A Fig Leaf for Eve (1944) Poster

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Why don't we give it a new title and send it out again.
Leslie Howard Adams11 February 2004
Quite easily the most-retitled and re-issued film in Hollywood from 1944 to 1954. Other than the original title this one also saw duty as "Desirable Lady", "Reckless Youth", "Not Enough Clothes", "Room for Love", "Flaming Girls", "Strips and Blondes" and "Hollywood Nights." It was sold and sold again and sold again, primarily to side-street grind houses as an exploitation picture---pssst...I got a hot one---and the titles kept changing because the grind-exhibitors were of no mind to book it again under the previous title as it not only wasn't hot, it was pretty tame when all was said and done. No drugs, no VD lessons, no JD's hot-rodding around, no white slavery, no hanky-panky in back seats, and no Wheeler Oakman or Willy Castello slinking around corners and providing dope for dumb, young virgins taking their first step toward a Mexico bordello. Well it did have silent star Maurice Costello as a night club dress extra, but that was a long way from Willy Castello.

The "hot" action came early and went fast as star Jan Wiley---mostly seen in B-westerns and serials---did a shocking and exotic dance---it was neither---that mostly had her squatting on the floor behind some kind of oriental lamp supposedly but it looked more like a smoke pot liberated from a highway construction site. There is a lot more Jan Wiley skin seen on the ads and posters than there is in the film, and Jan Wiley did indeed have nice skin, once she wasn't wearing her usual Levis and lumberjack shirts she was covered up in in the "Range Busters" movies. But Eve Lorraine(Jan Wiley) isn't happy with the direction her career has taken, what with performing at a club where the opening and closing act was Selika Pettiford playing the organ. She's being ragging her boy friend slash publicity agent, Dan McGrath (Phil Warren) to get her some attention, so while she is dancing around and about the smudge pot, dandy Dan puts in a call to police sergeant Tomlin (Dick Rush) to send the paddy wagon over to the club because Eve is performing a dance that will corrupt the town's morals for decades to come. If she was, she was doing it while first-time (and last time) director Don Brodie, who upgraded to Donald for his directorial debut,had the camera on Dan and the telephone.

So the obliging Tomlin, since he had men to spare because Wheeler Oakman and Willy Castello were currently out of town, sent Jack Cheatham over to arrest Eve for doing whatever she was supposed to be doing before he got there, because when he got there Eve and her smoke pot had exited stage left and the Monogram-studio dress extras who didn't nod off during her dance were now fast asleep. It's tiring having your morals corrupted. Bail bondsman Gus Hoffman(Eddie Dunn, in a real snappy sports jacket and not wearing his usual patrolman's or chauffeur's uniform)bails Eve out of the clink, and gets the idea she could be passed off as a candidate for a missing-since-childhood heiress, and he and lawyer Campbell (Emmett Vogan, in his 267th of his 505 films) hustle Eve over to meet the Sardham family, who may or may not be all that enthused about finding the missing relative.

Actually, following the non-exotic exotic dance that comes in the first few minutes, the film is just another typical Monogram Jean Parker-Wallace Ford comedy/drama minus the comedy and drama and Jean Parker and Wallace Ford---Donald Brodie was no William Beaudine---and has nothing in it that couldn't have been booked into any theatre on Main Steet in Anytown, U.S.A. playing third-rated films on a first-run basis. Monogram, considering that all of the crew was Monogram hired hands, would have been better served to have put their logo on this film instead of "Black Dragons."
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Not Worthy of Leaf
Michael_Elliott18 September 2017
A Fig Leaf for Eve (1944)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

Eve (Jan Wiley) is on stage doing a sexual dance. While she's doing that her crooked boss calls the cops on her so that she'll be arrested and it will build up some advertisement. The woman gets bonded out and soon winds up in a plot of claiming to be a former child star who went missing.

The print I saw of this film was under the title DESIRABLE LADY but I'm sure this was released countless times other countless other titles. This was one of those roadshow exploitation films that had a poster with naughty images on it and the producers would cause enough of a storm to get people to pay money to see the picture. All of this is a great marketing ploy but the end result rarely lived up to the poster or the hype.

A FIG LEAF FOR EVE is another case where the advertisement and hype were much better than the film itself. I feel bad for anyone who paid top dollar to see this back in 1944 and expecting to see something raunchy. The film opens up with a tame (even for 1944 standards) dance and goes nowhere after that. There's nothing else remotely shocking and we've basically got a boring melodrama. The performances are mostly forgettable as is the direction and everything else. Even at 68-minutes this film drags pretty badly.
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