Friday, August 29, 2008

Preston Sturges Revival Series at the Charles Theatre


Coming Attractions:

THE LADY EVE 1941 94m. bw.


SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS 1941 . 90m. bw.


THE PALM BEACH STORY 1942 88m. bw.






EASY LIVING (1937 Mitchell Leisen) 88m. bw.


THE GREAT MCGINTY 1940 82m. bw.


CHRISTMAS IN JULY 1940 67m. bw.

THE GREAT MOMENT 1944 83m. bw.

August 29, 2008 is

PRESTON STURGES' 110TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


   1937            1940          1940          1941 

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

   1941            1942          1942          1944 

   1944                1948      

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Preston Sturges - Links to Online and Databases

Official Preston Sturges Website

American Masters(PBS): Preston Sturges

Contemporary Authors Online

Criterion Collection: The Lady Eve

Criterion Collection: Sullivan's Travels

Criterion Collection: Unfaithfully Yours

Doak, Robert. "Preston Sturges's Vision of America: Critical Analyses of Fourteen Films." Journal of Popular Film and Television. 25.2 (Summer 1997): p90. Literature Resource Center. Gale. ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY. 27 Aug. 2008 .

Harkness, John. "The Sphinx without a Riddle." Sight and Sound. 4.8 (1994, Aug. ) 7-9. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Deborah A. Schmitt. Vol. 108. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. 7-9. Literature Resource Center. Gale. ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY. 27 Aug. 2008 .

Nochimson, Martha. "The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels. (Home Video)." Cineaste. 27.3 (Summer 2002): p40. Literature Resource Center. Gale. ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY. 27 Aug. 2008

Ursini, James. "Preston Sturges." American Screenwriters. Ed. Robert E. Morsberger and Randall Clark. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 26. Detroit: Gale Research, 1984. Literature Resource Center. Gale. ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY. 27 Aug. 2008 .

Wood, Robin. "Screwball and the Masquerade." CineAction. (Winter 2001): p12. Literature Resource Center. Gale. ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY. 27 Aug. 2008 .

Preston Sturges: A Bibliography

Adapted from an online bibliography at the Media Resource Center, University of California, Berkeley

Most of this material is available at the Enoch Pratt Free Library (either in book form - call numbers included-, on microfilm, or online -some of these are higlighted with links).


Bogdanovich, Peter
"Screenwriters and Preston Sturges." In: Pieces of time; Peter Bogdanovich on the movies. [New York, Arbor House Pub. Co., 1973]

Brill, Lesley.
"Redemptive Comedy in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock and Preston Sturges: 'Are Snakes Necessary?'." In: Alfred Hitchcock: centenary essays / edited by Richard Allen and S. Ishii-Gonzales. pp: 205-19 London: British Film Institute, 1999.
PN1998.3.H58.A725 1999

Corliss, Richard.
"Preston Sturges." In: Talking pictures : screenwriters in the American cinema / Richard Corliss; pref. by Andrew Sarris. New York: Penguin Books, 1975, c1974.

Curtis, James
Between flops: a biography of Preston Sturges / James Curtis. 1st ed. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, c1982.
PN1998.A3 S884

Dale, Alan S.
"Preston Sturges: girl in a jam, boy in a jam." In: Comedy is a man in trouble : slapstick in American movies / Alan Dale. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c2000.
PN1995.9.C55 D35 2000

Dickos, Andrew
Intrepid laughter: Preston Sturges and the movies / by Andrew Dickos. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1985.
PN1998.A3 S886 1985

Farber, Manny; Poster, W.S.
"Preston Sturges: success in the movies (1954)." In: Awake in the dark : an anthology of American film criticism, 1915 to the present / edited by David Denby. 1st ed. New York : Vintage Books, 1977.

