his films. Sturges's films including The Great McGinty (1940), Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The Miracle of Morgan Creek (1942), and Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) have become classics of American comedy and took the genre of screwball comedy in new directions. Beyond their comedic elements and brilliant dialogue, Sturges's films remain timely in their critical view of social and political arrangements, yearning for and disillusionment with romantic love, and defiance of prudery. His work's influence continues to influence contemporary directors such as the Coen brothers. In Crooked, but Never Common, longtime film critic for The Nation, Stuart Klawans examines what made Sturges's film so distinctive, fun, and incisive in their critique of the hypocrisies of American society. The book ties the films into the director's own life and his struggles navigating the Hollywood studio system, and presents Sturges as a filmmaker whose work balanced slapstick and critique, American and European traditions, and a cynicism and affection for his characters"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Instead of an introduction : a rhetoric of Preston Sturges
  • Ya can't get away from arithmetic : The great McGinty
  • He thinks he has ideas : Christmas in July
  • I'm not a poet, I'm an ophiologist : The Lady Eve
  • As you are, so shall you remain : Sullivan's travels
  • Topic A : The Palm Beach story
  • Homo sapiens, the wise guy : Triumph over pain
  • Psycholology : The miracle of Morgan's Creek
  • That's all you know how to hurt : Hail the conquering hero
  • You arouse the artist in me : The sin of Harold Diddlebock
  • Every emotion was exaggerated : Unfaithfully yours
  • Instead of a conclusion : a genealogy of Preston Sturges.
  • 9780231207287 (hardcover)
  • 023120728X (hardcover)
  • 9780231207294 (paperback)
  • 0231207298 (paperback)
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