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The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Passed  -  Romance | Comedy  -  7 November 1942 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,848 users  
Reviews: 85 user | 34 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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Marge is a capable secretary, but her bosses are more interested in her than her abilities. This causes her to be frequently unemployed. To get a job, she changes her look to make herself ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Marion Davies, Robert Montgomery, Frank McHugh
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
The Princess Centimillia
...
J.D. Hackensacker III
Sig Arno ...
Toto
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
Edit

Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

money | train | divorce | love | millionaire | See more »

Genres:

Romance | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Palm Beach Story  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original title of this film was 'Is Marriage Necessary?,' but this was deemed to contravene the Production Code. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Princess Centimillia: [to "Capt. McGlew"/Tom Jeffers] Are you still talking about that airport? You really take it on the chin, don't you?
John D. Hackensacker III: Why not? If an idea has merit, it has merit. Sentiment and business don't belong in the same bed. After all, grandfather loathed oil, ya' know, it made his eyes water. But that didn't stop him from making millions out of it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dick Cavett Show with Mel Brooks (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Black Joe
(1860) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung offscreen by the Ale and Quail Club members
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Zany fun...overflowing with Sturges madness!
7 April 2005 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

THE PALM BEACH STORY is not to be confused with reality. It's a zany romantic comedy given full speed treatment by director Preston Sturges who brought screwball comedy to an art form.

His script, full of hilarious one-liners that fly by almost too fast to catch, is acted to perfection by CLAUDETTE COLBERT, RUDY VALLEE and MARY ASTOR--with a less enthusiastic turn by JOEL McCREA who gives the only so-so performance, perhaps because none of the wittiest lines come his way. I've always liked this actor but here is performance is almost muted and strangely remote.

Nevertheless, if screwball comedy is your dish, this is one you can relish. From the moment Colbert gets aboard a train carrying her to Palm Beach, the fun starts and gets into high gear, racing toward a conclusion that is not altogether satisfying nor even remotely hinted at until the final few minutes of film. It's a twist that somehow doesn't ring true--the only really false note in an otherwise perfect screwball comedy.

Rudy Vallee is outstanding as a nutty millionaire, a role written expressly for him (and he even gets to sing a little)--and Mary Astor, as his husband hunting sister, is hilariously over the top as a woman who can't stop talking while pursuing her man.

A good way to spend a pleasant 90 minutes.


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