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John Paul Jones DeJoria , Eloise Broady - 2nd Annual Art for Animals Fundraiser Evening For Eastwood Ranch Foundation - Arrivals at De Re Gallery - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 4th June 2016

Eloise Broady and Paul Jones
Eloise Broady and Paul Jones
Eloise Broady and Paul Jones

Coral Jones, Paul Jones, Harley Jones and Jazmin Jones - The funeral service of April Jones held at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth - Powys, United Kingdom - Thursday 26th September 2013

Coral Jones, Paul Jones, Harley Jones and Jazmin Jones
Coral Jones, Paul Jones and Harley Jones
Coral Jones, Paul Jones and Jazmin Jones

Paul Jones - Great British Rock n Blues Festival Lincolnshire England United Kingdom Sunday 27th January 2013

Paul Jones
Paul Jones
Paul Jones

The Lady Eve Review


Excellent
It's just not even a fair fight, and fortunately writer/director Preston Sturges knows that. Barbara Stanwyck could have poor little Henry Fonda for breakfast, and in Sturges' blithely astringent comedy The Lady Eve, she does just that. Fonda, as hapless rich kid Charles Pike, puts up some resistance to Stanwyck, international card sharp and grifter extraordinaire Jean Harrington, but it's really no contest -- he knows he's doomed to be won over by her charms, as the audience is, and ultimately everyone is the happier for it.

Sturges wrote for women like few other screenwriters ever have, even in our supposedly more advanced times. His heroines have a welcome tendency towards toughness, clarity of mind, sharpened tongues, devastating wit, and the ability to wear smashing evening wear without looking the least bit fragile. The remarkable Stanwyck is a fantastic creation as Harrington, able to think (and speak) circles around everybody in any given room, but still retaining the heart to fall madly for nebbishy Pike.

Continue reading: The Lady Eve Review

Sullivan's Travels Review


Very Good
Would it be fair to say that, when all is said and done, Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels is just not as funny as its choir of supporters have made it out to be? It's not dour by any stretch of the imagination, but it's hardly laugh-filled enough to merit inclusion at #39 on the AFI's list of 100 Funniest American Films. Humor is of course subjective, and to say that the film is just not as funny as some would claim is not a criticism. Sturges was making a comedy, for sure, but the reason that Sullivan's Travels has endured so strongly in the minds of connoisseurs is the filmmakers' attempt to breathe a certain strange strain of realism into what audiences were assuming to be a straight laugh-fest. It isn't entirely successful in the end, but then neither was Woody Allen's attempt to deal with the weight of being considered nothing but a jokester in Stardust Memories, and that one is quite far from a failure.

Sturges loved fake beginnings, and this is one of his best. We open on a knock-down, brawling fight on (and below) a train that's roaring through the mountains at night. The two men finally knock each other off into the raging river, and the screen reads: THE END, after which we find out that it's a film being screened for a couple worried executives by a very popular comic filmmaker, John Sullivan (Joel McCrea), who's trying to break out of his niche, going on about holding a mirror up to life and painting a "true canvas" of humanity's suffering. Chagrined to discover that the suits don't think his silver-spoon upbringing entitles him to know anything about the human condition, Sullivan hits the road with ten cents in his pocket (kitted out in authentic bum-wear from the studio wardrobe) to find out something about it. He spends the rest of the film trying to get away from the suits (worried about losing their golden goose), and striving to find realism. At first he doesn't succeed, accidentally ending up back in Hollywood time and again, but eventually Sullivan gets a little more realism than he had intended.

Continue reading: Sullivan's Travels Review

The Great McGinty Review


Very Good
The guy is sloppily attired in the manner of the American urban bum, circa the Great Depression. A ragged coat, floppy hat, and three-day growth mark him as meant for the city's many soup kitchens, one of which he finds handing out mugs of soup and chunks of bread. It just so happens that this particular mobile kitchen is sponsored by the city's mayor, up for reelection that very night. Fortunately there's something the man can do to help the mayor who just gave him that soup: vote for him under an assumed name and he gets two bucks. Only the man is an enterprising sort of bum: by the end of the night he's voted for the mayor 37 times, and thus unwittingly started his own political career.

One of the century's smarter films about politics, Preston Sturges' The Great McGinty takes a blowsy, no-nonsense approach to the subject at its core -- corruption -- and by treading that line between sanctimonious outrage and full-blown farce achieves a welcome attitude of realistic (and fatalistic) morality. Sturges' fable starts in one of those wonderfully atmospheric, fly-buzzed and smoky bars that inhabit Third World cities in all great films, where the man, Dan McGinty (Brian Donlevy), is working as a bartender, and telling the story of his fairy tale rise and fall. In its own meritocratic way, the story is actually quite inspiring: man comes out of nowhere, rockets upward through a major city's political organization, marries well, lives better, eventually becomes governor. Sure, he rose to power on a raging tide of graft, but that's the Chicago way, right?

