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Preston Sturges

Preston Sturges (; born Edmund Preston Biden; August 29, 1898 – August 6, 1959) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and film director. In 1941, he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film The Great McGinty, his first of three nominations in the category.

Sturges took the screwball comedy format of the 1930s to another level, writing dialogue that, heard today, is often surprisingly naturalistic, mature, and ahead of its time, despite the farcical situations. It is not uncommon for a Sturges character to deliver an exquisitely turned phrase and take an elaborate pratfall within the same scene.

Prior to Sturges, other figures in Hollywood (such as Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith, and Frank Capra) had directed films from their own scripts, however Sturges is often regarded as the first Hollywood figure to establish success as a screenwriter and then move into directing his own scripts, at a time when those roles were separate. Sturges famously sold the story for The Great McGinty to Paramount Pictures for $1, in return for being allowed to direct the film.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 29th, 1898 (Chicago), Died August 6th, 1959 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1930

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-Test-464 10-in. 12/16/1930 I'll never complain Norma Terris Female vocal solo, with piano lyricist  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Sturges, Preston," accessed July 24, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103463.

Sturges, Preston. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 24, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103463.

"Sturges, Preston." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 24 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103463

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