"There’s a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that’s all some people have?"
Preston Sturges was Screwball Comedy’s screwiest and ballsiest proponent in Hollywood’s golden age
Just ask Joel and Ethan Coen: direct references and a palpable love of Sturges’ acerbic wit, crackling dialogue and rich comedic characters can be traced from the declared tribute O Brother, Where Art Thou? – which takes its title from Sullivan’s Travels – to their 2016 Hollywood golden era farce Hail, Caesar! From his early days as an accomplished writer to his successful transition to directing when he negotiated the first writer-director credit in Hollywood by selling his screenplay for The Great McGinty to Paramount for a tenner (or $1 if you believe him!), Sturges's films endure as comic masterclasses.
Let Matthew Thrift take you through ten of Sturges' best here.