Preston Sturges

Director, Screenwriter, Playwright
Featuring razor-sharp wit and astringent dialogue, writer-director Preston Sturges ranked as one of American cinema's most gifted creative talents. After emerging from the theater world, Sturges almost singlehandedly ... Read more »
Born: 08/29/1898 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Writer (33)

Rock-a-Bye Baby 1958 (Movie)

("The Miracle of Morgan's Creek") (From Story)

The Birds and the Bees 1956 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The French They Are a Funny Race 1956 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Strictly Dishonorable 1951 (Movie)

("Strictly Dishonorable") (Play as Source Material)

The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend 1949 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Unfaithfully Yours 1948 (Movie)

(From Story)

Unfaithfully Yours 1948 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hail the Conquering Hero 1943 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Great Moment 1943 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek 1943 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sullivan's Travels 1941 (Movie)

(From Story)

Sullivan's Travels 1941 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Lady Eve 1941 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Palm Beach Story 1941 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Christmas in July 1939 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Remember the Night 1939 (Movie)

(From Story)

Remember the Night 1939 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Great McGinty 1939 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Never Say Die 1938 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

If I Were King 1937 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Easy Living 1936 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Good Fairy 1934 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Power and the Glory 1932 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Power and the Glory 1932 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Strictly Dishonorable 1930 (Movie)

("Strictly Dishonorable") (Play as Source Material)

The Big Pond 1929 (Movie)

dialogue (Writer (dialogue))

Broadway Melody of 1940 (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Child of Manhattan (Movie)

(Play Author)

Diamond Jim (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Fast and Loose (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Port of Seven Seas (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Thirty-Day Princess (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

We Live Again (Movie)

(Screenwriter)
Director (11)

The French They Are a Funny Race 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend 1949 (Movie)

(Director)

Unfaithfully Yours 1948 (Movie)

(Director)

Hail the Conquering Hero 1943 (Movie)

(Director)

The Great Moment 1943 (Movie)

(Director)

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek 1943 (Movie)

(Director)

Sullivan's Travels 1941 (Movie)

(Director)

The Lady Eve 1941 (Movie)

(Director)

The Palm Beach Story 1941 (Movie)

(Director)

Christmas in July 1939 (Movie)

(Director)

The Great McGinty 1939 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (3)

The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend 1949 (Movie)

(Producer)

Unfaithfully Yours 1948 (Movie)

(Producer)

I Married a Witch (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (2)

Paris Holiday 1958 (Movie)

Serge Vitry (Actor)

Star Spangled Rhythm 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Biography

Featuring razor-sharp wit and astringent dialogue, writer-director Preston Sturges ranked as one of American cinema's most gifted creative talents. After emerging from the theater world, Sturges almost singlehandedly redefined the screwball comedy as a director, while getting his start as a writer on such varied movies as the adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The Invisible Man" (1932), the time-shifting drama "The Power and the Glory" (1933), the biopic "Diamond Jim" (1935), and the historical drama "If I Were King" (1938). But it was as a director that Sturges left his most indelible mark. Frustrated with his lack of control as a writer, he took the reigns of production to helm such classics as "The Great McGinty" (1940) and "The Lady Eve" (1941). He delved into more satirical waters with "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) and "The Palm Beach Story" (1942), before stumbling over the box office failure of "The Great Moment" (1944). Sturges triumphed again with two more classics, "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" (1944) and "Hail the Conquering Hero" (1944), but once again felt the need for independence after studio meddling. He freed himself from his contract to work independently with millionaire Howard Hughes. But after the failed Harold Lloyd comeback vehicle, With "The Sin of Harold Diddlebock/Mad Wednesday" (1947), Sturges had an irreparable failing out with Hughes. Though he managed a critical success with "Unfaithfully Yours" (1948), his career was all but finished. Despite spending his last years struggling to clamor back on top, Sturges nonetheless remained one of Hollywood's most respected pioneers, particularly with his ability to meld smart, witty comedy with social commentary.

