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The Palm Beach Story is a 1942 screwball comedy from writer/director Preston Sturges. The story concerns a New York couple who are struggling to make ends meet. The wife (Claudette Colbert) comes up with a Zany Scheme to divorce her husband (a struggling inventor played by Joel McCrea) so she can get a new rich husband to help her ex-husband with his plans for an above-ground airport. She runs away to Palm Beach to get her divorce, her husband right behind her because he disapproves of the whole thing, and she captures the eye of one of the richest men in the world, Hackensacker (Rudy Vallee). The husband butts in and has to pretend to be his wife's brother, and he becomes the target of affection from the multiple-divorced sister of Hackensacker, the princess Centimillia (Mary Astor). As they get deeper and deeper into this scheme, she begins to have second thoughts.
Hilarity Ensues even further.
- The Cast Showoff: Rudy Vallee doing his own singing for an in-character, yet totally gratuitous musical scene.
- Curtain Clothing: the wife moans about not being a good housewife at the beginning, lacking an ability to make a dress out of window curtains, yet later she has to improvise a skirt made from a Pullman train blanket.
- Funny Foreigner: Toto. We don't know where he's from or what language he speaks. He's more like a dog than a companion.
- One-Scene Wonder: the Weenie King!
- Pair the Spares
- Punny Name: Toto, a Funny Foreigner speaking an incomprehensible language and following the princess like puppy.
- Settle for Sibling: in a particularly insane, madcap ending.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense
- Zany Scheme: The thrust of the plot, which is a divorce to get her husband money from a new rich husband.
- Zip Me Up