Preston Sturges’s remarkable autobiographical fantasy (1941) about a famous comedy director (Joel McCrea) who, after years of turning out things like Ants in Your Pants of 1940, yearns to create a great social statement. The lesson he learns—on a research trip through America’s seamy underside—is that the downtrodden masses need Mickey Mouse more than Marx. A dubious proposition, but in Sturges’s hands a charming one, filled out by his unparalleled sense of eccentric character.