Gassner, John.
Twenty-five best plays of the modern American theatre. Early series. New York, Crown Publishers [1949] xxviii, 756 p. 25 cm.
Contains “Strictly Dishonorable”
PS634.G4 Harvey, James
Romantic comedy in Hollywood from Lubitsch to Sturges / James Harvey. 1st Da Capo Press ed. New York: Da Capo Press, 1998.
PN1995.9.C55 H37 1987

"Cartoon and Narrative in the Films of Frank Tashlin and Preston Sturges." In: Comedy/cinema/theory / edited by Andrew Horton. pp: 153-73 Berkeley: University of California Press, c1991.
PN1995.9.C55 C65 1991

Houston, Penelope
"Preston Sturges." In: Sight and sound : a fiftieth anniversary selection / edited and with an introduction by David Wilson. London : Faber and Faber in association with BFI Pub., 1982.
PN1995.S4936 1982

Jacobs, Diane.
Christmas in July: the life and art of Preston Sturges / Diane Jacobs. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1992.
PN1998.3.S78 J3 1992

O'Brien, Geoffrey
"The Sturges style." In: Castaways of the image planet : movies, show business, public spectacle / Geoffrey O'Brien. Washington, D.C. : Counterpoint, c2002.
PN1994 .O25 2002

Sarris, Andrew
"Preston Sturges." In: "You ain't heard nothin' yet" : the American talking film, history & memory, 1927-1949 / Andrew Sarris. New York : Oxford University Press,1998
PN1995.7 .S27 1998

Schickel, Richard
"Preston Sturges: elegy for the Wienie King." In: Schickel on film : encounters--critical and personal--with movie immortals / Richard Schickel. 1st ed. p. 57-69. New York: Morrow, c1989.
PN1993.5.U6 S327 1989

Strictly dishonorable and other lost American plays. Selected by Richard Nelson. New York : Theatre Communications Group, c1986. xi, 296 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
PS634 .S86 1986

Sturges, Preston.
Preston Sturges / by Preston Sturges; adapted and edited by Sandy Sturges. New York: Simon and Schuster, c1990.
PN1998.3.S78 A3 1990

Sturges, Preston. A cup of coffee : a comedy about business. New York : S. French, c1989. 108 p. : plan ; 19 cm.
Original stage version of what later became the film Christmas in July.

Journal Articles

Brown, Geoff
"Preston Sturges, inventor." Sight and Sound v 55 Autumn 1986. p. 272-7
Geoff Brown finds links between the 'Davenola' of "Christmas in July", kissproof lipstick, waggling traffic signs and vertical takeoff airplanes.

Busch, N. F.
"Preston Sturges has led an eccentric, implausible life." Life v. 20 (January 7 1946) p. 85-6+

Canby, Vincent.
"Gaffes and gags of a shy dimwit." (Film Forum in New York, New York begins archival show called 'Harold Lloyd: A Centennial Retrospective') New York Times v142 (Fri, April 30, 1993):C1(L), col 4, 30 col in.

Canby, Vincent.
"The total Preston Sturges, preserved in hilarity." (six week retrospective at Film Forum, New York) (Living Arts Pages) New York Times v139 (Fri, Sept 7, 1990):B1(N), C1(L), col 1, 50 col in.

Carey, Alida L.
"This Cockeyed Caravan: A Preston Sturges Memoir." North American Review 273:4 (1988:Dec.) 60

Carey, Alida L.
"Then and now." [P. Sturges in Paris]. The New York Times Magazine (December 2 1956) p. 94+

Cavell, Stanley
"Pursuits of Happiness: A Reading of The Lady Eve." New Literary History Vol. 10, No. 3, Anniversary Issue: I (Spring, 1979), pp. 581-601

Cockrell, Eddie
"Sullivan's Travels." Variety August 20, 2001 v384 i1 p24 (666 words)

"Conversation with Preston Sturges."
Sight and Sound 25:4 (1956:Spring) 182

Crowther, B.
"When satire and slapstick meet." The New York Times Magazine (August 27 1944) p. 14-15+

Curtis, J..
"The great McGinty: from writer to director." American Film Vol VII nr 7 (May 1982); p 44-45,50-52.
Discusses the transition period in which screenwriter P.S. became a director. Emphasis is on his first directorial effort, "The great McGinty".

