Radio Wolinsky

Stuart Klawans, “Crooked, but Never Common: The Films of Preston Sturges,” 2023

Stuart Klawans, author of “Crooked but Never Common: The Films of Preston Sturges,” in conversation with host Richard Wolinsky.

Stuart Klawans was film critic for the Nation  from 1988 to 2021, and before that wrote a small press and poetry column for the magazine. His previous books were Film Follies: The Cinema Out of Order, and a collection of his reviews and essays from 1988 to 2001, Left in the Dark.

Preston Sturges was the first in the Hollywood sound era to write and direct his own films, creating a series of movies, from The Great McGinty in 1940, through The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek and other classics to Unfaithfully Yours in 1948, that still resonate today.

A retrospective of the films of Preston Sturges runs at Pacific Film Archive July 27th through August 26th, and Stuart Klawans will be on hand to introduce The Great McGinty on July 27th, The Lady Eve on July 29th and The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek on July 30th. You can find out more at

All the films mentioned in the interview are available streaming either for rental via Amazon or Apple, or in the case of Unfaithfully Yours, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock and The Great Moment, free on YouTube.

NOTE: There were two Preston Sturges films released after Unfaithfully Yours, which Stuart Klawans notes in his book, They are The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend and a French co-production, released as The French They Are A Funny Race. The first has little to recommend it, and the latter is a bastardized version of what might have been a better film.

Photos courtesy BAM/PFA. Radio Wolinsky page photo from The Lady Eve. Special thanks to AJ Fox and Kate MacKay. Recorded via Zencastr July 6, 2023.