Sturges, Preston


Sturges, Preston
orig. Edmond Preston Biden

born Aug. 29, 1898, Chicago, Ill., U.S.
died Aug. 6, 1959, New York, N.Y.

U.S. film director.

Initially a playwright, he wrote the Broadway hits Strictly Dishonorable (1929) and Child of Manhattan (1931). After moving to Hollywood, he became a noted screenwriter and won an Academy Award for The Great McGinty (1940), the first film he directed. He went on to write and direct distinctive satirical comedies such as The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1941), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), and Unfaithfully Yours (1948), characterized by their witty dialogue, rapid pace, and memorable minor characters.

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▪ American director
original name  Edmond Preston Biden  
born Aug. 29, 1898, Chicago, Ill., U.S.
died Aug. 6, 1959, New York, N.Y.
 American motion-picture director, screenwriter, and playwright best known for a series of satirical comedies he made in the early 1940s.

      The son of wealthy socialites, he was adopted by his mother's second husband, Solomon Sturges, and educated in European and American schools. He pursued several jobs as a businessman and inventor before becoming a playwright in the 1920s. After writing the Broadway hits Strictly Dishonorable (1929; filmed in 1931 and again in 1951) and Child of Manhattan (1931; filmed in 1933), Sturges went to Hollywood, where he soon earned a reputation as a scriptwriter.

 The Great McGinty (1940), his first picture as a director as well as scriptwriter, won an Academy Award for the best original screenplay. It was the first in a series of distinctive films that satirized such established institutions as Tammany Hall politics, advertising, hero worship, small-town life, the American success story, and the Hollywood studio system. Characterized by quick dialogue and action and memorably drawn minor characters, his popular films included Christmas in July (1940), The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan's Travels (1942), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), and Unfaithfully Yours (1948). Although he worked on a few films later, none matched the wit of his comedies of the 1940s, arguably the best produced in Hollywood in this era.
 

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Universalium. 2010.