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Monday, January 23
12:30   4:10   7:50

Sunday, January 29
11:00 – FFJR

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*Pre-recorded introduction by James Curtis, author of Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges.

U.S., 1940
Written and directed by Preston Sturges
Starring Brian Donlevy, Akim Tamiroff, William Demarest
Approx. 81 min. 35mm.

“If you don’t have graft, you’d have a low type of person in politics. Men with no ambition.” Boss Akim Tamiroff helps crooked tramp Brian Donlevy become an even more crooked governor, until honesty rears its ugly head. In order to convince the studio to let him direct, Preston Sturges, then one of Paramount’s most important screenwriters, sold the script for $10 (upped from $1). Result: Sturges’ directorial debut, his only Oscar (Original Screenplay), and the first of eight smash hits. Featuring the first flowering of Sturges’ legendary comic stock company, including William Demarest, Jimmy Conlin, Esther Howard, Vic Potel, Dewey Robinson, Robert Warwick, et al. (“McGinty and the Boss” would later make surprise appearances in Sturges’ The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.)


"Capra with the gloves off."
– Raymond Durgnat

“The slapstick reversals on Horatio Alger success themes became Sturges’ specialty.”
– Pauline Kael

Film Forum