Monday, November 27, 2006

The Cockeyed Caravan of Preston Sturges

There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan.
I am delighted that the inimitable films of Preston Sturges are now available on DVD, many of them for the first time. My favorites, The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels, already have beautiful Criterion Collection editions. But this new set includes "Christmas in July" (a store clerk thinks his coffee slogan has won a big contest and begins spending the prize money), "The Great McGinty" (a bum becomes a politician), and "Hail the Conquering Hero" (a mild-mannered soldier is mistaken for a war hero). And then there's "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek," a movie that has possibly the most outlandish plot in movie history and a fabulously dry performance by Diana Lynn.

There's a fine salute to Sturges in Slate and much that is insightful and amusing has been written about him elsewhere. But this new release lets us appreciate him for ourselves. I envy those who will take this chance to discover him.

No comments: