IMDb > Easy Living (1937)
Easy Living
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Easy Living (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Preston Sturges (screenplay)
Vera Caspary (based on a story by)
View company contact information for Easy Living on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 July 1937 (USA) See more »
IT HAS NO RHYME...IT HAS NO REASON...IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE...IT MAKES LAUGHS! (original poster - all caps) See more »
J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A Fine Comedy by Mitchell Leisin and Preston Sturges See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean Arthur ... Mary Smith

Edward Arnold ... J.B. Ball

Ray Milland ... John Ball Jr.
Luis Alberni ... Mr. Louis Louis

Mary Nash ... Mrs. Ball

Franklin Pangborn ... Van Buren
Barlowe Borland ... Mr. Gurney

William Demarest ... Wallace Whistling
Andrew Tombes ... E.J. Hulgar
Esther Dale ... Lillian
Harlan Briggs ... Office Manager
William B. Davidson ... Mr. Hyde
Nora Cecil ... Miss Swerf
Robert Greig ... Butler
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Stanley Andrews ... Police Captain Jackson (uncredited)
Gertrude Astor ... Saleswoman (uncredited)
Richard Barbee ... Third Partner (uncredited)
Benny Bartlett ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Neighboring Butler (uncredited)

Lee Bowman ... Motorcycle Policeman (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Hornsby - Mary's Chauffeur (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Automobile Salesman (uncredited)

Ethel Clayton ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Dora Clement ... Saleslady (uncredited)
Lois Clinton ... Brunette Woman (uncredited)
Tom Coleman ... Doubledecker Bus Conductor (uncredited)
Elsa Connor ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
George Cowl ... Bank President (uncredited)

Virginia Dabney ... Blonde Woman (uncredited)
Hal K. Dawson ... Jeweler (uncredited)
Vernon Dent ... First Partner (uncredited)

John Dilson ... Nervous Hotel Registrant (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Stock Investor (uncredited)
Florence Dudley ... Cashier (uncredited)
Harold Entwistle ... Elevator Man (uncredited)
Amelia Falleur ... Housemaid (uncredited)
Jesse Graves ... Graves - J.B. Ball's Porter (uncredited)
Hal Greene ... Bellhop (uncredited)
Robert Haines ... Hulgar Stock Tally Man (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Private Guard (uncredited)
Arthur Hoyt ... Jeweler (uncredited)

Marsha Hunt ... Girl Getting Coat Dropped on Her at Finale (uncredited)
Helen Huntington ... Stenographer (uncredited)
Olaf Hytten ... Joseph aka Justin - Houseman (uncredited)
Adia Kuznetzoff ... Bum (uncredited)
Carl M. Leviness ... Automat Customer (uncredited)
Kathleen Hope Lewis ... Stenographer (uncredited)
Nick Lukats ... Bum in Automat (uncredited)
John Marshall ... Osric (uncredited)

Frank McLure ... Office Worker (uncredited)
Lu Miller ... Housemaid (uncredited)
Rex Moore ... Elevator Boy (uncredited)
Frances Morris ... Assistant Secretary (uncredited)
Bob Murphy ... Automat Detective (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Husband (uncredited)

Dennis O'Keefe ... Office Manager (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Hotel Detective (uncredited)
John Picorri ... Ernest - Hotel Waiter (uncredited)
Kate Price ... Laundress (uncredited)
Jack Raymond ... Bum (uncredited)
Jack Rice ... Man in Ball's Outer Office (uncredited)
Hector V. Sarno ... Armenian Rug Salesman (uncredited)
Francis Sayles ... Martin - Houseman (uncredited)
Leonid Snegoff ... Chef (uncredited)
Edwin Stanley ... Second Partner (uncredited)
Hayden Stevenson ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
Bernard Suss ... Man in Automat (uncredited)
Laura Treadwell ... Wife (uncredited)
William Wagner ... J.B. Ball's Valet (uncredited)
Gloria Williams ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Florence Wix ... Woman in Hat Shop (uncredited)

Harry Worth ... Hindu Man on Bus (uncredited)

Directed by
Mitchell Leisen 
Writing credits
Preston Sturges (screenplay)

Vera Caspary (based on a story by)