Relationships

Veley Bey

Step-Father

Edward Biden

Father

Edward Biden

Half-Brother
older

Mary Dempsey

Mother
born in Quebec, Canada to Irish immigrants divorced Edward Biden traveled throughout Europe with Isadora Duncan remarried several times died on April 12, 1931

Eleanor Hutton

Wife
Married April 12, 1930 Marriage annulled April 12, 1932

Solomon IV

Son
born on June 25, 1941 mother, Louise Tervis

Estelle Mudge

Wife

Sandy Sturges Actor

Wife
Married 1951 until his death Aug. 6, 1959

Solomon Sturges

Step-Father
adopted Sturges in January 1902 divorced from Mary Desti c. 1910

Preston Sturges

Son
born on February 22, 1953 mother, Anne Nagle

Thomas Sturges

Son
born on June 22, 1956 mother, Anne Nagle

Shannon Sturges

Granddaughter
daughter of Solomon Sturges

Louise Tevis

Wife

EDUCATION

also attended schools in Berlin and Dresden, Germany

School of Military Aeronautics

Austin , Texas 1917

La Villa

Ecole des Roches

Dr Coulter's Harvard School

Chicago , Illinois 1905

Lycee Janson de Sailly

Paris 1907

Milestones

1998

MGM announced plans to make film from original unproduced screenplay "Mr Big and Littleville"

1990

Subject of award-winning documentary "Preston Sturges: Rise & Fall of an American Dreamer" (aired on PBS)

1958

Final screen appearance, acted in "Paris Holiday"

1956

Last produced screenplay (to date) "The Birds and the Bees"

1955

Directed last film, "Les Carnets du Major Thompson/The French, They Are a Funny Race"

1950

Wrote book for the stage musical "Make a Wish", based on his 1934 screenplay "The Good Fairy"

1947

Put under contract by 20th Century-Fox

1946

While filming "Vendetta", Hughes dissolved partnership; replaced as director; Mel Ferrer received final screen credit

1943

Earned two Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay in the same year for "Hail the Conquering Hero" and "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek"

1943

With Howard Hughes, formed California Pictures Corporation (Cal-Pix)

1942

Ended contract with Paramount

1941

Appeared as himself in "Star Spangled Rhythm"

1940

"The Lady Eve", starring Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, and "Sullivan's Travels", with Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, released

1940

Made uncredited acting appearance in "Christmas in July"

1940

Film directing debut, "The Great McGinty"; received Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay

1940

Opened first restaurant, The Players, in L.A.

1939

Sold rights to "The Great McGinty" to Paramount for $10 in return for studio agreeing to allow him to direct the film

1938

Loaned to MGM

1936

Signed two-year contract with Paramount

1936

With Ted Snyder, opens restaurant Snyder's (closed in 1938)

1935

Founded Sturges Engineering Company, a manufacturer of vibrationless diesel engines

1934

Script for "Fanny" written for Universal shelved due to objections of censors

1933

Wrote script for "The Great McGinty"

1932

Moved to Hollywood to work on script of "The Invisible Man" for Universal in September; studio dropped their option when assigned director disliked his script

1930

Had flop with play "Recapture"

1929

Wrote first screenplays, "The Big Pond" and "Fast and Loose", for Paramount Pictures in Astoria, Queens

1929

"The Guinea Pig" opened to a 16-week run on Broadway in January

1929

Had success with second play, "Strictly Dishonorable"

1928

First play, "The Guinea Pig" produced in Provincetown, Massachusetts

1927

Began writing plays after a bout of appendicitis

1920

Invented "kiss-proof" lipstick

1917

Served in Air Corps; wrote and drew weekly comic strip "Toot and His Loot" for camp newspaper

1915

Managed Maison Desti in NYC

1914

Managed Maison Desti, his mother's cosmetic shop in Deauville, France

1914

Returned to the USA at the outbreak of WWII

Raised in Europe and the USA

Bonus Trivia

.

There is an official website at www.prestonsturges.com

.

He was the subject of an award-winning 1990 documentary "Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer"

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