Continue reading: The Great McGinty Review

The Palm Beach Story Review


Extraordinary
Is marriage really so important? One could take that as being the surprisingly modern theme of Preston Sturges' manic, brilliant 1942 farce The Palm Beach Story, or one could simply take it as screwball comedy of the highest order. Fortunately both interpretations are completely valid.

One of the few truly great writer/directors of American film, Sturges had more ideas than he knew what to do with; witness the film's credits sequence showing the main characters (Joel McCrea and a wonderful Claudette Colbert) getting married. There's a race to the altar, mistaken identity, a woman in a bridal gown locked in a closet, and general fast-paced madcappery, all done with music only -- it's an abbreviated précis of what could have made an entirely separate film. Then it's largely forgotten: The whole story is only alluded to near the end of the film, with one character referencing it only to say, "Well, that's a whole other plot."

Continue reading: The Palm Beach Story Review

Christmas In July Review


Extraordinary
Tragically underseen, this Preston Sturges comedy is all of 68 minutes long (including the credits) and is a freakin' laugh riot from start to finish. The story: Dick Powell's hapless Jimmy MacDonald dreams of getting rich quick by winning corporate-sponsored contests like "count how many peanuts there are in the window display." A perennial loser, he is stunned when he wins a slogan competition for a rival coffee company. Immediately, his boss (also a coffee magnate) promotes him, ashamed he hasn't been listening to his obviously great ideas, and Jimmy takes his best gal (Ellen Drew) on a shopping spree. Only it turns out that the telegram announcing Jimmy's win is a hoax. Imagine the mortification... and there's more to follow.

Continue reading: Christmas In July Review

My Favorite Spy Review


Very Good
This platform for Bob Hope slapstick isn't much more than a series of Hope gags as he impersonates a missing spy on the job in Tangier. His misadventures with Hedy Lamarr are short of classic but plenty of fun. Watch for the fire engine bit at the end -- they don't do stunts like this any more.

The Lady Eve Review


Excellent
Remarkably sophisticated for a film 60 years old, The Lady Eve is another fine flick about life and love courtesy of Preston Sturges, this time with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda as unlikely lovers meeting aboard a cruise ship. He's an adventurer back from a year in the Amazon, she's a spunky con artist. Sturges sure knows how to set up the screwball, and his comic timing here is impeccable. The scene with Stanwyck's "father" (a fellow con) in a fully-cheating card game is a highlight.

Road To Morocco Review


Excellent
Widely considered the best of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope's "Road to..." collaborations (this was #3 out of 7 in total), Road to Morocco is indeed a very funny movie that shows off Hope and Crosby at their best. Hope shines above all as the funnier of two wisecracking sailors who wash up ashore in Morocco, only to have Crosby sell Hope into slavery. (Yes, it's funny!) Only Hope turns out to be marrying a local princess... and then there's a nasty turn in store for both of them. It's a funny and dark look at friendship and love... and of course, any excuse to crack a joke. Watch for Hope doing double duty as Crosby's ghostly/dream-sequence aunt.

The Palm Beach Story Review


Very Good
Preston Sturges makes screwball extreme in this crazy comedy about an architect (Joel McCrea) and his wife (Claudette Colbert). When McCrea can't sell any designs, Colbert leaves him for a millionaire, with the idea that she'll get him to fund Joel's work. Absurd (and never mind what it says about marriage), but lots of fun, particularly on Colbert's train ride to Palm Beach.

Road To Utopia Review


Excellent
In the fourth of seven Road to movies, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby turned in what is often thought to be their greatest collaboration. Road to Utopia's title refers to Alaska, where two 1900s vaudevillians decide to pursue their fortune during the Klondike gold rush. They aren't going to mine for it though; they've got a line on an old map to riches -- but they'll have impersonate two rough and tumble bad guys in order to get to it. The story's a wash, but Hope is absolutely on fire throughout the film, zinging some of the best one-liners so fast that if you go to the bathroom you'll miss three laugh-out-loud jokes. Crosby's good too, of course, but Hope owns this film, which richly deserves its reputation.
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Sullivan's Travels Movie Review

Sullivan's Travels Movie Review

Would it be fair to say that, when all is said and done, Preston Sturges'...

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