Itzhak Perlman: American Masters

Preston Sturges: The Rise And Fall Of An American

Season 5, Episode 1 of 1

Preston Sturges, the creator of eight dazzling, completely distinctive comedies during a four-year period at Paramount, was, along with Orson Welles, the reigning Hollywood genius of the 1940s. His films, including "The Lady Eve," "Sullivan's Travels," "The Palm Beach Story," "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" and "Hail the Conquering Hero," are packed with sophistication, astonishing circumventions of the censorship code and an ironic view of American values. He changed the face of Hollywood forever by becoming the first screenwriter to break through as a successful director. But Sturges' star fell as quickly as it rose, and this film explores the perplexing reasons for his decline. Drawing on clips from his films, commentary from friends, family and associates, and rare recordings and footage of Sturges himself, this documentary captures the man's outsized personality and draws unexpected parallels between his extraordinary life and works.

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