J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it out the window, it lands on poor ... See full summary »
J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it out the window, it lands on poor hard-working girl Mary Smith. But it isn't so easy to just give away something so valuable, as he soon learns. Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
During automat free-for-fall, one of the customers drops a tray full of dishes which are clearly attached to the tray and don't even move when tray hits the floor. See more »
According to a recent biography of Jean Arthur, Easy Living only got a so-so reception from the movie-going public of 1937. Today it is rightly regarded as a screwball comedy classic from the era that invented and defined that genre. The miracle was that it got made at all.
Jean Arthur was obligated to Columbia Pictures and the dictatorial Harry Cohn and she was allowed to make outside films. But Cohn determined when and where. So Easy Living may have been a great fit for her, but it didn't fit into his plans. Jean had to go to court before the film was made and a settlement was reached.
Easy Living also gave an outlet for some unknown comic talents of Edward Arnold who usually played some serious villains in films. Arnold is a Wall Street investment tycoon whose every bit of noise be it wisdom or flatulence is recorded for posterity. One day in fit of pique against his spendthrift wife Mary Nash and wastrel son Ray Milland, Arnold throws a most expensive mink coat from out the townhouse window and on to a passing working woman in Jean Arthur. He tells her to keep the thing and count her good fortune. But folks are in the habit of recording Arnold's every move, including one bestowing an expensive gift on a mystery woman.
That starts about 90 minutes of non-stop hilarity in which the very foundations of our financial institutions are rocked due ultimately everyone misconstruing a relationship between Arnold and Arthur. One does get going however with Arthur and Milland when she finds him working at an automat because Arnold's dared him to get a job. That ends in an incredible burst of hilarity, you think Animal House had a great food fight, check the one in Easy Living out.
Directed by Mitchell Leisen and written by Preston Sturges, Easy Living has all the earmarks of a Preston Sturges directed movie, in fact Sturges's stock company was somewhat assembled here if you look down the supporting players. My favorite is Luis Alberni whose white elephant of a hotel finally gets going due to some accidental rumors.
We're the richer for Easy Living being made even if Jean Arthur had to take Harry Cohn to court to do it.
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