"What's the matter with bigamy?" : The American family in the wartime comedies of Preston Sturges.
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Gonzalez, Felix M.
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The 1940s comedies of writer-director Preston Sturges are known for their satirical narratives and eccentric characters. They were made during a period in Hollywood history when filmmakers adhered to the strict Production Code, ensuring that movies projected a wholesome image of American society. The purpose of this study was to explore the reflection of America during World War II as a troubled and disordered society through the unconventional depictions of the American family in five Sturges films: The Great McGinty (1940), The Lady Eve (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944), and Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). Content analyses revealed a pessimistic viewpoint that defied the moral principles of the Production Code and the typical representations of American society in popular wartime films. Sturges’ depiction of the family is one of disunity and deception, in contrast to the cheerful surfaces of his narratives.