Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Content

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

When a Hollywood phenomenon like Preston Sturges occurs, the desire to analyze it, to uncover the intrinsic meaning lying at its core, may kill the brilliance that makes it unique. The fact is, Preston Sturges is so much more than the sum of his parts- -screenwriter, slapstick artist, cynic, wit, satirist...

Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

Chronology

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pp. xiii-xvi

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1. The Most Bizarre and Marvelous Scenario: Flashbacks on the Life and Career of Preston Sturges

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pp. 1-54

A kaleidoscopic whirl of extraordinary people and improbable events clearly does not represent most lives. Of the few people with the vision and energy to command greatness, most end up accepting less, settling for life as a project of trying to find pleasure, resignedly, in the ordinary. They have not...

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2. The Screenwriting of Preston Sturges

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pp. 55-78

The touchstone of Preston Sturges' screenwriting art lies in the respect paid to the play and density of verbal language. The criteria for judging the success of most any Sturges screenplay invariably include the standard of eloquence found in the twist of a phrase, a phonic rhythm, a defiant...

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3. Written and Directed by Preston

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pp. 79-132

The Great McGinty opens with a scene set in a seedy and hostile bar somewhere in a Latin American banana republic. This opening scene sets the tone of Sturges' film in two ways. First, the suggestion of seedy refuge mixed with failure tells us that Sturges is pessimistic about the...

Notes and References

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pp. 133-140

Annotated Bibliography

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pp. 141-145

Filmography

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pp. 146-162

Index

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pp. 163-169

About the Author

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pp. 170-171