The Palm Beach Story

On a laugh meter, The Palm Beach Story would rank near the top in any contest of comedies. The long sequence of the Ale and Quail Club (Sturges' best stock players) rampaging up and down the corridors of a train carrying Claudette Colbert to Florida for a divorce, is so frantically funny that one almost chokes for lack of breathing time. Joel McCrea and Colbert are perfect for the romantic leads, sort of married at the start, and sort of married at the end. Their misadventures provide Sturges with a “comedy of errors” plot not too far removed from Shakespeare, and also with a chance to zero in on the “idle rich” with some devastating satire.

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