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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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To Write and Not Direct

To Write and Not Direct

(p.66) Chapter 3 To Write and Not Direct
Refocus: the Films of Preston Sturges

Sarah Kozloff

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter compares three Sturges-authored films, The Good Fairy (Wyler, 1935), Easy Living (Leisen, 1937) and Remember the Night (Leisen, 1940), against Sturges’s scripts. Sturges, who started in Hollywood as a script doctor and scriptwriter, complained bitterly about how other directors treated his screenplays. Yet this chapter argues that adaptations made by the directors and the studios generally improved upon his original vision, sometimes by heightening the comedy, but mostly by intensifying viewer connection to characters and emphasizing the romance. Sometimes the studio system, which kept auteurism in check, worked to a film’s advantage.

Keywords:   The Good Fairy, Easy Living, Remember the Night, William Wyler, Mitchell Leisen, adaptations, auteurism

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