Walter Satterthwait persuaded me to take a two-week trail with Netflix. I figure that with the postal service we get in Alvin, that means I'll have about one movie delivered for free.
Anyway, the first one in my "queue," as the Netflix folks call it, was The Palm Beach Story. It's a screwball comedy written and directed by Preston Sturges. I liked it a lot. The frenetic opening is underpinned by "The William Tell Overture," which (because I'm of a certain age and very unsophisticated) made me think of The Lone Ranger. It has nothing to do with that, of course.
The story's about a beautiful wife (Claudette Colbert) who decides that her husband will never get ahead unless she divorces him and helps him out by marrying a billionaire. (I said this was a screwball comedy. It exists in a world unlike the one you and I live in and unlike the one anybody ever lived in.) She escapes the husband, Joel McCrea (and that's a terrible photo of him on the left), and meets an eccentric billionaire (Rudy Vallee) on the train to Palm Beach. McCrea follows her and is entangled with Vallee's sister, played by Mary Astor. It's all complicated and funny. The whole cast is great. Vallee even gets to sing. He and Astor use a pince-nez and a lorngette, respectively. Sig Arno plays a hanger-on named Toto and nearly steals the show, though not from the Weenie King, who appears at the beginning. Recommended for the next time you need to escape into a fantasy world with lots of laughs.