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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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“They Always Get the Best of You Somehow”: Preston Sturges in Black and White

“They Always Get the Best of You Somehow”: Preston Sturges in Black and White

(p.155) Chapter 7 “They Always Get the Best of You Somehow”: Preston Sturges in Black and White
Refocus: the Films of Preston Sturges

Krin Gabbard

Edinburgh University Press

There is no question that the films of Preston Sturges present racist stereotypes. But we must remember the profound racism in America when Sturges was working. There is even evidence that Sturges respected his African American actors, making sure that they were treated as professionals. Several blacks even became members of his repertory company, working alongside a group of actors who often embodied a range of ethnic stereotypes. And in many of his films, Sturges’s blacks actually express a wry suspicion of white Americans, thus advancing the satiric projects of his films. Rather than concentrate on Sturges’s habit of presenting racist images of black people, we should be attentive to what his African American characters actually say and do.

Keywords:   racism, African Americans, stereotypes, ethnic, repertory

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