Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
The Palm Beach Story (1942). Romantic/screwball comedy. Written and directed by Preston Sturges. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor and Rudy Vallée. Victor Young contributed the musical score, which included a variation of William Tell Overture for the opening scenes.
Tom and Gerry Jeffer's apartment manager shows their apartment to the future tenant an elderly man, known as the "Wienie King," who is so taken by Gerry that he gives her $700 to help pay the bills. Gerry is tired of being broke and believes that she has held her husband back that she leaves him. At Pennsylvania Station, Gerry uses her feminine charms to get a men's hunting club, to buy her a ticket on the train headed for Palm Beach, Florida. The club members become too rowdy and after the men shoot out the windows she runs into a sleeper car. In the morning, Gerry discovers that the conductors have disconnected the Club's car because of their unruliness and have left her without her suitcase. John, an eccentric and one of wealthiest men in the world, takes an interest in Gerry and joins her in Jacksonville, Florida. There the normally frugal multimillionaire buys Gerry an entire wardrobe of beautiful clothes and a ruby bracelet. (my favorite part of the movie). Gerry is thrilled to meet one of the richest men in the world, and joins him on his yacht to Palm Beach. When she sees her husband Tom waiting at the dock for her, Gerry introduces him as her brother, "Captain McGloo." John's sister, Princess Maud Centimillia, immediately makes advances toward Tom. Gerry, talks John into becoming a financial backer for Tom's airport project. Will Gerry and Tom reunite and what will happen to Toms airport project?
This movie is full of hilarious one-liners. From the moment Colbert gets aboard a train the fun starts heades toward a conclusion that is not even hinted to until the last scene of film. My favorite character is Rudy Vallee as a eccentric millionaire (and he sings). Mary Astor, as his sister, is hilariously over the top.