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The Lady Eve
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Lady Eve More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

O how I adore thee...

10/10
Author: jamariana from United Kingdom
27 March 2014

The Lady Eve is a magnificent screwball-comedy. I came across this gem of a film when browsing through the earlier half of Henry Fonda's filmography one Sunday morning - and yes, the date and time in which I discovered this film is relevant to my liking of it. It is sweet, charming, hilarious, and offers to legendary stars at their zeniths of attractiveness and acting genius. And yes, again, this film features some of Fonda's and Stanwyck's greatest performances in the genre of comedy - that is undeniable.

The scene in which Barbara Stanwyck's character strokes Henry Fonda's character's hair while holding him is one that will end my very existence. Aside from the aesthetically yummy scenes of the movie, including a scene where Henry dons a very handsome white suit, Henry Fonda gives a strong performance. He displays unbelievable charm in his gullible and oh-so-innocent attitude that it's rather hard not to admire and root for Fonda in this film. Especially when one has seen some of his other films, where he portrays less-than-kind Western psychopaths. Barbara Stanwyck also gives an incredible performance - seeing this film, one couldn't possibly think that Stanwyck can ever do wrong.

I definitely recommend the viewing of this film - even if it's nothing more than to see Fonda and Stanwyck share phenomenal chemistry.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Review for The Lady Eve

7/10
Author: dfiscaletti8 from United States
9 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Lady Eve was an interesting movie to say the least. Actually the entire "screball comedy" genre is a little strange; the characters are cooky and the story line does not have much depth, but I guess that is the point. The Lady Eve didn't make me laugh as much as other screwball comedies, and it was not to interesting either. However I found Eve's role very entertaining. This was the first movie I saw from the 1930's that featured a manipulative, smart, and driven woman as the main character. I man not agree with what she did in the movie, but I think the film has a hidden women's rights movement message without many people realizing this. Although Eve was vindictive and some might even say evil she played her role very well and helped kept the weak story interesting. None of the other actors really jumped out as me as they all played their role, but I don't think it was anything special. In fact I found Henry Fonda quite annoying and even a little disappointing in this movie; maybe that's how it was supposed to be, but I did not like it. I may not have enjoyed the movie itself all that much, but the message it portrays and the role of Eve sway my opinion in a more positive way.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not an exciting movie

5/10
Author: r-ragbeer from United States
26 September 2012

This film did not keep my attention, it was funny but in a silent film sense. The roles of the actors were silly and not very entertaining, it did have a few funny scenes where genuine laughter came but other than those few scenes nothing really stood out that would make it a amazing film. the quality of the film was pretty good other than some scenes where there was a few black dots on the screen. The main male character came off as being brilliant but naive when it comes to everyday social parts of life which gives the impression that he can be easily tricked into doing something which is what essentially happens in the end of the movie.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Starts slow, but becomes an outstanding romantic comedy

9/10
Author: kyle-cruse from California
23 April 2009

"The Lady Eve" is a classic and a treat to lovers of old comedies and romance films. Henry Fonda is perfectly cast as an innocent, typical, lovable guy who falls in love with a girl on a cruise ship (Barbara Stanwyck) until he learns that she and her father are con artists. The rest of the film involves the very funny plot of Stanwyck trying to win back Fonda. This film's storyline is a perfect example of a plot I love to see in a movie. It's full of laughs and very romantic. Barbara Stanwyck is beautiful and funny in this film. There is also a great supporting role by William Demarest, a typical comedic character actor popular at this time who plays the tough and funny guy he was known for. As much as I love this film, it's not quite perfect. It takes a little bit too long to get going at the start. The first 50 minutes or so are, in a sense, just setting up the plot and are filled with too many long scenes of romance and dialogue. Don't give up the film if you get bored, however. The second half is well worth the wait, and few romantic comedies are this funny and romantic without being predictable. A delightful, recommended film.

***1/2 out of ****

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Man: Sturges

8/10
Author: kenjha
3 April 2009

What a year 1941 was for Sturges, with the release of not only his masterpiece, "Sullivan's Travels," but also this screwball comedy about a scheming woman trying to con a rich ale company heir out of some of his fortune. Stanwyck is at her alluring best as the woman whose plan goes awry when she falls in love with her prey. Fonda is wonderful as the klutzy heir who is more interested in snakes than women. Both stars, better know for dramatic roles, show fine flair for comedy under Sturges' direction. The terrific supporting cast features Coburn as Stanwyck's card sharp father, Demarest as Fonda's suspicious caretaker, and the hilarious Palette as Fonda's rotund father.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Smart, engaging, sophisticated piece of comedy.

