The Palm Beach Story
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The Palm Beach Story
As for the opening reels, the principal motivating factor is money. After a deliberately confusing pre-credit sequence (not explained until the film's punch line), Tom Jeffers (Joel McCrea) and Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) are married. "And so they lived happily ever after," exults a title card, "...or did they?" Well, they didn't. After five years of marriage, Tom hasn't raised a dime with his pie-in-the-sky inventions. Using the sort of logic common to Sturges heroines, Gerry decides that the only way to help her husband is to divorce him, marry a wealthy… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This Prestton Sturges production is packed with delightful absurdities."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It should have been a breathless comedy. But only the actors are breathless -- and that from talking so much."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"It remains a delight."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"One of Preston Sturges' best films."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Sturges on the importance of money, sex, and guns -- not necessarily in that order."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Rudy Vallee turns in his best performance as a gentle, puny millionaire named Hackensacker in this brilliant, simultaneously tender and scalding 1942 screwball comedy by Preston Sturges."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Sturges' dialogue, as always, is not only sharp, but cutting, delivered with typical flair by the charter members of Sturges' company of actors."
‑ , Chicago Tribune
"...screwball comedy of the highest order."
‑ Chris Barsanti,
"Way before there was "Mamet talk" there was "Sturges talk,"--and his humor is sharper pronged and more scathing.""
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The lines come fast and furious."
‑ Arthur Lazere,
"Hilarious, irresistible, impeccably cast."
‑ , Time Out
"Sturges at his confident best."
‑ , Film4
"Prime Preston Sturges, which means sublime sophisticated zaniness."
‑ Steve Crum, Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
"Almost certainly not Preston Sturges' best film, but it very well might be his funniest."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The Palm Beach Story (1942) is a hilarious, zany, marital screwball comedy by writer/director Preston Sturges - it was his last romantic comedy and"
‑ Tim Dirks, Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
More reviews for The Palm Beach Story on Rotten Tomatoes