Rent The Palm Beach Story (1942)

3.7 of 5 from 101 ratings
1h 24min
Rent The Palm Beach Story Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Penniless husband, Tom Jeffers (Joel McCrea) looks like he is losing his scatterbrained wife, Gerry (Claudette Colbert) to multi-millionaire John D. Hackensacker (Rudy Vallee) when she walks out on him and heads for fun and sun in Palm Beach, Florida. They become involved with any number of outrageous characters, played by many of the Sturges regulars in hilarious cameos. The witty, sparkling dialogue, poking merciless fun at, amongst other targets, money and sex, is unforgettable.
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
Buddy G. DeSylva
Writers:
Preston Sturges, Ernst Laemmle
Studio:
Universal Pictures
Genres:
Classics, Comedy, Romance
BBFC:
Release Date:
05/05/2008
Run Time:
84 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
BBFC:
Release Date:
11/11/2019
Run Time:
88 minutes
Languages:
English LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • New interview with writer and film historian James Harvey
  • New interview with actor and comedian Bill Hader
  • Safeguarding Military Information, a 1941 World War II propaganda short written by Preston Sturges Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of the film from March 1943
  • An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek

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Reviews (1) of The Palm Beach Story

Screwball Classic. - The Palm Beach Story review by Steve

Spoiler Alert
Updated 11/10/2021

Sturges' best film is a very funny vehicle for comedy legend Claudette Colbert, but stolen adorably by crooner Rudy Vallee in a (mostly) non-musical role. As with many Sturges farces, this adapts familiar screwball themes: Colbert (Gerry Jeffers) flees from home and marriage and travels across country without money or luggage, hoping to attract a rich benefactor.

 She is adopted by eccentric oil millionaire John D. Hackensacker III (Vallee) while Colbert's husband (Joel McCrea) races her down to Palm Beach to save his marriage. The film starts off at full speed and never lets up, the baffling opening scene satisfyingly resolved in a crazy finale.

 There is less physical humour in The Palm Beach Story than usual for Sturges, though a motif of Colbert continually breaking Vallee's glasses with her feet is actually pretty funny. There is a typical Sturges supporting cast of oddballs, such as the very deaf Wienie King and the rifle shooting members of the Ail and Quail Club.

 But it is the opposites-attract chemistry of Colbert and Vallee that makes the film so special. They turn the dialogue into pure gold, whether Hackensacker's homespun, faux-naif philosophy or Gerry Jeffers' streetwise wit. The last great screwball comedy, bringing to a close a golden age of the cinema. 

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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