From capitalism to patriotism to politics to marriage, there was virtually no pillar of American life that escaped unscathed during screwball auteur Preston Sturges’s whirlwind heyday in the 1940s. One of the first Hollywood filmmakers to write and direct his own scripts (a deal he negotiated by selling his Oscar-winning screenplay for THE GREAT MCGINTY to Paramount for just $10), Sturges took screwball comedy to new heights of sublime absurdity with his elegantly cockeyed dialogue, free-form approach to narrative, and subversive skewering of conventional morality. These immortal comedy classics—including the Barbara Stanwyck sizzler THE LADY EVE, the everyman ode SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS, and the Production Code–defying jaw-dropper THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK—were the result of a brief but dazzling run of creativity that remains virtually unmatched in Hollywood history.
Directed by Preston Sturges • 1941 • United States
Starring Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake
Tired of churning out lightweight comedies, Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) decides to make O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?—a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his pr...