American Masters (1985– )
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Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer 





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Fritz Weaver ... Narrator (voice)
Peter Bogdanovich ... Himself
Preston Sturges ... Himself (archive footage)
Priscilla Bonner ... Herself - Family Friend (as Priscilla B. Woolfan)
Sandy Sturges Sandy Sturges ... Herself - Mrs. Preston Sturges
Frances Ramsden ... Herself - Actress and Friend
Thomas Quinn Curtiss Thomas Quinn Curtiss ... Himself - Film Historian and Friend (as Thomas Quinn Curtis)
Cesar Romero ... Himself
Edwin Gillette Edwin Gillette ... Himself
A.C. Lyles ... Himself - Paramount Producer
Eddie Bracken ... Himself
Joel McCrea ... Himself (archive footage)
Andrew Sarris ... Himself - Film Critic (archive footage)
Betty Hutton ... Herself
Rudy Vallee ... Himself (archive footage)


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Release Date:

2 July 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Available as a bonus feature on the Criterion DVD release of Sullivan's Travels (1941). See more »


Features The Lady Eve (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

The Life of Preston Sturges
11 May 2015 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

I knew practically nothing about Preston Sturges going in to this, other than he was an expert writer on fast-paced dialogue.

Now I know as a child he spent much time in Europe due to his mother, providing him with "cultural indoctrination". Interestingly, he tried to run from the European culture, though so much became a part of who he was. Isadora Duncan, the famous dancer, was a big part of his childhood, which is odd.

Sturges was possibly the first writer to turn director. This was very uncommon, at Paramount or anywhere else. Sam Goldwyn hated this sort of crossover, as we know from Howard Hawks -- Goldwyn wanted directors to direct, and not tamper with the scripts.

The narrator says Sturges "introduced irony to screen comedy". Now, that is a hard claim to back up. Was he really the first? Probably not. But to say his style was not larger than life would be a lie.

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