Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Palm Beach Story (1942). And they lived happily ever after...or did they?

The Palm Beach Story (1942). Romantic/screwball comedy. Written and directed by Preston Sturges. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor and Rudy Vallée. Victor Young contributed the musical score, which included a variation of William Tell Overture for the opening scenes.

Tom and Gerry Jeffer's apartment manager shows their apartment to the future tenant an elderly man, known as the "Wienie King," who is so taken by Gerry that he gives her $700 to help pay the bills. Gerry, is tired of being broke and believes that she has held her husband back that she leaves him. At Pennsylvania Station, Gerry uses her feminine charms to get a men's hunting club, to buy her a ticket on the train headed for Palm Beach, Florida.

The club members become too rowdy and after the men shoot out the windows she runs into a sleeper car. In the morning, Gerry discovers that the conductors have disconnected the Club's car because of their unruliness and have left her without her suitcase.

John, an eccentric and one of wealthiest men in the world, takes an interest in Gerry and joins her in Jacksonville, Florida. There the normally frugal multimillionaire buys Gerry an entire wardrobe of beautiful clothes and a ruby bracelet. (my favorite part of the movie).

Gerry is thrilled to meet one of the richest men in the world, and joins him on his yacht to Palm Beach.

 When she sees her husband Tom waiting at the dock for her, Gerry introduces him as her brother, "Captain McGloo." John's sister, Princess Maud Centimillia, immediately makes advances toward Tom. Gerry, talks John into becoming a financial backer for Tom's airport project. Will Gerry and Tom reunite and what will happen to Toms airport project?

Fun Facts: In the long dolly shot of Joel McCrea and Mary Astor strolling on the pier from Rudy Vallee's yacht, the director Preston Sturges makes a rare Hitchcock-style appearance as the chubby, mustachioed leader of the crew toting Claudette Colbert's luggage.

Was to be Carole Lombard's role after she completed "They all kissed the bride" but her death in a plane crash had her replaced by Colbert in this film and Joan Crawford in the other.

PALM BEACH STORY, is full of hilarious one-liners. From the moment Colbert gets aboard the train the fun starts, until the very end to a conclusion that is not even hinted at until the last scene of film. My favorite character is Rudy Vallee as a eccentric millionaire . Mary Astor, as his sister, is hilariously over the top.


"Isn't It Romantic"
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Music by Richard Rodgers
Sung by Rudy Vallee during ballroom sequence

"Goodnight Sweetheart"
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell and Rudy Vallee
Sung under heroine's bedroom window by Rudy Vallee

"Frankie and Johnny"
Played on the piano in the rail car as Geraldine arrives

"The Old Folks at Home"
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung by the Ale and Quail Club

"Sweet Adeline"
Lyrics by Richard H. Gerard, music by Harry Armstrong
Sung as a serenade by the Ale and Quail Club to Geraldine

"Merrily We Roll Along"
A song loosely based on 'Good Night Ladies' by Edwin P. Christy
Sung the Ale and Quail Club

"A Hunting We Will Go"
Sung by the Ale and Quail Club as they search for Geraldine in the train


  1. I would have to say Palm Beach is tied with The Lady Eve as my second favorite Sturges movie. Morgan's Creek is my absolute no 1. But Palm Beach is definitely a great movie. Thanks for posting Dawn.

  2. Nice job, Thanks


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.