IMDb > The Palm Beach Story (1942)
The Palm Beach Story
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The Palm Beach Story (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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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.


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7.7/10   9,091 votes »
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Preston Sturges (written by)
View company contact information for The Palm Beach Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 January 1943 (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:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Zany fun...overflowing with Sturges madness! See more (97 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 Carlisle ... Train Passenger (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)
Joe Gilbert ... Store Employee (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)

Charles Meakin ... Train Passenger (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?

One thing slowing the film down was Preston Sturges's problems with Mary Astor. Although she was an accomplished screen actress, the Sturges brand of comedy did not come naturally to her. She would later write, "It was not my thing. I couldn't talk in a high fluty voice and run my words together as he thought high society women did, or at least mad high society women who'd had six husbands and six million dollars."See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Gerry Jeffers:He's my husband.
Princess Centimillia:He's your husband?
Gerry Jeffers:That's right.
Princess Centimillia:Well, no wonder! I thought I was losing my grip.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Old Black JoeSee more »


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24 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Zany fun...overflowing with Sturges madness!, 7 April 2005
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.

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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