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Refocus: the Films of Preston Sturges$
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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

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Introduction: An Agile Mind—The Many Stands of Preston Sturges

Introduction: An Agile Mind—The Many Stands of Preston Sturges

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: An Agile Mind—The Many Stands of Preston Sturges
Source:
Refocus: the Films of Preston Sturges
Author(s):

Jeff Jaeckle

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474406550.003.0015

This chapter challenges the reining views of Sturges as an ambivalent figure torn between art and commerce, especially as promulgated in popular writings by James Agee; instead, the chapter proposes new descriptive clusters or patterns that cut across every aspect of the filmmaker’s life: creator, businessman, wordsmith, skeptic, and optimist. These terms provide a good sense of the personality, vitality, and talents that made Sturges such a compelling figure, with the first three speaking to his aptitudes and endeavours, and the latter two characterizing his attitudes and worldview. Rather than set these terms in opposition, the chapter puts them in conversation to illustrate the complexities of Sturges’s remarkable life and to shed light on why he was, and continues to be, such a pivotal figure in Hollywood cinema and American culture.

Keywords:   Ambivalent, James Agee, creator, businessman, skeptic, wordsmith, optimist

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