Beer is usually broken up into two basic categories: ale and lager, with the term "lager" often interchanged with "beer." The difference between beer and ale has to do with the way in which they are brewed and how the yeast ferments: ale uses yeast that gathers on the top; lager ("beer") uses yeast that ferments on the bottom.
At the beginning Henry Fonda makes references to the help of a "Professor Marsdit". Raymond L. Ditmars of the AMNH at the time was the best-known reptile expert in the country, the kind of popularizer that Carl Sagan later became.
Paramount was so pleased with Preston Sturges's first two directorial efforts and his work on this film that the studio gave him a more lucrative contract at the end of 1940, paying him $2,750 a week for his work as a writer and a $30,000 bonus for each film he directed. He earned more than $200,000 in 1940.
With so many people on the set, Preston Sturges dressed eccentrically so that he would stand out. He usually wore either a brightly coloured beret or a hat with a feather in it. This sartorial splendour led to his being dubbed the worst-dressed man in Hollywood.
Preston Sturges always handled his stars with kid gloves but took out his frustrations on the members of his stock company. At one point during filming, when he couldn't get Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck to read a scene the way he wanted, he stalked over to William Demarest, who wasn't even in the scene, and barked, "And don't talk so damn fast!"
Friends of Preston Sturges who read the script tried to convince him to cut the number of pratfalls taken by Henry Fonda, arguing that they were too much of a good thing. Sturges didn't agree, and the slapstick bits later proved to be among the film's highlights.
In 1939, Preston Sturges consulted with producer Albert Lewin about his early script and, among several criticisms, Lewin responded that he felt that "the first two-thirds of the script, in spite of the high quality of your jokes, will require an almost one hundred percent rewrite." Lewin reasoned that the sequences showing "Charles" as being "inordinately fond of snakes" served no purpose and "should be ruthlessly excised." Sturges responded with a letter in which he agreed that the sequences as yet had no connection to the rest of the film, but he adamantly stood by them. In his follow-up letter, Lewin "surrender[ed] unconditionally" to Sturges's judgment, and added the following: "Follow your witty nose, my boy; it will lead you and me and Paramount to the Elysian pastures of popular entertainment."
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 MCA ever since. It was released on DVD 21 November 2006 as one of seven titles in Universal's Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection, and as a single 1 June 2010 as part of the Criterion Collection. Since that time, it's also enjoyed frequent airings on Turner Classic Movies.
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.
The Lady Eve was the first big comedy hit for both Barbara Stanwyck (who would score later the same year in Howard Hawk's Ball of Fire) and Henry Fonda, who would remain primarily associated with serious roles.