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

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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:
An Expensive Gift On A Mystery Woman See more (32 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?

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 »
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 »
Van Buren:The bull of broad street... with a girl... in the sable-est sable coat they ever sabled!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Vito (2011)See more »
Easy LivingSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
An Expensive Gift On A Mystery Woman, 1 August 2009
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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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