''The Palm Beach Story'' is a 1942 ScrewballComedy written and directed by Creator/PrestonSturges, starring Creator/ClaudetteColbert and Creator/JoelMcCrea.

The story concerns a New York couple who are struggling to make ends meet. Gerry (Colbert), the wife, comes up with a ZanyScheme to divorce her husband Tom ([=McCrea=]), a struggling inventor, so she can get a new rich husband to help Tom with his plans for an above-ground airport.

Gerry runs away to Palm Beach to get her divorce--with Tom, who disapproves of the whole plan, following right behind her--and she captures the eye of one of the richest men in the world, Hackensacker (Rudy Vallee). Tom butts in and has to pretend to be his wife's brother, and he becomes the target of affection from the multiple-divorced sister of Hackensacker, the princess Centimillia (Creator/MaryAstor). As they get deeper and deeper into this scheme, Gerry begins to have second thoughts.

HilarityEnsues even further.
!!This film provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: Toto has attached himself to the Princess like a limpet, but she is sick of the sight of him and just wants him to leave. He either can't understand her attempts to get rid of him, or can understand them but feigns ignorance so that he can keep living off her fortune.
* AccidentalMarriage: At the end of the film, we learn that this describes Tom and Gerry's marriage. Tom thought he was marrying Gerry's sister when he replaced his brother at the altar, while Gerry thought she was marrying Tom's brother when she replaced her sister.
* AffectionateNickname: The Princess calls her brother "Snoodles".
* AlcoholHic: One of the members of the Ale and Quail Club is so drunk, this is his only method of communication.
* AlcoholInducedIdiocy: The Ale and Quail Club shooting up their boxcar after too much booze.
* AllWomenAreLustful:
** The Princess.
--->'''Tom:''' ([[ItMakesSenseInContext pretending to be Captain [=McGloo=]]]) Don't you ever talk about anything but [[UnusualEuphemism Topic A]]?\\
'''Princess Centimillia:''' Is there anything else?
** Gerry, to a lesser extent; she wants to leave Tom, but every time [[ZipMeUp she needs someone to zip up her dress]] and Tom steps in to help...
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: Tom and Gerry are each one of a pair of identical twins. This is why they thought no-one would notice if they replaced their twins at the wedding at the beginning of the film... except neither knew the other had the same idea.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Toto speaks an indistinguishable (presumably European) language.
* BookEnds: The film opens and closes with weddings; Tom and Gerry's[[note]] Or, rather, Tom's brother and Gerry's sister's wedding, but it was hijacked by Tom and Gerry[[/note]] at the beginning, and John Hackensacker to Gerry's sister and the Princess to Tom's brother at the end. Both times, the camera cuts to hanging text reading "And they lived happily ever after...", followed by "... Or did they?"
* BrickJoke: The opening sequence. At first, it appears as though Gerry is simultaneously tied up in a closet and scrambling to get to her wedding on time, while Tom likewise seems to be in two incompatible situations as he scrambles to get to the wedding. At the end of the film, it turns out that Tom and Gerry both have identical twin siblings; Tom's brother was engaged to Gerry's sister, but Gerry was also in love with Tom's brother while Tom was also in love with Gerry's sister, and so both tried to replace their siblings in the original wedding... meaning the only pair who ''weren't'' in love with each other were the ones who ended up married to each other.
* BrutalHonesty: Princess tries being completely blunt to Toto about her lack of affection for him in an attempt to get rid of him. It doesn't work.
-->'''Princess:''' Toto, this is Captain [=McGloo=]. I'm going to see more of him and less of you from now on.
* ButtMonkey: Toto, all the way. The Princess has long since lost interest in him, but since he doesn't understand English well enough to take the hint (or is simply too stubborn and/or addicted to a life of luxury to give up), she has resorted to trying to push him away by treating him with utter contempt.
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: Gerry and Tom revive their love but in the process they leave behind a flabbergasted Hackensacker and his Princess sister. Time to PairTheSpares by [[DeusExMachina suddenly bringing in]] the [[SettleForSibling twin brother/sister ploy]] for everyone to be HappilyEverAfter.
* ComedyOfRemarriage: Gerry goes to Palm Beach to begin divorce proceedings and is determined to make Hackensacker her new husband while Tom tries to persuade her to come back to him.
* CreatorCameo: Sturges is leading a crew carrying Gerry's luggage off the yacht.
* CurtainCamouflage: Gerry tries to hide from the old business man behind the shower curtain of her apartment.
* CurtainClothing: Gerry moans about not being a good housewife at the beginning, lacking an ability to make a dress out of window curtains, yet later she has to improvise a skirt made from a Pullman train blanket.
* DeusExMachina: The contrived situation that both Gerry and Tom had a twin sister/brother which helped to [[CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds clean up romantic loose ends]]. The existence of their twins is implied in the opening sequence, but while Tom mentions a brother and Gerry mentions a sister several times during the film, it is only at the end that they are explicitly revealed to be identical twins in both cases.
