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Rudy Vallee
American Cinematheque celebrates comic genius Preston Sturges
American Cinematheque celebrates comic genius Preston Sturges

For several years in the 1940s, Preston Sturges wrote and directed a series of flawless social comedies that were an intoxicating mix of sophisticated dialog and freewheeling slapstick. 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 World War I veteran, he began writing short stories while recovering from an appendectomy. He scored his first big success on Broadway in 1929...

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