Down 279 this week

The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Passed  |   |  Romance, Comedy  |  7 November 1942 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,002 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.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 20 Mar 2011
a list of 31 titles
created 26 Aug 2012
a list of 24 titles
created 06 Jan 2013
a list of 39 titles
created 12 Mar 2013
a list of 30 titles
created 05 Nov 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Palm Beach Story (1942)

The Palm Beach Story (1942) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Palm Beach Story.

User Polls



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Lady Eve (1941)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, till one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After an all-night send-off party for the troops, a small-town girl wakes up to find herself married and pregnant, but with no memory of her husband's identity.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about Life...which gives him a rude awakening.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick
Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Woodrow is discharged from the military for hay fever, but fabricates receiving an heroic honorable discharge before returning home.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, Raymond Walburn
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves. His latest attempt is the Maxford House Coffee Slogan Contest. As a joke, ... See full summary »

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Dan McGinty has great success in his chosen field of crooked politics. But endangers it all in one crazy moment of honesty...

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Set to music, a symphony conductor envisions multiple possible scenarios for dealing with his wife's infidelity.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee
Midnight (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A chorus girl, stranded in Paris, is "set up" by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
Ball of Fire (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A group of ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to hear how real people talk, and end up helping a beautiful singer avoid police and escape from the Mob.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall


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


Passed | See all certifications »




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 »


On the train: the men with the shotguns shoot out the glass of the same window several times. 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 »


Referenced in Intolerable Cruelty (2003) See more »


Sweet Adeline
(1903) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Richard H. Gerard
Music by Harry Armstrong
Sung as a serenade by the Ale and Quail Club to Gerry
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sturges' Best: Funny, Sophisticated & Well-Studied by Billy Wilder
14 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

When commenting on a film as brilliantly constructed and deeply entertaining as The Palm Beach Story, it's hard to know just where to start.

Do you tip your hat to the uniformly wonderful performers?

Do you pay tribute to the bizarre and hilarious conversations held by the Weenie King (Robert Dudley), an incidental character who manages to be a lot more than a mere plot contrivance?

Do you mention the fact that the film was clearly an influence upon the (slightly superior) screwball classic Some Like It Hot?

Nope. You just say, Preston Sturges was a genius and this is his best film.

Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) has decided that she needs to divorce her husband Tom (Sturges regular Joel McCrea). Why? We're not quite sure. Perhaps she's looking for thrills, perhaps she simply wants a partner who can pay the rent and perhaps she's truly come to believe that she no longer loves him. No matter. Her mind is made up and there's nothing Tom can do about it. Try as he might, Gerry slips through his fingers and ends up on a train to Palm Beach, the divorce capital of the world.

Echoes of Some Like first appear on the train ride when Gerry finds herself unable to sleep do to the racket being caused by The Ale and Quail Club. It's bad enough when they start shooting out windows, and what comes next... let's just say that it's a lot funnier than it would be if it happened in real life.

Still, Gerry makes it to Palm Beach, in the company of nutty millionaire John D. Hackensacker (Rudy Vallee). Things only get really out of hand once Tom arrives and becomes pegged as a bachelor, Captain McGlew. And spoil more of the plot for you I will not.

Sturges was capable of operating in many modes: responsible and patriotic (Sullivan's Travels) and outrageously madcap (The Miracle of Morgan's Creek) are two that come to mind. But Palm Beach shares its elegance, wit and reserve with The Lady Eve, in which con artist Barbara Stanwyck sets her sights on absent-minded professor Henry Fonda. (Even the mistaken identity plot is similar upon examination).

Between the two, Eve may end on a slightly more graceful note, but Beach seems to be made with a bit more... well, experience. Sturges seems at his most relaxed throughout the film and it does a world of good. (The story is bogged down only by brief moments of racism early on). And leaving, it's hard not to feel sunny and refreshed.

For those in need of a vacation, I recommend a stay at Palm Beach. And the rest of you should come along as well.

41 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Will Hollywood ever make movies like this again? hyperchipper
Mary Astor could do ANYTHING (and everything) Doghouse-6
opening credits jpm-15
The train scene dialogue Friesen_471
Mary Astor at her BEST! reager21
Another Sturges Classic csu16387
Discuss The Palm Beach Story (1942) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: