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Returning from a year up the Amazon studying snakes, the rich but unsophisticated Charles Pike meets con-artist Jean Harrington on a ship. They fall in love, but a misunderstanding causes them to split on bad terms. To get back at him, Jean disguises herself as an English lady, and comes back to tease and torment him. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A second viewing of this after many years has confirmed it as truly one of the great comedies. I don't think Sturges was ever better (although I haven't seen all his films), and certainly he was never blessed with a better star pairing than Fonda and Stanwyck, plus his usual wonderful array of character comedians in the supporting roles. A double bill of Eve with "Hail the Conquering Hero" reveals that, while both still have their charms, Eve can still have a theatre rocking with laughter, while Hero leaves them a bit cold with its descent into Capra-cornish patriotism and mother love.
The Lady Eve has one of my favourite performances ever from Henry Fonda, showing that his grave sincerity could serve screwball comedy equally as well as Fordian moral uplift. He takes some of the funniest deadpan pratfalls this side of Buster Keaton.
And of course Stanwyck is a delight ... and Charles Coburn ... and Eugene Pallette ... and William Demarest ... and ... and ... ssshhh ... Eric Blore.
If you've never seen it, give yourself a treat
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