10/10
Author: bobsgrock from United States
4 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Preston Sturges is arguably the greatest writer/director of comedies in the 1930s and 1940s, and The Lady Eve is arguably his masterpiece, a splendid mix of raucous dialogue and love scenes that are just bursting with sexual connotation. After the success of his previous two writing and directing efforts, Sturges goes all out with the use of having two of the greatest stars in Hollywood as the leads: Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. Stanwyck is a revelation here as the fiery, fast-talking femme fatale who succeeds twice in seducing the naive and extremely rich Charles Pike(Fonda). Fonda is good here, but he simply cannot match the power of Stanwyck, but I think that is what Sturges had in mind. The story is fascinating as we watch a con catch her prey, fall for it, then masquerade to catch it again. It is a wonderful piece of film that is such a joy to watch. Stanwyck is beautiful, the directing is smooth, and as with most Preston Sturges films, the screenplay is excellent.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

grows on you

9/10
Author: nick-282 from cape cod
18 January 2000

One of the funniest films ever made, but it may not seem to be that the first time you see it, thanks to Henry Fonda's underplaying of his part. And it is just his underplaying his role that makes it grow with every viewing, the perfect foil to the always superb Stanwick. And Preston Sturges was a genius who produced only four films of note, but what films! You've heard the phrase "die laughing"... so don't watch it too many times.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Smart, hilarious and non-stop.

Author: bill (alex9989@aol.com) from buffalo, ny
4 August 1999

This is the only Preston Sturge's film I have seen (so far) and I was captivated from beginning to end (well, I could have done without the cheesy opening credits). Barbara Stanwyk is gorgeous and Henry Fonda is hilariously naive and clumsy. Though not the typical screw-ball comedy (Bringing Up Baby), "The Lady Eve" is genuinely superb because it blends in a rough intelligence with its slapstick. If ever there was a comedy that truly takes its audience for a ride, this one is it. This gem keeps you guessing and thinking, as well as laughing.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Master of Snappy Dialogue

Author: Richard Stracke from Augusta, Georgia
29 April 1999

Sturges proves once again that he is the master of snappy dialogue, through both ingenious wordplay and faultless timing. I love the way he will have two or three characters toss a catch phrase back and forth until its full absurdity flows forth. His physical comedy also benefits from perfect timing and grace, especially in the hilarious dinner scene, which is as fine a piece of balletic clownery as one will see outside of Chaplin. Another example of the Sturges touch is the way he segues into the third and final segment of the film: Stanwyck's "Eve" sits back and fantasizes about how she will avenge herself on Fonda, and then as one shot follows another it slowly dawns on the audience that we are watching not the fantasy but the reality. Tricks like this and the way Sturges writes dialogue show why "artificiality" can be a hallmark of fine art. As with a Dickens or a Hugo, we always have the feeling that the artist himself is talking to us in a voice uniquely his own, that the story is not an end in itself but a way for artist and audience to join in communal appreciation of the human comedy.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Wickedly clever and heartwarming screwball...not the very best, but who cares? Good for your health.

7/10
Author: secondtake from United States
5 October 2009

The Lady Eve (1941)

Wickedly clever and heartwarming screwball...not the very best, but who cares?

I'm not sure either Fonda or Stanwyck make the best comedic actors (compare to Grant and Hepburn or, for something more apples to apples, Gable and Colbert), but Preston Sturges makes this silly and smart enough to work anyway. You might say Fonda's deadpan role, surely intentional, is what makes him so funny, but he does sometimes seem wooden (and I love Fonda in general). Stanwyck is wicked and wickedly sharp, so she pulls off her role as a conflicted card shark, with her father-figure humorously (and with good nature) always in the background to back her up.

I found Eric Blore absolutely hilarious, however (see him in Top Hat and The Gay Divorcée). And the story is really funny and fast, depending on everyone being a little confused about what's really happening, not just us. The very end is a kind of raspberry to the Hays Code because it is as close to all out adultery as you can get (Fonda thinks so, at least), and yet it's all okay due to the trick of the plot.

Oh, the key trick of the plot is inconceivable in real life, at least to me. I say no more, but that you have to go with the farce and picture Fonda's character (a befuddled, young naturalist) as really daft. Which is part of the point in the end.

Preston Sturges? Witty and a little effete (I've been waiting for a chance to use that word). Another director might have milked the romance differently, and drawn out the comedy with more snap (it often pauses for Fonda's delayed reactions). But his own madcapness is at work, and the movie is fun if nothing else. Lots of fun.

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