The Film Salon lightens up this fall with a celebration of the writer-director Preston Sturges, beginning with our screening of his 1940 political comedy, The Great McGinty. Sturges was a relatively new breed in Hollywood, a successful screenwriter through most of the 1930s who finagled his way to directing his own screenplays in the Forties. With a knack for screwball comedy and an amazing gift for dialog, Sturgesí star burned bright for a few short years before he paid a price for his fame, wit, growing ego and demanding perfection. But what a bright star he was, writing and directing some of the best comedies of the American Cinema - his first seven (and best) films between 1940 and 1944. It all started with Sturgesí directorial debut, The Great McGinty. Brian Donlevyís McGinty is down on his luck and paid to vote in an election. Impressing a political boss with his enthusiasm and the sheer number of ballots he casts, McGinty grabs ahold of the bossí coattails and starts a climb up the political ladder. Heís eventually encouraged to run for mayor, with one problem: he needs a wife to appear respectable. A marriage of convenience leads to true love and an awakening of his conscience, resulting in a swift fall from grace (or rise from disgrace depending which side of the satire youíre on). With Preston Sturgesí unique wit and brilliant scenarios, The Great McGinty signaled the arrival of an important filmmaker.
Weíll continue to explore the rise of Preston Sturges (and the beginning of his fall) with screenings of The Lady Eve on October 5, The Palm Beach Story on November 2, and The Miracle of Morganís Creek on December 7.
If you missed the Plaza Classic Film Festivalís recent screening of Sullivanís Travels, watch it in the next month as homework!
Trinity-First United Methodist Church, Resler Hall Chapel