The Palm Beach Story

Breathless to Florida (OT: The Palm Beach Story) is an American screwball comedy by Preston Sturges with Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea in the year 1942.


Tom and Gerry Jeffer live despite cramped financial ratios happy in New York. One day she can no longer pay their rent and to vacate their apartment when Gerry one as she finds grandiose idea comes. Through his friendship with the famous sausage magnate " Wienie King" the young woman their effect on older, wealthy men realize. She made ​​her way to Florida to get married there after a divorce express a millionaire. This would allow her a life of luxury and without worries and at the same time give you the opportunity to support Tom in his professional advancement. Even at Pennsylvania Station Gerry makes the acquaintance of a hunting party with the euphonious name The Ale and Quail Club, which translates as beer and Quail Club means. The highly intoxicated men invite a Gerry to get their money with to Palm Beach, but when they are intrusive, Gerry flees into the sleeper first class and promptly lands next to John D. Hack Sacker III. The next morning, Gerry found only in pajamas again, because now the lounge car, with the whole hunting party was detached from the train for disorderly conduct. John D. Hack Sacker III. , One of the richest men in the world, Gerry's mercy and takes her back to his yacht off Palm Beach. Just when the two want to go ashore, they see there are already Tom, who wants to have his wife. Gerry rescues the situation by "Captain McGloo " introduces Tom as her brother. Tom, aka Captain McGloo, attracted the attention of John on several occasions divorced sister, the Princess Maud Centimillia. The implications of run its course, while John and Gerry Maud Tom first advances and then make marriage proposals. Finally, clarify the misunderstandings and at the end of John and Maud marry the respective twins Tom and Gerry and all are happy. At least for the moment.


Preston Sturges was in 1942 after a rapid ascent from screenwriter to director a sort of prodigy in the film industry. His films were highly praised by the critics and the latest on the financial success of The Lady from 1941 got a free hand by the Studio responsible in terms of the choice of the scripts and the entire technical staff, including the actor Sturges. The first film in which Sturges had all the freedoms, was a pet project of his, Sullivan's Travels, with Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake in the lead roles. The film was not on the rental, as Sturges already thinking about the follow-up project. He first played with the idea of ​​the novel The Passionate Witch, again to film with Lake and McCrea in the lead roles. The venture eventually went over the responsibility of René Clair, the comedy My wife, the witch made ​​it. Sturges wrote at the end from September 1, 1941 completely new script with the working title Is That Bad? , In which he made ​​fun of the morals of the so-called High Society and their lavish lifestyle. Sturges and hailed from a wealthy family and his first wife Eleanor Hutton, had temporarily having an affair with the notorious fortune hunter Prince Jerome Rospigliosi - Gioeni. In his autobiography Sturges spoke about the film:

" " Breathless to Florida " was intended as an illustration of my theory about the aristocracy of beauty. Or, as Claudette Colbert opposite Joel McCrea ausddrückt: "You have no idea what a long-legged beauty can do it all without doing anything at all. " "

The confidence of Paramount was so great that Sturges was able to undertake the biggest star of the studio, Claudette Colbert, for the female lead. Colbert got 150,000 dollars for their participation, while Joel McCrea received a fee in the amount of $ 60,000. With Mary Astor and Rudy Vallee, a renowned singer and musical performer, led two highly paid actor on the list of supporting actors. Colbert was an experienced actress, since her breakthrough in 1934 in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night a sought after actress in the genre of screwball comedy had risen. Among them were classics of the genre as Midnight - unveiling at midnight, with Colbert as a poor but resourceful woman looking for a millionaire. For Joel McCrea it was the second of three collaborations with Preston Sturges. When the film finally came in the rental, some critics expressed particularly advantageous about Mary Astor, who the other actors more or less stole the show with her ​​portrayal of lovelorn princess Centimillia. Astor himself was anything but enthusiastic about their role. She said soberly in her biography:

" I was wearing a blonde wig and waving a lorgnette around and Rudy Vallee played my brother. I could Preston Sturges never make it right. We did not come together. I could not speak with this high, whistling voice and modulate my voice as it would do in his opinion, crazy ladies of high society, or at least those that have six ex-husbands and six million dollars. "

The film was initially titled Is Marriage Necessary? go to the rental, but this failed due to opposition by the censors.


The contemporary critics were friendly and praised the film and its actors. However, some Dialoglastigkeit was criticized.

Boslwey Crowther wrote on December 11, 1942 in the New York Times with some disappointment:

"It is a pity that Preston Sturges, the screenwriter Preston Sturges and the director of rendered movies have not previously know something better before or better, he, in personal union, " have turned breathlessly to Florida. " [ ... ] " Breathless to Florida " will never be the Persilflage who wants to be there. Aside from some amusing moments, it is a slow and long-winded affair. "

  • The lexicon of international film judged at a distance of a few decades less stringent:

" An ironic send-up chasing the success. Lively and witty dialogues, excellent actor. "

Pictures of The Palm Beach Story