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The Great McGinty with The Lady Eve

The Great McGinty
Preston Sturges was one of Hollywood’s most in-demand screenwriters when he took the unusual step of selling his latest screenplay to Paramount for only ten dollars—on the condition that he be allowed to make his directorial debut with the project. That screenplay was The Great McGinty, a witty political satire about a homeless man who, with the help of the corrupt system, rises to become governor of the state. Sturges’s script earned him his only Academy Award, and many of the supporting cast would become familiar faces in his films.

The Lady Eve
This screwball masterpiece from Preston Sturges finds Charles Pike (Henry Fonda), a handsome but clueless snake expert who is also the heir to an ale empire, falling helplessly for a beautiful con artist (Barbara Stanwyck). Sturges’s combination of verbal wit, slapstick, and heartfelt romance is unimpeachable, and Stanwyck and Fonda are a pair for the ages. The supporting cast is equally sublime, including Charles Coburn and Eric Blore as fellow con artists, Eugene Pallette as the blustering ale tycoon, and William Demarest as Fonda’s loyal minder Muggsy. Monckton Hoffe earned an Oscar nomination for the film’s original story.

The Great McGinty
DIRECTED BY: Preston Sturges. WRITTEN BY: Preston Sturges. WITH: Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, AkimTamiroff, Allyn Joslyn. 1940. 83 min. USA. B&W. English. DCP.

The Lady Eve
DIRECTED BY: Preston Sturges. WRITTEN BY: Preston Sturges. STORY BY: Monckton Hoffe. WITH: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette. 1941. 95 min. USA. B&W. English. 35mm. New print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.


Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
6067 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Los Angeles, CA 90036 United States
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