For several years in the 1940s,
The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood is honoring the filmmaker with the new retrospective "Sturges Rally: Comedy Built for Speed," which opens Friday.
Sturges, who was born in 1898 and died in 1959, came from a wealthy family and, as a young boy, helped out his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan, in her stage productions. A
He moved to Los Angeles three years later and began writing such classic films as 1937's "Easy Living." He was frustrated with the lack of control over his scripts and made a deal with Paramount: He would sell them the script of his 1940 political satire "The Great McGinty" for $1 if he could direct it. Not only was his directing career born, he won the Academy Award for his screenplay.
The Egyptian's celebration opens with "The Great McGinty," which stars
The second feature Friday evening is the lovely 1940 comedy-drama "Remember the Night," starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.
On tap for Aug. 11 is the riotous 1942 romantic comedy "The Palm Beach Story," with Joel McCrea, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor and a hysterically funny
The bill is rounded out by one of Sturges' best films, 1944's "Hail the Conquering Hero," starring
Stanwyck, Henry Fonda and Charles Coburn are near perfection in his 1941 hit "The Lady Eve," which screens Aug. 15. The second feature is his brilliant 1941 Hollywood satire "Sullivan's Travels," with McCrea and Veronica Lake.
The retrospective concludes Aug. 23 with a hilarious triple bill: "Easy Living," also directed by Leisen, with the great Jean Arthur at her screwball comedy best; the lovely 1935 comedy "The Good Fairy," directed by William Wyler and starring