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The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 7 November 1942 (USA)
2:13 | Trailer

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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
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
Fourth Member Ale and Quail Club (as Rosco Ates)
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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

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?


In the long dolly shot of Joel McCrea and Mary Astor strolling on the pier from Rudy Vallee's yacht, Preston Sturges makes a rare Alfred Hitchcock-style appearance as the chubby, moustachioed leader of the crew toting Claudette Colbert's luggage. See more »


The position of Tom's tie changes from when he first kneels at the wedding, and in the following cut. See more »


Gerry Jeffers: [shopping for clothes, trying another outfit with long white gloves] Do you like this one?
John D. Hackensacker III: Oh its lovely - but aren't the sleeves a little short?
Sales Clerk: [heavy French accent] Oh that is for the bracelet Monsieur - that is what we call the bracelet length.
John D. Hackensacker III: Oh - would you like a bracelet?
Gerry Jeffers: [Sales clerk nudges her] Wha... what kind of a bracelet do you mean?
John D. Hackensacker III: Any kind you like.
Gerry Jeffers: You mean with stones?
Sales Clerk: Certainly with stones, they are all the rage!
John D. Hackensacker III: Why not, what kind of stones do you like?
Gerry Jeffers: Well...
See more »


Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Leo Robin
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User Reviews

Husband and Wife Can't Hate Each Other, No Matter How Hard They Try
24 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Palm Beach Story" is a lopsided comedy (part of it's funny and part of it's not), but the movie is back-ended with all of the funniest bits, so it allows you to forget the slower parts and it sends you out on a high.

After a sensationally bizarre opening credits sequence, the movie settles down into a slightly less zingy version of "The Awful Truth." Claudette Colbert thinks her marriage to Joel McCrea isn't working, even though he doesn't think likewise. She thinks she's not a capable enough wife; he thinks he's a failure as a man and husband. She takes off for Palm Beach to get a divorce despite all of his attempts to stop her. On the train to Florida, she meets a wealthy tycoon who wants to marry her and give her everything she could possibly want, but she realizes that what she really wants is her husband.

This is all told with a lot of wit and flair. The early scenes with Colbert and McCrea drag, and an extended bit of nonsense on the train involving the Ale and Quail Hunting Club is superfluous and not very funny. But once everyone shows up in Palm Beach, the film becomes a delight, and a bonus is added in the person of Mary Astor, who plows on to the screen about half way through the film and decimates everyone in her path with her quick-tongued and hilarious performance as a rich society lady with a lot of time on her hands and her sights set on Colbert's husband.

What I liked about this film was that Colbert and McCrea don't seem to have a lot of chemistry in their early scenes together; he seems so stiff and bland, and you don't really blame her for wanting to get away. But after you've seen both of them with other people, they seem so much more right for each other when they get back together, and there's all this chemistry you didn't initially realize was there. I don't know if that's due to their performances, the writing, the directing, or whether it was just a happy accident, but it works beautifully.

Grade: A-

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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