The Great McGinty

Preston Sturges (director, screenwriter)
G.E. Richardson (photographer)
Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff, Allyn Joslyn, William Demarest (starring)

Los Angeles: Paramount Pictures, 1940. Vintage borderless photograph of Preston Sturges and Muriel Angelus on the set of the 1940 film. Mimeo snipe and "Paramount Photo by G.E. Richardson" stamp on verso.

Sturges had become a very successful Hollywood screenwriter by the late 1930s, and with his screenplay for "The Biography of a Bum," wanted so much to direct the film that he offered to do the job for free. With very few exceptions (notably Charlie Chaplin), the notion of an established studio writer directing a film was nearly unheard of in Hollywood, where writers were typically not even allowed on the set. Only the irresistible cheapness of Sturges' offer made it possible for the film to get made.

Over the six year period during which the script remained unproduced, the title changed to "The Vagrant," then "Down with McGinty," then finally, just prior to production, to "The Great McGinty." It was not only a success, but won Sturges an Oscar for Best Screenplay. More importantly, he was allowed to continue as a writer-director, with a magnificent career that included one classic after another, including "Sullivan's Travels," "The Lady Eve," "Unfaithfully Yours," "The Palm Beach Story," and "Hail the Conquering Hero."

8 x 10 inches. Light edgewear and faint creasing, else Near Fine.

[Book #148508]