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Preston Sturges

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 2013 | By Susan King
For several years in the 1940s, Preston Sturges wrote and directed a series of flawless social comedies that were an intoxicating mix of sophisticated dialog and freewheeling slapstick. The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood is honoring the filmmaker with the new retrospective "Sturges Rally: Comedy Built for Speed," which opens Friday. Sturges, who was born in 1898 and died in 1959, came from a wealthy family and, as a young boy, helped out his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan, in her stage productions.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 2013 | By Susan King
For several years in the 1940s, Preston Sturges wrote and directed a series of flawless social comedies that were an intoxicating mix of sophisticated dialog and freewheeling slapstick. The American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood is honoring the filmmaker with the new retrospective "Sturges Rally: Comedy Built for Speed," which opens Friday. Sturges, who was born in 1898 and died in 1959, came from a wealthy family and, as a young boy, helped out his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan, in her stage productions.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 1992 | LAURIE OCHOA
It was a good week for Preston Sturges: More than 30 years after his death, the director was honored with a retrospective of his films, a new production of one of his plays, and the opening of a restaurant called the Players, named for the restaurant Sturges ran in the '40s . . . sort of like someone in 2030 opening a restaurant called Spago. It's been a good week for Milton Weiss too.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 4, 2011
In Character Here are three legendary character actors. Franklin Pangborn The ultimate comedic fussbudget appeared in such farces as W.C. Fields' "The Bank Dick," and "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break," as well as numerous Preston Sturges classics. Dub Taylor Originally a vaudeville performer, Taylor appeared in 1938's Oscar-winning best picture, "You Can't Take It With You," but is best known for his work in westerns including Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch" and as a regular on the series "Hee Haw. " Beulah Bondi Usually cast as the loving mother, Bondi earned two supporting actress Oscar nominations for 1936's "The Gorgeous Hussy" and 1937's "Make Way For Tomorrow.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 7, 1988 | JAY SHARBUTT, Times Staff Writer
Tom Sturges, who is in the rock music business, came to town last weekend for the formal Off-Broadway opening of a nine-character, 57-year-old comedy called "A Cup of Coffee." The show, never before produced, doesn't exactly have the potential to be a rock musical. But Sturges had a special interest in it. His late father wrote the play. That father was Preston Sturges. The debut of "A Cup of Coffee" here is only part of a brewing bicoastal interest in the late screenwriter and playwright.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2006 | Mary Rourke, Times Staff Writer
Anne Margaret "Sandy" Sturges, who used the unfinished manuscript of an autobiography by her late husband, film auteur Preston Sturges, as the basis for the book "Preston Sturges by Preston Sturges," has died. She was 79. Sandy Sturges died Tuesday at her home in Manhattan Beach. The cause was cancer, her son Tom Sturges said.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 2, 1990 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
"American Masters" opens its fifth season tonight with "Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer" (10 p.m. on Channel 28; 8 p.m. on Channel 50), a succinct and illuminating one-hour survey of one of the most talented and influential but ill-fated writer-directors in the history of Hollywood. Produced and directed by Kenneth Bowser and written by film historian and former Variety film critic Todd McCarthy, this documentary is gratifyingly worthy of its complex subject.
BOOKS
September 16, 1990 | Kenneth Turan, For a year, beginning October 1, Turan will be interim editor of Book Review. Jack Miles, who has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, will be on leave.
Many things in life charmed Preston Sturges, the most gifted writer/director of comedy that Hollywood has ever seen, but biographies were definitely not among them. "It is often stupefying to read a piece about somebody one knew intimately," he thundered, "and to discover its extraordinary inaccuracy." In fact, he continued, "A good reason for writing one's auto biography is that it may prevent some jerk from writing one's biography."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 16, 1998 | Kenneth Turan, Kenneth Turan is the Times' film critic
'One of these days," wised-up shoplifter Barbara Stanwyck says to prosecutor Fred MacMurray as he offers her a drink she assumes is meant to seduce, "one of you boys is going to start one of these scenes differently, and one of us girls is going to drop dead from surprise." Preston Sturges, who wrote that line in "Remember the Night" and hundreds of others in dozens of films, was preeminently the boy who started scenes differently. Words intoxicated him, and he knew just how to make them jump.
