Review: ‘The Palm Beach Story’

This Prestton Sturges production is packed with delightful absurdities. Claudette Colbert comes through with one of her best light comedy interpretations. She's strikingly youthful and alluring as the slightly screwball wife of five years standing, who, after seeing husband Joel McCrea out of debt, suddenly decides to seek a divorce, adventure and a bankroll for the husband she leaves behind.

This Prestton Sturges production is packed with delightful absurdities. Claudette Colbert comes through with one of her best light comedy interpretations. She’s strikingly youthful and alluring as the slightly screwball wife of five years standing, who, after seeing husband Joel McCrea out of debt, suddenly decides to seek a divorce, adventure and a bankroll for the husband she leaves behind.

Tongue-in-cheek spoofing of the idle rich attains hilarious proportions in scenes where Rudy Vallee, as John D. Hackensacker the Third, proposes to the errant wife and later woos her by singing to her to the accompaniment of a privately hired symphony orch big enough to fill the Radio City Music Hall pit.

McCrea plays it straight, for the most part, as the husband intent on winning his wife back.

The Palm Beach Story

Production

Paramount. Director Preston Sturges; Producer Paul Jones; Screenplay Preston Sturges; Camera Victor Milner; Editor Stuart Gilmore; Music Victor Young; Art Director Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Claudette Colbert Joel McCrea Mary Astor Rudy Vallee William Demarest Sig Arno
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