IMDb > The Palm Beach Story (1942)
The Palm Beach Story
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Palm Beach Story (1942) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 2)
The Palm Beach Story -- 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.


User Rating:
7.9/10   7,463 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Preston Sturges (written by)
View company contact information for The Palm Beach Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 November 1942 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Sturges' Best: Funny, Sophisticated & Well-Studied by Billy Wilder See more (87 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Claudette Colbert ... Gerry Jeffers

Joel McCrea ... Tom Jeffers

Mary Astor ... The Princess Centimillia

Rudy Vallee ... 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

William Demarest ... 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

Chester Conklin ... Sixth Member Ale and Quail Club
Sheldon Jett ... Seventh Member Ale and Quail Club
Robert Dudley ... Wienie King

Franklin Pangborn ... Manager
Arthur Hoyt ... Pullman Conductor
Al Bridge ... Conductor (as Alan Bridge)
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Colored Bartender (as Snowflake)
Charles R. Moore ... Colored Porter
Frank Moran ... Brakeman
Harry Rosenthal ... Orchestra Leader
Esther Howard ... Wife of Wienie King
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barbara Jo Allen ... Lady coming out of ladies room on train during the posse episode (uncredited)
Ernest Anderson ... Club Car Steward (uncredited)
George Anderson ... The Gent (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Yacht Steward (uncredited)
Monte Blue ... Mike the Doorman (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Nightclub Dance Extra (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Nightclub Dance Extra / Store Employee (uncredited)
Marcelle Corday ... Elderly Maid (uncredited)
Laurie Douglas ... Maid in Princess' Room (uncredited)

Frank Faylen ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Gerry's Maid of Honor / Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Byron Foulger ... Jewelry Salesman (uncredited)
Alfred Hall ... Bishop (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Dining Car Extra (uncredited)
Harry Hayden ... Prospect (uncredited)
John Holland ... Member of Wedding Party (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Mate with Binoculars (uncredited)
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Officer O'Donnell (uncredited)
Edward McNamara ... Officer in Penn Station (uncredited)
Esther Michelson ... Near-Sighted Woman (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Man in Apartment (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Diner on Train (uncredited)
Mantan Moreland ... Diner Waiter (uncredited)
Odette Myrtil ... Sales Clerk (uncredited)
Lillian Randolph ... Maid on Train (uncredited)
Keith Richards ... Shoe Salesman (uncredited)
Julius Tannen ... Proprietor of Store (uncredited)
Harry Tyler ... Gateman at Penn Station (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Tom's Best Man (uncredited)

Directed by
Preston Sturges 
Writing credits
Preston Sturges (written by)

Ernst Laemmle  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Paul Jones .... associate producer
Buddy G. DeSylva .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Victor Young (music score)
Cinematography by
Victor Milner (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Stuart Gilmore (edited by)
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
Ernst Fegté 
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup artist
Leonora Sabine .... hair supervisor (uncredited)
Production Management
Frank Caffey .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hal Walker .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Sam Comer .... set dresser (uncredited)
Oscar Law .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Harry Lindgren .... sound recordist
Walter Oberst .... sound recordist
Howard Joslin .... sound crew (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Irene .... gowns: Miss Colbert
Music Department
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Walter Scharf .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Edwin Gillette .... secretary: Mr. Sturges (uncredited)
Sam Ledner .... dance director (uncredited)
Marie Morris .... production secretary (uncredited)
Harold Schwartz .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono | Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Finland:K-16 | Germany:6 | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #7983)

Did You Know?

In the long dolly shot of Joel McCrea and Mary Astor strolling on the pier from Rudy Vallee's yacht, the director Preston Sturges makes a rare Hitchcock-style appearance as the chubby, mustachioed leader of the crew toting Claudette Colbert's luggage.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: During the shoot out on the train, the cracker bowl is knocked over. The rod used to knock it over is visible.See more »
John D. Hackensacker III:No, I'm not my grandfather, of course. He's dead, anyway.See more »
Movie Connections:
Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
39 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
Sturges' Best: Funny, Sophisticated & Well-Studied by Billy Wilder, 14 August 2000
Author: mscheinin

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (87 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Anyone Notice? westegg
Will Hollywood ever make movies like this again? hyperchipper
The train scene dialogue Friesen_471
Sad to know... MinaMitchell
Mary Astor could do ANYTHING (and everything) Doghouse-6
opening credits jpm-15
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Giant Mildred Pierce The Best Years of Our Lives The Lady Eve Mr. & Mrs. Smith
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Romance section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.