BOOKS
November 3, 1985 | Charles Champlin
Preston Sturges, who died in 1959 at age 61, is among film enthusiasts a cult figure only slightly less exalted than Orson Welles. Like Welles, he had an exotic, culture-drenched childhood, much of it spent in Europe, where his free-spirited mother palled around with Isadora Duncan and her lover Paris Singer. Sturges boarded with a French family and was sent to elegant schools in France and Switzerland.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2011 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
P.G. Sturges has led many lives. Sitting on a bench on a warm weekday morning outside the Page Museum in Mid-Wilshire, he elaborates on a few: Navy submarine crewmember, Christmas tree grower, screenwriter, metrologist. Now, at 57, he's added novelist to the résumé, with the release of "Shortcut Man," a hard-boiled mystery with a comic (or, at least, ironic) edge. Narrated by Dick Henry, known as the shortcut man because of his ability to cut to the heart of a problem, it unfolds, as such works tend to do, in a peculiarly Los Angeles sort of netherworld, suspended between wealth and want and full of corruption on every side.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2010 | By Dennis Lim, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Most filmmakers who had a hand in shaping the language of the art form approached cinema with the mind-set of pioneers, eager to test and prove the medium's expressive potential. Not so Sacha Guitry. The French actor, writer and director who secured his place in the cinematic pantheon with a series of dazzling comedies made in the 1930s turned to film begrudgingly, spoke of it with condescension and maintained a lifelong allegiance to his first and true love, the theater. Guitry was born and raised in Russia, the son of a stage star who was for a time under contract with a French theater company in St. Petersburg.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 1, 2010 | By Luaine Lee
Todd Phillips is smiling. He has good reason for cheer. As director of one of the hottest comedies of 2009, "The Hangover," the 39-year-old has already established himself among Hollywood's firmament. And the release of the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film just before the holidays has made Phillips even merrier. Humor is nothing new to the producer-director who helmed "Old School," "School for Scoundrels," "Road Trip" and "Starsky and Hutch." "I had a sense of humor when I was a kid," he says, seated at a linen-covered table in a vacant room at Caesars Palace, where most of "The Hangover" was shot.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 2009
Yes, Virginia, there are many Christmas movies out in the cinematic universe other than the old faithfuls "It's a Wonderful Life," "Miracle on 34th Street," "A Christmas Story," "A Christmas Carol" and "Home Alone." "Remember the Night," one of the best Christmas movies you've probably never heard of, has finally arrived on DVD (available at www.tcm.com) and airs at 5 p.m. Thursday on Turner Classic Movies. And like so many holiday films, including "Miracle on 34th Street," which was released in May 1947, the romantic comedy-drama "Remember the Night" came out in January 1940, a full 11 months before the holidays.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 4, 2009 | Howard Hampton, Hampton is the author of "Born in Flames: Termite Dreams, Dialectical Fairy Tales, and Pop Apocalypses."
Farber on Film The Complete Film Writings of Manny Farber Edited by Robert Polito Library of America: 824 pp., $40 At this year's Academy Awards, the most incongruous moment came during the "In Memoriam" roll call. Among the distinguished deceased was "Manny Farber, Film Critic." Outside of Martin Scorsese and a few other relative old-timers, I wonder how many members of the academy recognized the name, let alone remembered Farber's 1957 assessment of the complicity between the typical good-housekeeping movie reviewer and Hollywood's distribution of those 13 1/2 -inch statuettes: "His choice of best salami is a picture backed by studio build-up, agreement amongst his colleagues . . . and a list of ingredients that anyone's unsophisticated aunt in Oakland can spot as comprising a distinguished film."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2009 | SUSAN KING
Not every movie produced by the Hollywood studios during the Golden Age was tied up in neat little bows; it wasn't all boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. "Films were more edgy and involved characters that were less than perfect," says UCLA film professor Jonathan Kuntz. "Certainly in the 1930s with the Great Depression, there was a lot of disillusionment with the establishment and society. World War II shook everything up and all kinds of crazy things happen."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 2007 | David Ng, Times Staff Writer
A shot of pure screwball silliness, "Tom, Dick and Harry" evokes a bygone era of zany characters spouting rapid-fire dialogue while drinking tea in a well-appointed living room. Just add Cary Grant in a negligee to the mix, and you'd have the makings of a perfect madcap evening. This marvelously entertaining play at the International City Theatre in Long Beach wastes no time getting down to business.
NEWS
October 1, 1992 | PHILIP BRANDES, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Does a man's value lie in his inherent worth or in the stature accorded him by others? For Jimmy MacDonald, the young coffee salesman with grand ambitions in Preston Sturges' comic play, "A Cup of Coffee," the answer could affect his self-respect, his career and even his possible marriage to the woman he loves.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2008 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
It all started 10 years ago when middle school student Helen Camarillo walked up to music executive Tom Sturges at a Christmas party for youths and adults interested in mentoring. She told him that she planned to be president of the United States one day. As an ice breaker, it worked. Sturges, a son of legendary screenwriter and director Preston Sturges, asked Helen where she went to school. Foshay Learning Center, she told him, naming a school in a crime-ridden neighborhood in South Los Angeles.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 2007 | David Ng, Times Staff Writer
A shot of pure screwball silliness, "Tom, Dick and Harry" evokes a bygone era of zany characters spouting rapid-fire dialogue while drinking tea in a well-appointed living room. Just add Cary Grant in a negligee to the mix, and you'd have the makings of a perfect madcap evening. This marvelously entertaining play at the International City Theatre in Long Beach wastes no time getting down to business.
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