A comedy classic bonanza

Every one of the seven comedies in the new $42 Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection box set (out Tuesday, 11/21) is more than half a century old. But much of the sly, charming, rapid-fire dialogue seems distinctly modern — as if it could have been written five minutes ago by, say, a less pretentious version of Aaron Sorkin.

In fact, today’s auteurs owe more than a creative debt to Sturges, who trailblazed as one of Hollywood’s early writer-director power brokers.

Consider 1940’s The Great McGinty, included here. A satire about a crafty bum turned mayoral candidate, McGinty got made only because Sturges offered the script to Paramount for $1 if he could direct it.

The Oscar-winning hit gave Sturges the mojo to write and direct an amazing string of movies, including (and these are all in this box set) The Palm Beach Story, Hail the Conquering Hero, Christmas in July, The Great Moment, and our favorites, Sullivan’s Travels (starring Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea) and The Lady Eve (Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda).

Hours of delightful classic cinema for what you’d spend on a miserable night at the multiplex.

“>BUY Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection

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A comedy classic bonanza