* EmbarrassingLastName: When Gerry hastily introduces Tom to the Hackensackers as her brother, she refers to him as "Captain [=McGloo=]". When they are alone together, Tom confronts her over choosing such a silly pseudonym for him, and she claims that she thought it was his mother's maiden name (it was actually [=McGrew=]). Tom grumbles that he'll have to [[{{Pun}} stick with it]]. Even the Princess, smitten as she is by Tom himself, finds his name unfortunate.
* EnormousEngagementRing: Gerry is proposed to by one of the richest men in the world. The ring so large that she tells him to put it away, or else the sight of it will convince her to go through with it (she is married already, anyway). She takes a final look at it before putting it away forever.
* FourthDateMarriage: The Princess is extremely fond of these:
-->'''Hackensacker:''' You don't marry someone you just met the day before; at least I don't.
-->'''Princess:''' But that's the only way, dear. If you get to know too much about them you'd never marry them.
* FunnyForeigner: Toto. We don't know where he's from or what language he speaks. He's more like [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz a dog]] [[PunnyName than a companion]].
* HappilyEverAfter: Inverted by opening the film with a wedding. Reconstructed by showing how the marriage goes awry but the couple finding themselves back together by the end. {{Lampshaded}} and subverted both times by following the caption "And they lived happily ever after" with another: "Or did they?"
* HypocriticalHumor: Hackensacker calls his sister out on her tendency towards [[FourthDateMarriage marrying men so quickly after she's met them]], yet he's willing to do the same thing with Gerry.
* LoveDodecahedron:
** At the beginning of the film, Tom --> Gerry's sister <--> Tom's brother <-- Gerry. (Notably, Tom and Gerry were ''not'' in love with each other, but ended up married anyway.)
** By the end of the film, Toto --> Princess --> Tom <--> Gerry <-- Hackensacker.
* MarriageBeforeRomance: Tom and Gerry were not actually in love when they got married (Tom was in love with Gerry's sister, Gerry was in love with Tom's brother). By the time the film proper begins, they have tried to make the best of their AccidentalMarriage, but money problems have prompted Gerry to seek a divorce in Palm Beach so she can marry a rich second husband who can bankroll Tom's invention idea. But while Gerry tries to carry out this scheme and Tom tries to stop it, they end up (re)discovering that they really do love each other.
* MotorMouth: The princess wll not stop chattering.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Played with; Hackensacker is generally nice to all the service people he encounters, he just doesn't believe in tipping.
-->'''Hackensacker:''' Tipping is un-American.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: John D. Hackensacker III is a pretty obvious goof on the Rockefellers.
* PairTheSpares: Hackensacker and his sister are left single by Tom and Gerry's decision to stay married to each other - until the revelation that each has a twin sibling. Hackensacker promptly marries Gerry's sister, while the Princess promptly marries Tom's brother.
* PaperThinDisguise: Tom tries to evade the guard at the train station by wearing a hat and glasses. It doesn't work.
* {{Pun}}: Hackensacker: "You made quite an impression" (after Gerry stepped on his face twice).
* PunnyName:
** Toto, a FunnyForeigner speaking an incomprehensible language and following the princess like a puppy.
** Also, [[WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry Tom and Gerry]].
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense
* RunningGag:
** The only words of Toto's native language the Princess can translate with certainty are "Nitz!" and "Yitz!" (meaning, respectively, "No!" and "Yes!") - which turn up at least once in every scene in which he appears.
** Hackensacker getting his glasses broken at several occasions.
* SerialSpouse: The princess has possibly been married six times; she's had three divorces and two annulments, and she says she's "not quite through with the Prince" (although she is certainly looking for candidates to replace him).
* SettleForSibling:
** In a particularly insane, madcap ending which reveals that both Gerry and Tom have identical twin siblings. As soon as they hear of the existence of the twins, the Hackensacker siblings simultaneously ask, enthusiastically, "Well, what's he/she ''doing?''" In the final scene, the Princess marries Tom's brother, while John marries Gerry's sister. (And [[ButtMonkey Toto doesn't marry anyone.]])
** The ending also finally clarifies that Tom and Gerry themselves have settled for siblings; Tom originally wanted to marry Gerry's sister, who was engaged to Tom's brother, whom Gerry originally wanted to marry. In the opening credits, Gerry has tied up her sister to steal her fiancé, unaware that Tom has also waylaid his brother to steal his fiancée.
* TakeThat:
-->'''Gerry:''' Don't you know that the greatest men in the world have told lies and let things be misunderstood if it was useful to them? Didn't you ever hear of a campaign promise?
* TriggerHappy: The Ale and Quail Club members on the train.
* WealthyYachtOwner: Hackensacker.
* ZanyScheme: The thrust of the plot, which is a divorce to get her husband money from a new rich husband.
* ZipMeUp: On two different occasions Gerry asks Tom's help to get out of a dress, and sexy times ensue.