Doak, Robert.
"Preston Sturges's Vision of America: Critical Analyses of Fourteen Films." Journal of Popular Film and Television 25.n2 (Summer 1997): 90(1).

Drabelle, Dennis.
"Five Screenplays by Preston Sturges." (book reviews) Atlantic Monthly v277, n2 (Feb, 1996):108 (6 pages).

Drabelle, Dennis.
"Four More Screenplays by Preston Sturges." (book reviews) Atlantic Monthly v277, n2 (Feb, 1996):108 (6 pages).

Everitt, David.
"The man who lent screwball comedy a tough of class; Can anyone making romantic movies now measure up to the zany but literate Preston Sturges?" Probably not, but it's worth trying. (retrospective of his films at... New York Times v147, sec2 (Sun, July 19, 1998):AR11(N), AR11(L), col 1, 34 col in.

Farber, M.
"Satirist." The New Republic v. 107 (December 21 1942) p. 827

Farrelly, Peter; Jones, Terry; Kilner, Clare; Luhrmann, Baz
"Preston Sturges Changed My Life ..." Sight and Sound 105 [May 2000] 20

"Finding an audience: Sullivan's Travels." Journal of Popular Film and Television v 11 no4 Winter 1984. p. 152-7

Geng, Veronica
"Unfaithfully yours." (motion picture review) Film Comment 20:2 (1984:Mar./Apr.) 57
Compares the new movie with the 1948 Preston Sturges classic and you'll find a case of champagne comedy gone flat.

Gow, Gordon
"Conversation with Preston Sturges," Sight & Sound Spring 1956.

Hail Eddie Bracken
"Friend and Leading Man Talks About Working with Preston Sturges." MovieMaker 633 [April-May 1999] 42-43, 81

Harper, Dan
"Sullivan's Travels" Senses of Cinema 12:(no pagination). 2001 Feb-Mar

Hearle, Kevin.
"Sturges and The Grapes of Wrath: Sullivan's Travels as Documentary Comedy." Steinbeck Newsletter 1994 Summer, 7:2, 5-7.

Henderson, Brian
"Sturges at work." Film Quarterly v 39 Winter 1985/1986. p. 16-28
Technique and style of P.S. emphasizing his constant revision with special consideration of six of his films from "Christmas in July" to "Hail the conquering hero".

Hinson, Hal.
"Card sharks, con men, hustlers and dames." (American Film Institute begins retrospective on Preston Sturges' films at Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.) Washington Post v116 (Sun, July 04, 1993):G1, col 4, 56 col in.

Houston, Penelope
"Preston Sturges." Sight and Sound v 34 no3 Summer 1965. p. 130-4

Hunt, Paula
"Hail the Conquering Hero": Celebrating the Genius of Writer-Director Preston Sturges." MovieMaker 633 [April-May 1999] 40-42

"Innovation by Sturges." Newsweek v. 37 (May 7 1951) p. 84

Jacobs, Diane.
"Preston Sturges: the film maker seen whole; a six-week retrospective is to show the acclaimed writer and director's work in its entirety for the first time." (Film Forum, New York) New York Times v139, sec2 (Sun, Sept 2, 1990):H7(N), H7(L), col 1, 37 col in.

