Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Refocus: the Films of Preston Sturges$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeff Jaeckle and Sarah Kozloff

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781474406550

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474406550.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Thrust with a Rapier and Run: The Critics and Preston Sturges

Thrust with a Rapier and Run: The Critics and Preston Sturges

(p.261) Chapter 12 Thrust with a Rapier and Run: The Critics and Preston Sturges
Refocus: the Films of Preston Sturges

G. Tom Poe

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter addresses two major questions in regard to the critical reception of the career and films of Preston Sturges. The first question is how Sturges’s public persona as a “madcap” personality working in the Hollywood studio system created a master narrative that both informed and influenced the critical reception of his films and thus proved to be a precursor to what would come to be identified as “auteur” criticism. This leads to a second question: how did the theme of public spectacle in both Sturges’s personal/professional life and in his films that take a satirical and/or cynical view of public figures, influence critical debates in regard to the director as “auteur,” as well as inciting theoretical debates regarding the final purpose and/or ideological effect of his comedies as satire and/or irony reflecting cynicism and/or nihilism? Finally, the chapter explores how a study of the ambivalence that marks the history of critical writing on both Sturges’s life and his films provides an insight into the cultural practice of film criticism itself. To that end, the chapter gives particular attention to the critical debates provoked by three films, The Great McGinty, Sullivan’s Travels, and Hail the Conquering Hero.

Keywords:   auteur, critical reception, satire, irony, nihilism, comedy, film criticism

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.