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Preston

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Preston Sturges Excerpts

Below are actual excerpts from some of Preston's screenplays. For additional screenplay material visit our University of California Press link on the related links page and click to find the complete collection of Preston Sturges' screenplays available for online purchase.



(Sullivan, his valet and his butler in the bedroom, as Sullivan contemplates himself in a mirror, dressed as a hobo.)

THE BUTLER
If you'll permit me to say so sir: the subject is not an interesting one. The poor know all about poverty and only the morbid rich would find the topic glamorous.

SULLIVAN (exasperated)
But I'm doing it for the poor.

THE BUTLER
I doubt that they would appreciate it, sir. They rather resent the invasion of their privacy. I believe quite properly, sir. You see, sir, rich people and theorists, who are usually rich people, think of poverty in the negative…as the lack of riches…as disease might be called the lack of health…but it isn't, sir. Poverty is not the lack of anything, but a positive plague, virulent in itself, contagious as cholera, with filth, criminality, vice and despair as only a few of its symptoms. It is to be stayed away from, even for purposes of study…It is to be shunned.

SULLIVAN
Well, you seem to have made quite a study of it.

THE BUTLER (dryly)
Quite unwillingly, sir. Will that be all, sir?

(Sullivan watches him exit, then turns to the valet.)

SULLIVAN
He gets a little gruesome every once in a while.

THE VALET
Always reading books, sir.

Read the next excerpt from Hail the Conquering Hero


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