Opening Tonight at Film Forum: 2 Weeks of Preston Sturges

Opening today (January 20, 2023) at New York’s Film Forum, and running through February 2, a screening series entitled Written and Directed by Preston Sturges.

I have already written extensively about Sturges in this 2017 post so I’ll direct you to that for my abundant thoughts about the writer/director. The one thing I’d amend about that post is the claim made by its title: rather than “America’s greatest comic genius” I might qualify it to “of the sound era”. But, as too many people seem unaware of, the aim of a headline is not to be true, but to draw your attention to a true article. If you find something wrong in that, perhaps you are too good for this world.

The schedule for what the Film Forum is showing is here is here. If you’ve already seen the small handful of films this genius directed, I heartily recommend the ones he wrote but didn’t direct, for many of them such as the screwball classic Easy Living are about as good as Sturges’s well-known masterpieces. And The Power and the Glory was a major influence on Orson Welles and others, though it’s not very well known nowadays. I’d prioritize that one. If you’re wondering why they’re showing Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman in the line up, is that that Sturges’ Mad Wednesday a.k.a. The Sin of Harold Diddlebock is a sort of sequel to it. And as for what’s missing? I’m sorry they left out The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949), a late Sturges comedy western too much maligned by critics, and his only picture in color. It needs love! But all in all, this is a wonderful opportunity to deepen your knowledge of this titan of American comic cinema.

More info about Written and Directed by Preston Sturges is here.