Where the Coen Brothers stole their act

Every creative person imitates their heroes. That’s how we all start out. Doing a vigorous impression of the people we admire.

And it’s usually something salient and fundamental that we steal, ie something worth stealing. Or it should be!

I recently watched a film from the 1940s that has instantly shot into my all time favorite movie list.

It’s called THE LADY EVE and it was written and directed by Preston Sturges.

I knew of his work because I remember watching a BBC documentary about him years ago hosted by Python member Terry Jones.

Terry Jones was a keen fan of Preston Sturges.

And now I understand why.

This movie is sheer bliss executionally.

And as I was watching it I kept thinking of the Coen Bros. And how much they very obviously (and smartly) stole from Preston Sturges.

Damn, I want to steal from him too.

If you haven’t seen any of his films, do so now.

7 responses to “Where the Coen Brothers stole their act

  1. apropos of nothing – have you seen “I hate you, Dad?”

    there’s a couple of scenes where adam sander – sorry, adam sandler’s CHARACTER – wants to bring back “wassup”?

    (apologies if you’ve talked about this in a post i may have missed)

    anyway, he owes you, as it was one of only two funny things in the film.

  2. I have not seen that movie. And it’s not out of bias against Adam Sandler. Though lord knows that would be understandable at this point.

    Think it was called “That’s my boy!” over here. Apparently that was co-star Andy Samberg’s idea. He apparently has a fascination with the phrase. I remember the very first sketch he did on Saturday Night Live was a rather strange gag based on the phrase Wassup!

    That thing just won’t die. Should I risk watching the movie?

  3. Only if Police Academy 12 isn’t on.

    In saying that, it’s not nearly as bad as Jack and Jill.

    Funny that Andy Samberg’s fascinated with the wassup thing (he’s underused in this film).

    Go onnnnn… watch it!

    • hey, i’ve watched a lot worse. you’re dealing with someone who thinks Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion is sheer genius.

  4. Preston has always been my favorite. And the Coen’s named a movie after a faux movie in Sturges’ “Sullivan’s Travels.” “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

    • he was so fresh. even today his films seem antic and kind of crazy.

      and that would make complete sense. I love the Coen Bros btw. but you can clearly see Sturges in Raising Arizona for example.

  5. BTW, Sturges wrote these rules for movie making:

    “A pretty girl is better than a plain one. A leg is better than an arm. A bedroom is better than a living room. An arrival is better that a departure. A birth is better than a death. A chase is better than a chat. A dog is better than a landscape. A kitten is better than a dog. A baby is better than a kitten. A kiss is better than a baby. A pratfall is better than anything.”

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