Kemp, Philip; Jones, Terry; Luhrmann, Baz; Kilner, Clare; and others.
"Ants in his pants." (Preston Sturges, filmmaker; includes related articles) Sight and Sound v10, n5 (May, 2000):18 (3 pages).
"While light-hearted irreverence was writer-director Preston Sturges's forte, his comedies also have a serious edge. For four years, from 1940 to 1944, he wrote and directed seven pungently exuberant comedies, pioneering the way for other writer-directors like John Huston and Billy Wilder. These comedies, especially the seven he created in his glory years, lurch breathlessly in every direction, simultaneously sophisticated and boisterous, urbane and philistine, careering along through slapstick, satire, farce, elegant verbal wit, and shameless sentimentality with unstoppable momentum. His films permanently loosened the stays of comedy--after him, anything went. Four directors, including Terry Jones, Baz Luhrmann, and Clare Kilner, comment on how Sturges influenced them." [Art Index]

Kilner, C.
"Preston Sturges changed my life ..." Sight and Sound, 2000 MAY, V10 N5:20+.

Kracauer, Siegfried
"Preston Sturges or Laughter Betrayed." Films in Review 1:1 (1950:Feb.) 11

Lane, Anthony.
"Ants in His Pants." New Yorker 1998 Sept 14, 74:27, 86-87, 89-90, 92.
Sturges' movies were some of the best sex movies though there was very little sex in them. The anniversary of the screenwriter-director's birth on August 29, 1898, was celebrated in New York with a screening of his movies. A Sturges festival was also screened at the L.A. County Museum of Art.

Luhrmann, B.
"Preston Sturges changed my life ..." Sight and Sound, 2000 MAY, V10 N5:20+.

Maslin, Janet
"Critic's Choice/Film: Antic Dolts and Schemers? Must Be Screwball Comedy." The New York Times [24 July 1998] B12

Moran, Kathleen; Rogin, Michael.
"'What's the Matter with Capra'? Sullivan's Travels and the Popular Front." Representations, 2000 Summer, 71, 106-34.
"Delves into the meanings of Preston Sturges's 1942 movie Sullivan's Travels beyond the genre of a screwball comedy. Analyzes each part of the movie for cultural significance and relationship to other popular directors, such as Frank Capra, and the leftist Popular Front movement." [America History and Life]

Nochimson, Martha
"The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels," Cineaste v. 27 no. 3 (Summer 2002) p. 40-2
"A review of the DVD release of Preston Sturges's 1940s movies, The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels. The former movie focuses on a fortune hunter who falls in love with her mark and must fight her father to free herself of his insistence that she exploits men's emotions for financial gain. The latter approaches head-on the ambiguous relations between box office and intuitive concerns by focusing on a successful Hollywood director of blockbusters who wants to forget about profits and make a movie that will announce his solidarity with suffering humanity. Both movies reveal the filmmaker's tendency to employ film as a way of investigating what filmmaking and Hollywood are about while parading his fond impatience with the vanity of human desires and his affectionate regard for the theatrical clown as well as the life-seeking, if bumbling, clown in all of us. The main features of this DVD release are accompanied by supplementary "extras" of mixed quality." [Art Index]

O'Brien, Geoffrey.
"The Sturges Style."The New York Review of Books, 1990 Dec 20, 37:20, 6-10.

"Paramount's one-man show." Newsweek v. 16 (August 19 1940) p. 44+

Parrish, Robert
"Johnny One Note. Souvenirs sur Preston Sturges." Positif nr 200-202 (Dec-Jan 1977-78); p 116-19.
Reminiscenes of American director R.P. of P.S.

Pinck, Dan.
"Preston Sturges: The Wizard of Hollywood." The American Scholar, 1992 Summer, 61:3, 402-08.
"Preston Sturges was responsible for writing and directing some of the best motion pictures in Hollywood. Sturges combined wit, satire, farce and slapstick, and directed it toward an educated audience in such movies as 'The Lady Eve' and 'The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.' Sturges' talent was partly the result of an unusual childhood that included a bizarre mother and many changes of schools and residences." [Magazine Index]

"Preston Sturges." (cover story) Entertainment Weekly, 4/19/96 Issue 323, p36, 1/6p,

"Preston Sturges." Cinema Magazine Spring 1972. 13 pages

"Preston Sturges." Positif nr 281-282 (July-Aug 1984); p 2-29.
Three articles on US director P.S., an extract from his autobiography, and a detailed filmgraphy.

