The Palm Beach Story

1942

Action / Comedy / Romance

35
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 83%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 9268

Synopsis


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January 13, 2015 at 12:02 PM

Cast

Mary Astor as The Princess Centimillia
Claudette Colbert as Gerry Jeffers
Joel McCrea as Tom Jeffers
William Demarest as First Member Ale and Quail Club
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
698.65 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 28 min
P/S 0 / 6
1.24 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 28 min
P/S 4 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by weezeralfalfa 9 / 10

A superior romantic farce that hopefully kept the GIs laughing

This Preston Sturgis screwball comedy is a treasure, despite its flaws. Since Claudette Colbert(C.C.)was the lead female in both this film and the acclaimed prior screwball comedy "It Happened One Night", a few comparisons wouldn't hurt. Here, she's a penniless, but beautiful, wife, running away from a penniless husband(Tom) obsessed with a seemingly crazy idea of building airports over cities. She hopes to bag a millionaire in Palm Beach, who hopefully will finance Tom's wild dream. In the former film, she's from a wealthy family, newly married, but running away from her father, who 'imprisoned' her, not liking her choice of husband. She's virtually penniless in her current state. Thus, in both films, she is dependent on male strangers to get where she wants to be. In Clark Gable's case, he's nearly as poor as she is. In the present film, C.C. lucks out several times in begging for a free trip to the next destination, as well as securing help from two filthy rich millionaires, one at each end of her trip. At movie's end, C.C. has the choice of marrying a rich, but plain looking and stuffy man, or a poor, but handsome and personable, man. In both cases, she's the romantic, choosing the poor man. Despite the classic scenes of comedy in "It Happened one Night", to me, the present film is more amusing, overall, although, like the former film, the last part drags compared to the rest of the film.

My favorite comedic scenes in the present film include 1) the wild antics of the 'Ale and Quail Club', on the train. 2)Robert Dudley, as a hard of hearing old millionaire, conversing with C.C. or Tom(Joel McCrea). 3) C.C. and Tom fighting over her suitcase on the street. 4)C.C. trying to get into the upper berth in the train, without a ladder. 5)The ending

Preston Surges' acclaimed film of the previous year: "Sullivan's Travels" was full of ironies. Are there any notable examples here?

A)C.C. went to Palm Springs to get a divorce from Tom. But, after they were courted by others, they decided to remarry.

B)C.C. had a choice between a nerdy-looking multimillionaire who showered her with gifts, and a good looking, but penniless man she spent 5 years with. She chose the latter. Apparently, looks and personality was more important than money. This is borne out by the eagerness with which Hackensacker and his sister embraced the idea of marrying their identical twins, since they wanted to remarry each other.

C)One of the world's richest men is traveling incognito in a second class train birthe, so why C.C. meets him. The Weinie King, another multimillionaire, wants to move into the modest apartment where C.C. and Tom are about to be thrown out for non-payment of rent. Again, they were helped by a rich man who shouldn't have been where he was.

D)The 2 millionaires help both C.C. and Tom without expecting anything in return, in contrast to the general perception that such men are pinch pennies. Tom gets money for a train ticket to Palm Springs, and a promise to fund his 'airport in the sky'. C.C. gets to pay her bills, and a load of free gifts, each millionaire helping both in different ways.

SOME COMMENTS ON SPECIFICS:

1)Jim's revolutionary idea of an airport built on top of a city or part of it, was proposed in 1931, by Charles Glower, in relation to London, using new reinforced buildings to support it. With today's super carriers, this would be even more impractical.

2)Rudy Valley's assumed name: J.D. Hackensacker III, presumably is derived from J.D. Rockefeller III, both owning big oil companies.

3)How did Tom know where to go in Palm Beach to find C.C., on Hackensacker's yacht?

4)Why did C.C ask for her suitcase on the train, when she didn't arrive at the station with one, and, in fact, it was left on the street after it opened and the contents spilled on the street?

5) The prologue isn't very intelligible unless you assume(correctly) that there are 2 C.C.s and 2 Joel McCreas.

See this film free at YouYube

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 9 / 10

It grows on you!

Many of the movies made by Preston Sturges could be classed as "comedies of error." The Palm Beach Story is no exception. The credit titles are alarmingly and delightfully interspersed with daringly abbreviated clips of Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea rushing around madly, evidently priming themselves for their wedding. As each title card credit appears, the action suddenly freezes briefly. Although these clips are all brief, they do show us some alarming scenes. For example, we see Colbert getting herself primped up for the wedding in one shot, and Colbert, bound up with rope and imprisoned in a closet in another.

Every time I see this film I seem to like it better. When I first saw it at a cinema, I was about 20 years old. I was disappointed. Was this the comedy riot I had been led to expect? I thought it was strained and artificial and far too talky. 15 years later I saw it on TV and a few months after that I enjoyed it at a theater. In fact, this third time, I liked it enormously.

"Palm Beach Story" is the comedy of manners par excellence. The dialogue crackles with wit and sophistication and the premise of the film (that a pretty woman can get anything anytime, anywhere, from any man for no payment whatever other than a wistful or helpless glance) is as cynical as it is true. The film follows the adventures of a young wife dedicated to proving that proposition correct — and she does just this, through contact with some of the most delightful eccentrics ever to people a Sturges comedy.

For full impact, however, these larger-than-life characters must be seen on a theater screen — the Ale and Quail Club is a case in point.

There are the usual long but effective Sturges' takes, mostly in medium shot, showing the characters standing full-length. And I like the witty way the plot conclusion is foreshadowed in the sharply cut, old- time, send-up credit titles.

Reviewed by Deedee 2 / 10

IMO Highly Overrated Comedy

I am really at a loss to understand how this movie gets the reputation it has earned. Just because Preston Sturges' name is involved doesn't make it profoundly funny or profoundly insightful. Claudette Colbert was a charming cutie and all that. But born in 1903 and at nearly 40 years old when this picture was made, the motivations and emotional responses she is asked to exhibit in Palm Beach Story are way too immature for who she actually is. IMO, that can be said of nearly everyone involved in this coarsely unfunny movie. Mary Astor, another lovely and wonderful actress, is also made to act the complete noisy air-head. When the film was made there no doubt were other criteria to judge her character by. These days however, again IMO, Astor's constant screeching and especially her relationship with Toto, her annoyingly unattractive hanger on, who understands nothing, is actually offensive. Cringe-worthy to be honest. (Toto's character and how he is treated reminds me of the part played by Asta or one of those other terrier dogs that were popular in screwball comedies.) Only Rudy Vallee, who later in his career perfected the Teflon-coated stooge role, seemed to me to almost transcend the material. Everyone is entitled to enjoy whatever movie or star or whatever they like. As for me,I'm darned if I know what the attraction is in Palm Beach Story.

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