THE PALM BEACH STORY
1942, Universal, 88 min, USA, Dir: Preston Sturges

Though Claudette Colbert still loves her failed-architect hubby Joel McCrea, she nonetheless leaves him for greener pastures. Enter Rudy Vallee as a mild-mannered zillionaire and Mary Astor as his nympho sister and, well, the possibilities are just endless. Another hysterical Sturges classic, highlighted by the all-star Ale & Quail Club and the unforgettable Wienie King!


MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
1944, Warner Bros., 113 min, USA, Dir: Vincente Minnelli

Life seems perfect in St. Louis on the brink of the 1904 World’s Fair for the four sisters of a working-class family, until the father reveals they have to leave for New York. Adapted from Sally Benson’s short stories, originally published in The New Yorker, this gem of cinematic, picture-postcard Americana and youthful romance marked the beginning of the golden age of MGM musicals, and the golden age for director Vincente Minnelli as well: He married Judy Garland the following year. The songs became standards (remember "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"?), and the feature was one of MGM’s biggest successes in its day.


THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
1941, Warner Bros., 101 min, USA, Dir: John Huston

Based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel, this classic mystery gives life to Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and a masterfully drawn group of characters involved in a dangerous and double-crossing hunt for a bejeweled golden falcon statue. The first-rate cast includes Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Huston’s father, Walter.


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