Second Takes — Preston Sturges

Oct. 2, 1932, Preston Sturges James Curtis, author of the Preston Sturges biography "Between Flops," writes:
I was a little taken aback today when I came upon
your clutch of articles on Preston Sturges, and was suddenly reminded that he
died exactly 50 years ago in that tiny room at the Algonquin Hotel in New
York. I began researching my Sturges biography ("Between Flops") 33 years ago
when I was received at the hilltop mansion of Rudy Vallee, where Sturges was the
subject of conversation between rounds of tennis.
I think now of the embarrassment of riches I had in
writing that book–Joel McCrea, William Wyler, Billy Wilder, Eddie Bracken,
Colleen Moore, Orson Welles, Bill Demarest, three of his four wives–and how
today I'm reduced to interviewing the children of those people–and glad to get
them. Mr. S., incidentally, turns up in this book I've just finished, in that
Spencer Tracy was the star of "The Power and the Glory," the film that
supposedly invented the flashback (it really didn't) but does look suspiciously
like "Citizen Kane."  
The late Earl Felton's comment about Sturges fits
him best: "He was too large for this smelly resort, and the big studios were
scared to death of him. A man who was a triple threat (writing, directing, and
producing!) kept them awake nights, and I'm positive they were all waiting for
him to fall on his face so they could pounce on him and devour this terrible
threat to their stingy talents… In this, alas, I was right. They pounced, and
they got him good. But Preston knew the great days, when he was turning out
marvelous pictures… those days when his can glowed like a port light from
everyone kissing it!" 

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in books, Film, Hollywood, Obituaries, Second Takes. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Second Takes — Preston Sturges

  1. Steve Grody says:

    What’s so impressive about Sturges, is not just how well his humor holds up now, but his observations of human character as well. Anyone not familiar with his work should rent their way through his catalogue (unless they have the opportunity to see it on the big screen).


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