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Writer-director Preston Sturges set a new standard for creativity in Hollywood. Three volumes of his screenplays have been published, and he is acknowledged as one of the grand masters of screen comedy. Between Flops was the first full-length biography of this great American humorist."One of the most entertaining and engrossing film biographies I've encountered, doing just Writer-director Preston Sturges set a new standard for creativity in Hollywood. Three volumes of his screenplays have been published, and he is acknowledged as one of the grand masters of screen comedy. Between Flops was the first full-length biography of this great American humorist."One of the most entertaining and engrossing film biographies I've encountered, doing justice not only to that truly eccentric genius at the core, but also to his time and place in both Hollywood and our culture." Judith Crist"A sobering picture of the sweat and disappointment that lie beneath the Hollywood hoopla." Newsweek


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Writer-director Preston Sturges set a new standard for creativity in Hollywood. Three volumes of his screenplays have been published, and he is acknowledged as one of the grand masters of screen comedy. Between Flops was the first full-length biography of this great American humorist."One of the most entertaining and engrossing film biographies I've encountered, doing just Writer-director Preston Sturges set a new standard for creativity in Hollywood. Three volumes of his screenplays have been published, and he is acknowledged as one of the grand masters of screen comedy. Between Flops was the first full-length biography of this great American humorist."One of the most entertaining and engrossing film biographies I've encountered, doing justice not only to that truly eccentric genius at the core, but also to his time and place in both Hollywood and our culture." Judith Crist"A sobering picture of the sweat and disappointment that lie beneath the Hollywood hoopla." Newsweek

30 review for Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tom Stamper

    Between Flops is both well-written and contains a subject worth reading about. I came into the book having seen all of his important directing efforts without knowing much about his earlier screenplays and nothing about his theatre work. Curtis gives you a great background that makes his film career seem an inevitable peak to his earlier efforts. I had always heard that Sturges invented the flashback for instance, but for some reason I thought it was in the Great McGinty, although Curtis informs Between Flops is both well-written and contains a subject worth reading about. I came into the book having seen all of his important directing efforts without knowing much about his earlier screenplays and nothing about his theatre work. Curtis gives you a great background that makes his film career seem an inevitable peak to his earlier efforts. I had always heard that Sturges invented the flashback for instance, but for some reason I thought it was in the Great McGinty, although Curtis informs me that it was in his screenplay for The Power and the Glory, an early 30s movie that starred Spencer Tracy. A number of his 1930s screenplays sound interesting. I only remember having seen Easy Living, a clever movie that Sturges thought was ruined by the mediocre director Mitchell Leisen. He frankly hated what all directors did to his work and thus strove to direct his own writing, which was pretty rare in those days. The self-financed Charlie Chaplin could do it, but the studios didn't want every writer trying to jump into directing. It was disruptive to their factory like process. Curtis does a good job of explaining the frustration of Sturges, but also his strategy for getting the opportunity he craved. When the chance finally did arrive Sturges would not slow down. He directed 8 movies in 4 years, 7 of which are considered brilliant. By Sturges's own thoughts the 8th would have been brilliant too if the studio hadn't hacked it to death. Sturges would live 15 more years and make a few more films but he mostly tried to hold his life together to reach the top once more. He never made it. Sturges is too obscure, I suppose, to be the subject of a film about his life, and much of it might seem like fiction to an audience, but man did he live an interesting life. Sturges is as interesting and idiosyncratic as his work on the screen. Read this book if you enjoy his work or want to understand screenwriting in the early talkie period.

  2. 5 out of 5

    George Matusek

    The best concise biography of legendary screenwriter-director Preston Sturges. Curtis tells you all the important facts and brings Sturges vividly to life as an artist and a person.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Better than average film biography, although it would be hard to go wrong when your material is the life and films of Preston Sturges. The author goes into amazing detail on the making of all of Sturges's films--very interesting for those we know; less so for those now rarely screened. But beyond the films, Sturges had a very interesting life, from childhood to the rather sad end (when no one wanted to buy his scripts or hire him to direct). Maybe just a touch self-destructive, as is made most e Better than average film biography, although it would be hard to go wrong when your material is the life and films of Preston Sturges. The author goes into amazing detail on the making of all of Sturges's films--very interesting for those we know; less so for those now rarely screened. But beyond the films, Sturges had a very interesting life, from childhood to the rather sad end (when no one wanted to buy his scripts or hire him to direct). Maybe just a touch self-destructive, as is made most evident by his persistent commitment to the Hollywood restaurant which ultimately bankrupted him.

  4. 4 out of 5

    John Kennedy

    An insightful bio of the impetuous genius, showing all his inventiveness and all his insecurities. He failed at everything until age 30, and only took on writing screenplays in desperation. No one had a better period of creativity than Sturges did between 1939-43. The index provides a thorough rundown of all of his movies. Photos in this book imprint version are of poor quality.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Suffers from the problem with biographies of articulate people, being that the narrator sounds like an idiot next to the sharp quotes and what's that word...erudite subject. But Preston Sturges makes fantastic movies and throws fantastic fits like the fantastic filmmaker who eithers fully hits or fully misses the mark.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Writer-director Preston Sturges set a new standard for creativity in Hollywood. Three volumes of his screenplays have been published, and he is acknowledged as one of the grand masters of screen comedy. Between Flops was the first full-length biography of this great American humorist. #biography

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Loe

    Sturges is a Hollywood phenom - he had a run of hits in the 1940s that hasn't been equaled and then flamed out. This bio is a good introduction if you're unfamiliar with sublime comedies like The Palm Beach Story or The Lady Eve.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Definitely not an academic biography (which is definitely not a slight.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Helling

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rand A. Murnane

  11. 5 out of 5

    Neil Russell

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter M. B.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carl

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steven Torr

  15. 4 out of 5

    Frank Marzano

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  17. 5 out of 5

    Keith Stern

  18. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Andreas

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Chance

  21. 5 out of 5

    R.S. Veira

  22. 4 out of 5

    Parker Benchley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jordan R.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bill Coleman

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim Brooks

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danny Josephson

  29. 4 out of 5

    David

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paul

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