Directed by Preston Sturges

Directed by Preston Sturges

9 Episodes

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.

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Directed by Preston Sturges
  • Directed by Preston Sturges Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Christmas in July

    Episode 2

    Directed by Preston Sturges • 1940 • United States
    Starring Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn

    “If you can’t sleep at night, it isn’t the coffee, it’s the bunk!” That’s the slogan that ambitious office clerk Jimmy MacDonald (Dick Powell) enters in hopes of winning the $25,000 grand prize i...

  • The Great McGinty

    Episode 3

    Directed by Preston Sturges • 1940 • United States
    Starring Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff

    Preston Sturges famously sold the story for this barbed political satire to Paramount for just $10 in exchange for the chance to direct. Brian Donlevy stars as Dan McGinty, a Depression-era h...

  • The Lady Eve

    Episode 4

    Directed by Preston Sturges • 1941 • United States
    Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn

    Barbara Stanwyck sizzles, Henry Fondabumbles, and Preston Sturges runs riot in one of the all-time great screwballs, a pitch-perfect blend of comic zing and swoonworthy romance. Aboard a cru...

  • Sullivan’s Travels

    Episode 5

    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...

  • The Palm Beach Story

    Episode 6

    Directed by Preston Sturges • 1942 • United States
    Starring Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor

    This wild tale of wacky wedlock from Preston Sturges takes off like a rocket and never lets up. Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert play Tom and Gerry, a married New York couple on the skids, fin...

  • Hail the Conquering Hero

    Episode 7

    Directed by Preston Sturges • 1944 • United States
    Starring Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, William Demarest

    Too embarrassed to admit to his family and friends that he was discharged from World War II because of hay fever, Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) is befriended by a group...

  • The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek

    Episode 8

    Directed by Preston Sturges • 1944 • United States
    Starring Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn

    Preston Sturges’s uproarious screwball riot pushed the Production Code to its limit with its taboo-testing treatment of sex, marriage, and small-town morals. After a wild night out on the town, GI...

  • Unfaithfully Yours

    Episode 9

    Directed by Preston Sturges • 1948 • United States
    Starring Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee

    In this pitch-black comedy from legendary writer-director Preston Sturges, Rex Harrison stars as Sir Alfred De Carter, a world-famous symphony conductor consumed with the suspicion that his wife ...