One of Hollywood’s genuinely legendary directors, Preston Sturges redefined the boundaries and meaning of screen comedy as a filmmaker during part of the early ‘40s. The full range of his influence on movies, however, extended far beyond the director’s chair or the success of the pictures that he helmed. Sturges first made his mark in Hollywood as a screenwriter through a series of acclaimed (and still-admired) scripts across the 1930s whose qualities still resonate seven decades later.
The son of a socially prominent couple, he was born Edmund Preston Biden in Chicago in 1898. He had a cosmopolitan upbringing throughout Europe and America, and served in the Air Corps during World War I. He worked for a time in his mother’s cosmetics company before moving into other fields, including inventing. Sturges began writing plays in the late ’20s, creating one major hit, Strictly Dishonorable, which was subsequently filmed twice, the first time in 1931 by John M. Stahl (in a form surprisingly… read more