Definitions

Sturges

Sturges

[stur-jis]
Sturges, Preston, 1898-1959, American film director, screenwriter, and producer, b. Chicago as Edmond Preston Biden. Educated in the United States and Europe, he turned to playwriting during the 1920s, penning works that included the hit Broadway comedy Strictly Dishonorable (1929, film 1931). Sturges moved (1932) to Hollywood and began to turn out screenplays, both for dramas and sparkling comedies. He debuted as a director with the screwball comedy The Great McGinty (1940), which he also wrote, and for which he won the best original screenplay Oscar. Sturges satirized many sacred cows in the witty, unsentimental, and stylish movies he wrote and directed during the 1940s. Among them are Sullivan's Travels (1941), widely considered his masterpiece; The Lady Eve (1941); I Married a Witch (1942); The Palm Beach Story (1942); Hail the Conquering Hero (1944); and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944). After the successful Unfaithfully Yours (1948), his career faltered, and his subsequent films were few and undistinguished. After falling into relative obscurity, his romantic comedies were rediscovered in the 1970s, and he is now hailed as one of Hollywood's finest and most influential comic talents.

See his memoirs, ed. by his wife, Sandy Sturges (1990); biographies by J. Curtis (1982), D. Spoto (1990), and D. Jacobs (1992).

orig. Edmond Preston Biden

(born Aug. 29, 1898, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died Aug. 6, 1959, New York, N.Y.) U.S. film director. Initially a playwright, he wrote the Broadway hits Strictly Dishonorable (1929) and Child of Manhattan (1931). After moving to Hollywood, he became a noted screenwriter and won an Academy Award for The Great McGinty (1940), the first film he directed. He went on to write and direct distinctive satirical comedies such as The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1941), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), and Unfaithfully Yours (1948), characterized by their witty dialogue, rapid pace, and memorable minor characters.

Learn more about Sturges, Preston with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Edmond Preston Biden

(born Aug. 29, 1898, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died Aug. 6, 1959, New York, N.Y.) U.S. film director. Initially a playwright, he wrote the Broadway hits Strictly Dishonorable (1929) and Child of Manhattan (1931). After moving to Hollywood, he became a noted screenwriter and won an Academy Award for The Great McGinty (1940), the first film he directed. He went on to write and direct distinctive satirical comedies such as The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1941), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), and Unfaithfully Yours (1948), characterized by their witty dialogue, rapid pace, and memorable minor characters.

Learn more about Sturges, Preston with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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