"Preston Sturges: satirist." The New Republic v. 107 (December 21 1942) p. 827

"Preston Sturges: The Wizard of Hollywood." The American Scholar. Summer 1992. Vol. 61, Iss. 3; pg. 402, 7 pgs
Preston Sturges was the writer and director of 14 movies that are perhaps the best comedies of their kind ever made. Sturges, his career and his movies are profiled.

Rapfogel, J.
"The Screwball Social Studies of Preston Sturges." Cineaste v. 31 no. 3 (Summer 2006) p. 6-12
"An essay on American writer-director Preston Sturges, whose major works have been released on DVD in Britain and the United States. Sturges's achievement as a filmmaker is so considerable and lasting, his entrance onto the scene so assured and meteoric, and his production at its height so feverishly inventive, it is hard to believe that his career as a director is almost entirely framed by a single decade (the 1940s). A large part of the appeal of his films is their paradoxical nature and their cheerful combination of vulgarity and sophistication, of slapstick and the kind of refined verbal wit that bloomed in American movies of the 1930s and 1940s as never before or since. Sturges almost single-handedly created the role of writer-director, enjoying at his peak unprecedented creative control, but his career may have been doomed by his insistence on taking sole creative responsibility for his own films. The writer traces his life and work in detail." [Art Index]

Rebello, Stephen; Curtis, J.
"King of comedy, the rise of Preston Sturges." American Film v 7 May 1982. p. 42-5+
Considers the rise and fall of the movie career of screenwriter-director P.S. Discusses his first film as director "The great McGinty".

Rubinstein, E.
"The End of Screwball Comedy: The Lady Eve and The Palm Beach Story." Post Script 1982 Spring-Summer, 1:3, 33-47.

Rubinstein, E.
"Hollywood travels: Sturges and Sullivan." Sight and Sound v 47 no1 Winter 1977/1978, p. 50-2

Rubinstein, E.
"Sturges' folly: the fate of Unfaithfully Yours." (Sturges' penultimate Hollywood film) Sight and Sound v 50 no4 Autumn 1981. p. 268-71

Sarris, Andrew
"Preston Sturges in the Thirties." Film Comment 6:4 (1970/1971:Winter) 80

Salmon, Julie.
"Preston Sturges: the director close up." (film director) Wall Street Journal (Wed, Sept 12, 1990):A16(W), A16(E), col 1, 20 col in.

Schickel, Richard
"Preston Sturges: alien dreamer."Film Comment Vol XXI nr 6 (Nov-Dec 1985); p 32-35.
On the publication of his screenplays, an assessment of the work of writer/director P.S.

Scott, A.O.
"Sturges's subversive wartime humor." (Miracle of Morgan's Creek, (Weekend)_(movie review) The New York Times May 10, 2002 pB26(N) pE28(L) col 1 (10 col in)

Shokoff, J..
"A Kockenlocker by any other word: the democratic comedy of Preston Sturges." Post Script Vol VIII nr 1 (Fall 1988); p 16-28.
Defends the film comedies of P.S. against accusations of superficiality.

Spoto, Donald.
"Preston Sturges." (writer and film director) Architectural Digest v49, n4 (April, 1992):156 (5 pages).
"Sturges grew up in glamorous circles and traveled extensively throughout Europe with his mother during his boyhood. He became a highly respected director and screenwriter whose credits include 'The Power and the Glory.' Biographical information and a description of his Hollywood Hills, CA, home are given." [Magazine Index]

