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on 4 August 2005
A great cast and some snappy dialogue make this nutty comedy about a woman who wants to divorce her husband in order to finance him by marrying a wealthy man, is everything this genre of comedy can be. Preston Sturges wrote and directed this little gem with fast pacing, and lots of little character parts to back up his stars, that help the keep the humor going throughout the film. The generous but deaf Wenie King (Robert Dudley), Sig Arno as Toto, and Arthur Hoyt as the Pullman conductor are among those that make this film take flight.
Claudette Colbert sparkles, and looks heavenly in an assortment of lavish gowns, and Joel McCrea plays her handsome but penniless husband, an inventor whose ideas have never paid off. Enter myopic millionaire John D. Hackensacker III, played with marvelous ease by Rudy Vallee, who goes on a shopping spree when he meets Claudette that includes a very large diamond ring. To complicate matters, Rudy has a sophisticated and lustful sister (Mary Astor in a terrific performance), who sets her heart on Joel, because she has been led to believe he is Claudette's brother.
Victor Young wrote the music, and Rudy Vallee, the legendary "Megaphone Crooner" of the 1930s, sings "Goodnight Sweetheart." Always unpredictable, "Palm Beach Story" is a silly, wacky farce that is written with intelligence, making it a smart and sassy comedy, with never a dull moment between chuckles. Total running time is 88 minutes.
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on 31 March 2009
The Palm Beach Story is often forgotten when reviewers wax lyrical about Preston Sturges, the writer and driector of this superb film. It may not have the more serious point of Sullivan's Travels, Sturges' most famous film, but I actually prefer the more farcical Palm Beach Story.

The plot is of Geraldine (Claudette Colbert), who tired of the shame of debt, leaves her inventor husband Tom (Joel McCrea), when a rich old man gives her money. She heads off to Palm Beach (courtesy of the drunken Ale and Quail hunting club's private train carriage) to obtain a divorce, encountering on the way an extraordinarily wealthy heir, John D. Hackensacker III, who falls immediately in love with her. Tom, then, follows Geraldine to Palm Beach to win her back.

The plot becomes a bit complicated as all farces do, but Sturges has written a witty script full of absurdity, sarcasm, quotable lines and a very very funny array of supporting characters. The cast consists of great comic actors, such as Mary Astor and William Demarest, who bring Sturges script alive. There may be no deeper layer to this film, but it is tremendously good fun and always has me hooting with laughter.
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on 7 April 2016
My favourite film of all time is 'Some Like it Hot' (SLIH)

Imagine my surprise when I saw this and realised that 'Some.. ' is just a homage to this brilliant film - the train scene,the boat, the charcter names and so on. AWESOME!

Apparently there is an earlier German version of SLIH. if anyone knows the title, can they let us know please?
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on 29 May 2010
Yes I know it stars Claudette Colbert but watch out for the arrial of Mary Astor as the man eating glamour puss. She is equally wonderful with La Colbert in Midnight (Not yet released on Region 2 ). The plot is mad and complicated but the vintage comedies often whisk along at speed and care more about the set pieces than the story line.There are so many funny set ups in the movie that writing this review makes me want to watch it again. I love the old man with the money who sort of starts the plot rolling - like all the great golden age movies the casting is impeccable. So pop this in the dvd player, forget the world outside and prepare to laugh your head off.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 June 2016
Marriage and fidelity were, of course, seeming obsessions with master satirist and screwball comedy writer-director Preston Sturges and with this 1942 film Sturges once again pursues these themes, in the process striking an irresistible balance between razor-sharp scripting and great ensemble slapstick sequences (straight out of the classic silent comedy era). The Palm Beach Story is also notable for the inventive set-up of what is another preposterous (but go with it!) Sturges plot, as fast-moving (confusing?) 'wedding shenanigans’ play over the credits, leaving a disgruntled husband and wife pairing of Joel McCrae’s struggling inventor, Tom Jeffers, and Claudette Colbert’s glamorous Gerry, a wife willing to tout her wares ('Sex always has something to do with it..’) in support of her husband’s wacky career ambitions, the pair now holed up in an upmarket New York apartment that they can ill afford. (The fanciful reason for the ambivalence in the couple’s relationship is not revealed until the film’s closing minutes.)

The narrative of Sturges’ film can be divided into three (roughly) half-hour sections, each with their own standout qualities. First off, we get some great visual comedy between Robert Dudley’s hard-of-hearing, property-hunting, wealthy 'Wienie King’ and Gerry and a nice set-up of what proves to be an endearing romantic comedy pairing of McCrea and Colbert, before Gerry decides (with some of the Wienie King’s cash-in-hand) to up sticks to Florida, in order to allow Tom to prosper by himself. Hilarious anarchy breaks out on Gerry’s train ride to Palm Beach as (seemingly) most of Sturges’ stock acting troupe are aboard as the gun-toting drunks making up The Ale and Quail Club, before Rudy Vallée’s geeky, penny-pinching business tycoon, John D Hackensacker III, is lured by Gerry into pledging cash to help her husband’s business venture (an airport suspended in md-air!), and thence the couple relocate to Hackensacker’s yacht (in a series of sequences which called to my mind similar moments from Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot). Sturges’ subtle digs at the moneyed classes during Gerry and Hackensacker’s yacht-bound dialogue scene are particularly memorable. Finally, on arrival in Florida, Hackensacker’s sister Maud, played by Mary Astor as an 'imposing motormouth’ in a near film-stealing performance, makes up a foursome with her brother, Gerry and (the recently arrived) Tom ('playing’ Gerry’s brother), giving us some delightful moments of comedic deception, before Sturges lands us with his outlandish, but irresistible denouement.

It’s a film more in the vein of Sturges’ more out-and-out screwball comedies such as The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, as opposed to the more serious interludes in Sullivan’s Travels, but is certainly none the worse for that!
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on 7 January 2015
Absurdly-plotted comedy about the human absurdity of the relationship between money and sex.

Claudette COLBERT does well in a role that does not really fit her. She is ill-at-ease with slick, fast paced dialogue; preferring to use her cheekily-expressive face to get across the movie’s more censorable elements.

Rudy VALLÉE is brilliant as a mild-mannered millionaire who talks an awful lot of sense about life and business; taking his inherited wealth as it comes – as he does people. Mary ASTOR essays her usual sluttish characterization (based partly on herself) with unmistakable relish and well-meaning gusto. She is silly and superficial, but you cannot help laughing because she is so funny with it. And, as usual with director Preston Sturges, he foregrounds the women as a way of showing how weak and overblown the men are.
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on 28 December 2013
There are tiresome moments but also enough highlights coming along to make the little longueurs bearable. It's true that the Ale and Quail Club quickly becomes slapsticky-tedious, but the Weenie King is great as is the sparky relationship between Joel and Claudette. Mary Astor is a motor-mouth-stunner and Rudy Vallee is priceless. So many lines and some of them are hilarious. The complete ignorance of the truly poor is unusual in Sturges's oeuvre but we have to accept that Joel as an architect with a crackpot scheme, and his ditzy beautiful wife (Claudette who might seem just too amused by it all) must stand in for them. Not quite perfect.
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on 27 July 2010
A classic film, which i enjoyed.From the days when films were made to entertain the family, and not show violence for the sake of it. as todays films are.
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on 10 November 2015
Its a brilliant witty comedy. . Definitely seeing again and again with this expert casting and stylish direction of a sparkling 1940s screwball comedy. Thanks for a good print.
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on 27 August 2015
Lovely movie, also the delivery was fantastic......ordered 26 August and delivered 27 August,
Great company will use again
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