July 11 at 2:00 PM
There has been a sudden and deserved rekindling of interest in the great American film maker Preston Sturges. Reflected in articles in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The New Yorker, plus a recent book by Stuart Klawans, former film critic for The Nation: Crooked, but Never Common; The Films of Preston Sturges. Local film collector and share-holder George Strimel will present a selection of Sturges’ creations this summer in matinee presentations.
Before Preston Sturges was a director, he was – and remained – a writer in love with language and its quirky sounds. As screenwriter for Ferenc Molnar’s play The Good Fairy, Sturges produced a version unabashedly comic, complete with pratfalls and rat-a-tat dialogue. Fresh-from-the-orphanage Luisa Ginglebusher (Margaret Sullavan), a believer in fairy tales, is sent out into the world with an admonition to do a good deed a day. Wealthy fumbler Konrad (Frank Morgan) is out to undo Luisa’s innocence. Softhearted waiter Detlaf (Reginald Owen) is out to thwart Konrad’s intentions. Poor but ethical lawyer Max Sporum (Herbert Marshall) is the confused recipient of Luisa’s good deed of the day, which involves Konrad’s loaded largesse. Some critics had mixed feelings about the result, conceding that it was hilarious but could or should be closer to Molnar’s more restrained version, but audiences loved it. It was a box office success. William Wyler directed.
Non-member price: $10.00
Athenaeum member price: $5.00