Sterritt, David
"Unfaithfully Yours." Cineaste v. 31 no. 2 (Spring 2006) p. 70-2
"A review of Preston Sturges's film Unfaithfully Yours (1948) on the occasion of its DVD release. This film focuses on a self-absorbed musical artiste who suspects his beautiful young wife of cheating on him. Raging with jealousy, he fantasizes about wreaking vengeance during a concert; he then tries this for real but fails. The film failed financially for a number of reasons, including the fact that as a very dark comedy in the atmosphere of 1948--when wartime anxieties were giving way to postwar aspiration, at least momentarily--it appeared too dark for many viewers. To today's viewer, it speaks as well as any film ever made by this extraordinary filmmaker." [Art Index]

Stevens, Brad.
"Vertigo with a twist." Sight and Sound 15.9 (Sept 2005): 88(1).
Stevens reviews eight video recordings directed by Preston Sturges, including The Great McGinty, Christmas in July, and The Lady Eve.

Strohm, Claire
"Les voyages de Sullivan." (motion picture review) Cahiers du Cinema no426 Dec 1989. p. 60-1

"Sympathetic satirist of sacred conventions directs his second conspicuous film hit of the year." Life v. 17 (August 28 1944) p. 43+

Thomas, François
"De mille facettes un choix restreint." Positif nr 281-282 (July-Aug 1984); p 20-23.
Analysis of the comic means employed by P.S., and the importance of the lesser roles in his films

Tolchinsky, David E.
"Three More Screenplays." (Review) Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television v19, n3 (August, 1999):411 (2 pages).

Tonguette, Peter.
"The Lady Eve." Senses of Cinema: an Online Film Journal Devoted to the Serious & Eclectic Discussion of Cinema. 25:(no pagination). 2003 Mar-Apr

Wall, James M.
“Sullivan travels again.” Christian Century, 03/21/2001, Vol. 118 Issue 10, p53, 1p
Weinberg, H. G.
"Lost films of America." Sight and Sound v 31 no4 Autumn 1962. p. 172-5

Wineapple, Brenda.
"Finding an Audience: Sullivan's Travels." Journal of Popular Film and Television, 1984 Winter, 11:4, 152-157.
On "Sullivan's travels" which demonstrates how a film's structure works to maintain a sense of social stability.

Wood, Robin
"Screwball and the masquerade: The lady Eve and Two-faced woman." CineAction nr 54 (Jan 2001); p 12-19.
A comparison of the two films emphasizing critical appraisal, with reference to the theme of female masquerade. Offers a detailed description of the lost, longer version of the Cukor film "Two-faced woman".

Zone, Ray
"Wrap shot." American Cinematographer v 81 no10 Oct 2000. p. 128
"Sullivan's Travels, a film directed by Preston Sturges, is discussed. Released in 1941, the film follows a successful director of comedies who wants to make a "serious" film about poverty based on a book called O Brother, Where Art Thou? During the film, Sturges offers different views of the moviegoing audience, as well as witty fast-paced dialog that pointedly satirizes Hollywood's economic anxiety and its pretensions to high art. Cinematographer John Seitz captured the film's wildly varying moods in shimmering black-and-white cinematography." [Art Index]

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Silverdocs, June 18, 2008

Best things I've see (together with Opening Night) at Silverdocs so far:
In the Family

Lots of google-links to Joanna Rudnick
<+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Kalinovski Square

This brave filmmaker wants his film out there - the only reason I don't have qualms about putting up Pt. 1 of the complete film on YouTube. I wonder how many people in Belarus see YouTube. Yuri Chashchevatsky is circulating this in Belarus as a samizdat

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Béla Fleck and Cheick Hamala Diabaté at Silverdocs June 17, 2008

Just as I ended yesterday with a great musical documentary experience with "All Together Now," tonight I ended the day with "Throw Down Your Heart," a film of Bela Fleck's tour of 4 countries in Africa to meet and play with musicians in those countries. The extra treat was a few minutes of Bela playing with a master musician from Mali. You can see a couple of Cheick Hamala Diabaté's concerts online at Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage.
Gotta go now; need a few hours sleep before heading back down to Silver Spring.