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>
The scene in which Eve agrees to divorce Charles only if he tells her to her face that he wants the divorce was taken from Sturges's own life. He had made the same demand of his second wife, Eleanor Hutton, whose wealthy family thought he had only married her for her money. See more »
When Jean is looking at Charles in the mirror, what she sees is the right way round (you can clearly see this by looking at the cover of Charles' book). See more »
You ought to put handles on that skull. Maybe you could grow geraniums in it.
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One of my favorite films of the forties and, I believe, one of Barbara Stanwyck's best. Fonda also gets a chance to show some comedic chops as well as the foil for her Eve. It's apparent everyone involved knows they're in something good and enjoys it - Eugene Palette as Fonda's wealthy Father, William Demarest(think Uncle Charlie in My Three Sons)in one of his best supporting roles as Fonda's crusty valet, and Charles Coburn and Eric Blore doing brilliant comic character turns as card sharks on Eve's side. Stanwyck hadn't really cared about clothes before(see Mad Miss Manton) but this time Edith Head came up with some innovations that suddenly made her a fashion hit as well. Her bolero jackets, evening dresses, wedding gown and cap hats were big fashion successes, tailored to Stanwyck's tiny form. But the real star is the sparkling dialogue, delivered flawlessly by everyone. Plenty of one liners, double entendres and an incredibly sexy seduction in one long take where Stanwyck simply toys with Fonda's hair as he reclines, uncomfortably, on the floor beside her. There are other scenes - Stanwyck sizing up the room with commentary as seen thru her makeup mirror...the dinner party where Fonda can't get over how much Eve looks like the girl he left on the ship...a sequence where Fonda's horse started to move in on a romantic scene so Sturges rewrote and reshot other parts, making Fonda the foil of the intrusive horse. See if you can spot the take where the horse actually nibbles on Fonda and watch Stanwyck glide thru it all like a pro. BRILLIANT film -- can't recommend it highly enough - five stars of five - MDMPHD:>
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