Produced by
Arthur Hornblow Jr. .... producer
William LeBaron .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Friedrich Hollaender (uncredited)
Gordon Jenkins (uncredited)
Gregory Stone (uncredited)
Victor Young (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Ted Tetzlaff (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Doane Harrison (edited by)
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
Ernst Fegté 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (costumes)
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edgar Anderson .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
A.E. Freudeman .... interior decorator
Sound Department
Earl S. Hayman .... sound recordist (as Earl Hayman)
William Thayer .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... special photographic effects
Music Department
Boris Morros .... musical director
Milan Roder .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Adolph Zukor .... presenter
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Finland:S | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #3401) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

It was reported (on American Movie Classics rotation of classic movies, back when they showed uninterrupted classic films) that all of the furs and jewelry used in this film were real and that guards were posted during shooting to ensure that none of the valuables disappeared.See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Mr. Louis Louis:You are a sight for an eyesore!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Vito (2011)See more »
Easy LivingSee more »


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27 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
A Fine Comedy by Mitchell Leisin and Preston Sturges, 12 October 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

Although it has become part of a legendary case of sour grapes, EASY LIVING is one of the best "screwball" comedies of the 1930s. The plot is very easy - Jean Arthur is a working woman - the youngest editor at a boy's magazine - who is walking along Wall Street when she is hit by a falling object - a mink coat. It has been thrown off the balcony of a large office building, which is the headquarters of one J. B. Ball, "the bull of Wall Street". This is Edward Arnold, here doing a great spoof of all his tycoon parts. Arnold's wife (Mary Nash) bought the expensive coat without getting his permission (he's rich, but he does not want his family to get soft, and considers the mink a needless luxury). Arnold does not realize what happened when he threw out the mink. Besides angering Nash (who packs up and goes away threatening to divorce him), his blundering to try to get back the coat (to return it, of course) publicizes his connection to Arthur, so that soon people think Arnold gave the coat to Arthur (i.e., she's his mistress).

Arnold's son (Ray Milland) is actually trying to prove himself without any aid from Dad (he doesn't want to be a junior partner in the bank yet). So he is going through all sorts of jobs, with less than middling success. Arnold is not impressed - he can't figure out why his son is such a mediocre worker. Milland meets Arthur accidentally, when he is working in the auto-mat (which will lead to the best known sequence in the film). In the meantime, Arthur is approached by two men, Mr. Louis Louis (Luis Alberni) who is the owner of the Hotel Louis - the most glamorous hotel in the world - and Mr. E.F. Hulgar (Andrew Tombes) who is a leading stock investment adviser. Both men believe that Arthur is Arnold's mistress. Alberni wants Arthur to live in the Hotel for a pittance: he feels her presence may cause other socialites to use the hotel, which is facing bankruptcy. Tombes is willing to pay Arthur a fee if she hears anything (pertaining to rumors concerning Arnold's latest efforts to corner the steel market).

I won't go into the plot more, except that Sturges script has real fun about the unreality of Wall Street. Arnold's brilliant investment banker may plot a steel corner (which nearly backfires), but he has difficulty doing simple mathematics regarding fractions and percentages (the hopelessness in his face counting a percentage differential with his fingers is priceless!). Alberni, who was a hotel chef with grandiose ideas, can't see that building the world's greatest luxury hotel was not a good idea in the Depression (Sturges, by the way, based this idiocy on the building of the second, current, Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the early 1930s - it was a flop initially). That brilliant investment adviser, Mr. Hulgar (whose name is an obvious swipe at E.F.Hutton) pays for tips which are basically gossip, and passes these onto his customers.

Sturges (like Billy Wilder) would later make nasty comments about Leisin, both future directors claiming Leisin ruined their satire and spoofery in the films he directed from their scripts. As I mentioned elsewhere, Leisin was not as cynical as they were, but he certainly had a good sense of humor, and he had a sense of art composition (he had assisted Cecil B. De Mille as an art director in the early 1930s) that far outshone Sturges or Wilder. One looks at the suites of Hotel Louis and they are quite stunning. One can't imagine Sturges or Wilder doing as well with decor (although Sturges might have added some comic defect in it). In EASY LIVING, the best known sequence was added by Leisin - a piece of classic slapstick. In the middle of an argument with his bosses at the auto-mat, Milland causes the doors of all the windows containing food to open at one time without money being used to open them. Suddenly every bum and hobo in New York City runs in to grab free food, and food is being thrown around by fighting hobos covering everyone in sight.

Not a bad moment of comic cinema - and Preston Sturges was not responsible for it at all. Mitchell Leisin should be better known today for his best films. He was not as great as Wilder or Sturges but he was not a hack.

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