The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Passed  |   |  Romance, Comedy  |  7 November 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,063 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 60 critic

An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
J.D. Hackensacker III
Sig Arno ...
Robert Warwick ...
Mr. Hinch
Arthur Stuart Hull ...
Mr. Osmond
Torben Meyer ...
Dr. Kluck
Jimmy Conlin ...
Mr. Asweld
Victor Potel ...
Mr. McKeewie
First Member Ale and Quail Club
Jack Norton ...
Second Member Ale and Quail Club
Robert Greig ...
Third Member Ale and Quail Club
Roscoe Ates ...
Fourth Member Ale and Quail Club (as Rosco Ates)
Dewey Robinson ...
Fifth Member Ale and Quail Club


Gerry and Tom Jeffers are finding married life hard. Tom is an inventor/ architect and there is little money for them to live on. They are about to be thrown out of their apartment when Gerry meets rich businessman being shown around as a prospective tenant. He gives Gerry $700 to start life afresh but Tom refuses to believe her story and they quarrel. Gerry decides the marriage is over and heads to Palm Beach for a quick divorce but Tom has plans to stop her. Written by Col Needham <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Romance | Comedy


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Palm Beach történet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 15, 1943 with Claudette Colbert and Rudy Vallee reprising their film roles. See more »


For some reason, Joel McCrea's hair is parted on the right side in the beginning of the movie and changes sides when he arrives in Palm Beach to meet his wife. See more »


Princess Centimillia: Why don't you go away someplace? There must be somebody else who can use a houseguest, I can't be the only sucker in the world. Why don't you go to Havana? That's a nice place, and I'd treat you to a nice one-way ticket.
Toto: Havanag? Youg, meg? Havanag?
Princess Centimillia: No-gh, Toto! You-gh Havana-gh, me-gh here!
Toto: Nitz.
Princess Centimillia: I was afraid of that.
See more »


Goodnight Sweetheart
(1931) (uncredited)
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell and Reginald Connelly
Sung under Gerry's bedroom window by Rudy Vallee
See more »

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User Reviews

More Ale Than Quail In This Club
5 June 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Palm Beach Story is one of the best examples of the wonderful nonsense that Hollywood used to turn out in its best comedies. It's only in the movies that circumstances like these happen and it's quite beyond my powers to describe them.

Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert come to a dry patch in their marriage and decide to split. Colbert takes a train to Palm Springs and McCrea pursues her by plane. And they both wind up with a brother and sister pair of gazillionaires in the persons of Rudy Vallee and Mary Astor.

I will say that Preston Sturges did kind of reach into left field for his romantic ending, but that's half the fun of The Palm Beach Story.

Only half because the other half is the fun of the journey. Not much happens to Joel, but Claudette is on one wild ride when she's adopted by a gang of drunken millionaire sportsmen known as the Ale and Quail Club.

The proponents of gun control should get the right to The Palm Beach Story and run it at all opportunities. Seeing these louts, plastered out of their minds and shooting off their weapons is pretty funny and the best argument I know for gun control. Preston Sturges used some of his favorite players from his usual stock company for members of Ale and Quail.

Also look for a very funny performance by Robert Dudley as the 'wienie king' whose encounter with Colbert sets everything in motion.

Rudy Vallee gets to sing in this which is also nice. He sings a chorus of Isn't It Romantic and then sings his own hit, Goodnight Sweetheart which has the opposite effect from what he intended.

The Palm Beach Story is the object lesson in how to make screen comedy and make it to last.

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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