In a season when funny and witty movies are at a premium, Bruce Goldstein, program director of Film Forum, has presented a tribute to Preston Sturges (1898-1959) with a nine-day festival of 10 comic masterpieces directed and/or written by Sturges, who was aptly evaluated by Times critic Dave Kehr as “Hollywood’s greatest writer and director of talking comedies. He created his cocktails with an artist’s bent.” Mr. Goldstein is dedicating the series to the memory of the director’s wife, Sandy Sturges (1927-2006), who appeared at Film Forum’s first major Sturges retrospective, in 1990.
Christmas in July (1940), with Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn, William Demarest, Ernest Truex and Franklin Pangborn, shows on the 24th and 25th at 2:45, 6 and 9:15. Remember the Night (1940), directed by Mitchell Leisen, with Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson and Sterling Holloway, shows those days, too, at 4:10 and 7:25.
Sullivan’s Travels (1941), with Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Margaret Hayes, Porter Hall, Eric Blore, Robert Greig, Jimmy Conlin, Al Bridge and Franklin Pangborn, plays on Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th, at 2:40, 6:05 and 9:30. The Great McGinty (1940), with Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff, Allyn Joslyn, William Demarest, Louis Jean Heydt and Arthur Hoyt plays those days, too, at 4:30 and 7:55.
The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944) screens on Sunday the 28th and Monday the 29th. It stars Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, William Demarest, Diana Lynn, Brian Donlevy, Akim Tamiroff, Porter Hall, Almira Sessions and Jimmy Conlin, and shows at 2:40, 6:30 and 10:20. Dolly Hall, daughter of actress Diana Lynn, will introduce the 6:30 show on Sunday.
Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), with Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, Raymond Walburn, William Demarest, Freddie Steele, Bill Edwards, Elizabeth Patterson, Jack Norton, Paul Porcasi and Al Bridge, shows Sunday and Monday, too, at 4:35 and 8:25.
Easy Living (1937), directed by Mitchell Leisen, with Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland, Franklin Pangborn, William Demarest, Mary Nash and Luis Alberni, will screen on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 2:40, 6:20 and 10. Unfaithfully Yours (1948), with Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee, Barbara Lawrence, Kurt Kreuger, Lionel Stander, Robert Greig, Edgar Kennedy, Julius Tannen and Al Bridge, plays that day, too, at 4:20 and 8.
The Lady Eve (1941), with Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest, Eric Blore and Melville Cooper, will show Wednesday the 31st and Thursday, Jan. 1, at 2:40, 6:15 and 10. The Palm Beach Story (1942), with Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor, Sig Arno, Robert Dudley, William Demarest, Jack Norton, Franklin Pangborn and Jimmy Conlin, will show those days, too, at 4:30 and 8:10 .