1. Your take on “The Great Moment” is very interesting. It is worth reevaluating.

    The ease of McCrea’s work belies the ability behind each performance. I think he has that in common with James Garner. McCrea’s casting in those three films is another sign of Sturge’s genius, and genius is the only word for him.

  2. Now wait a minute. What’s this about “The Great Moment”? How come I’ve never heard of it?! I must investigate!

    A couple of random thoughts:
    1. Loved your post. Wonderful tribute to both McCrea and Sturges.
    2. “Flitting” is the perfect word to describe Mary Astor in “The Palm Beach Story”.
    3. McCrea’s calming presence is just the right fit for “Sullivan’s Travels”.

  3. Great opening analogy. That is exactly what it’s like watching a Sturges film. Ashamed to admit that I haven’t seen any of the Sturges-McCrea films you mention (although I like to think that’s in my favour – what treats await!) but I can imagine exactly how McCrea plays the characters.

  4. Joel McCrea is often overlooked, I think — you don’t hear him mentioned alongside Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, or Clark Gable. You’ve described his acting perfectly, as well as his work with Sturges. I must admit I was unaware of The Great Moment, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for that. Lovely post.

  5. Thanks for putting The Great Moment on my watch list. It doesn’t get played much—can’t remember ever seeing it on TCM. Also, you make some excellent observations about why McCrea was so perfect a presence in Sturges, as he also is in The More the Merrier, and for the same reason. Well done!

  6. I love Sullivan’s Travels in particular – such a great take on film-making and a film which exemplifies its own lessons. McCrea is perfect and I like your comment about him giving an “intelligent, understated performance”. The Palm Beach Story is also great and I did like The Great Moment although I don’t remember it quite as well as the other two. Must revisit it in the light of your interesting comments.

Leave a Reply