The Cinema of Preston Sturges

A Critical Study


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About the Book

Most published works on writer-director Preston Sturges (1898–1959) have focused on the elements that made him a symbol of classic Hollywood comedy or his contributions to the genre via such 1940s classics as The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels and Miracle of Morgan’s Creek. In contrast, this critical study asserts that there are enough unexplained incongruities, fragmentations and contradictions in Sturges’ output to demand a re-evalution of his place in film history as a predecessor (and perhaps progenitor) of later postmodern filmmakers.
Four appendices offer a generous selection of previously unavailable material, including an exclusive interview with the director’s fourth wife Sandy Sturges.

About the Author(s)

Film scholar and professor Alessandro Pirolini is the author of Rouben Mamoulian (1999) and several essays on American and European directors. He teaches film history and theory at UCLA Extension–Department of Entertainment Studies, at the Osher Institute at UCLA, and at California’s Antelope Valley College.

Bibliographic Details

Alessandro Pirolini
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: 44 photos, appendices, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4358-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5614-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments nbsp;     vii
Introduction      1

1. Career      7
2. Sturges’s “Weak Thought”      12
3. The Sturges Pastiche      31
4. Time Representation      86
5. Possible Narratives and Hypothetical Tales      92
6. A Style Without a Style      105
7. Post-Hollywood      112

Conclusion      123
Appendix A. Interview with Sandy Sturges      125
Appendix B. Les Carnets du Major Thompson: Unpublished Documents      145
Appendix C. Television Projects      153
Appendix D. “Writing and Directing”      166
Filmography      169
Chapter Notes      185
Bibliography      191
Index      197