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Classic Hollywood: Sturges & "Sullivan" Classics on Chestnut

Classic Hollywood: Sturges & “Sullivan”

Preston Sturges had one of the greatest winning streaks in screen history. Over a five-year period in the 1940s, he wrote and directed seven hit comedies. What’s more, he won an Oscar for scripting the pic that kicked off that incredible run (The Great McGinty), and scored two of the five Original Screenplay nominations in 1944. Yet like a comet, he burned hot, fast and bright before burning out and dying at age 60 in 1959. Read More Read More
Classic Hollywood: William Wyler Classics on Chestnut

Classic Hollywood: William Wyler

Haberdashery’s loss was Hollywood’s gain. Had William Wyler followed his father into the family business, Europeans might have looked stylish for generations, but the film business would have suffered greatly. Fortunately for us, Wyler was miserable selling suits and pocket squares in Paris, so his mother reached out to her first cousin Carl Laemmle in America. Carl ran a little operation called Universal Pictures. Would he be willing to hire her 18-year-old son “Willi”? Read More Read More
Classic Hollywood: Fred Zinnemann Classics on Chestnut

Classic Hollywood: Fred Zinnemann

I once got an email from an 88-year-old man named George, praising an essay I’d written for the Washington Post. Coincidentally, I had read a piece George wrote for the Post, about living in post-war New York. I joked about being reincarnated from the ‘30s and ‘40s, citing my passion for classic films. To which George replied, “Then you’ve probably heard of my brother Fred.” Read More Read More

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