7.6/10
2,991
39 user 17 critic

Easy Living (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 16 July 1937 (USA)
A wealthy banker throws his wife's expensive fur coat off the roof of a building; it lands on the head of a stenographer, leading to everyone assuming she is his mistress and has access to his millions.

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writers:

Preston Sturges (screenplay), Vera Caspary (based on a story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Arthur ... Mary Smith
Edward Arnold ... J.B. Ball
Ray Milland ... John Ball Jr.
Luis Alberni ... Mr. Louis Louis
Mary Nash ... Mrs. Jenny Ball
Franklin Pangborn ... Van Buren
Barlowe Borland ... Mr. Gurney
William Demarest ... Wallace Whistling
Andrew Tombes ... E.J. Hulgar
Esther Dale ... Lillian
Harlan Briggs ... Magazine Office Manager
William B. Davidson ... Mr. Hyde
Nora Cecil ... Miss Swerf
Robert Greig ... Butler
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Storyline

J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it off the roof, it lands on poor hard-working girl Mary Smith. But it isn't so easy to just give away something so valuable, as he soon learns. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A CRACKPOT COMEDY THAT'LL BLAST THE VINEGAR OFF EVERY SOURPUSS IN TOWN! (original poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Adolphe Menjou had to withdraw from the film due to illness. Director Mitchell Leisen had minor surgery which postponed the start of production for a week. See more »

Goofs

During automat free-for-fall, one of the customers drops a tray full of dishes which are clearly attached to the tray; the dishes don't even move when the tray hits the floor. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Louis Louis: So you got the dame's name, the hang out, etcetera, etcetera?
Van Buren: I have, but I haven't the slightest idea of parting with a scrap of it.
Mr. Louis Louis: Mr. Van Burens,
[sic]
Mr. Louis Louis: with a little corruption from you, the carfew shall not rang next week. Thank you. Thank you.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a lady applying jewelry, stockings, and perfume. See more »


Soundtracks

Easy Living
(uncredited)
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Leo Robin
[main theme of score but not sung]
See more »

User Reviews

Arthur in sable
6 April 2012 | by showtrmpSee all my reviews

Another in the long line of extremely pleasurable comedies starring Jean Arthur--no one can make fluttery bewilderment more enchanting, and there's plenty to be bewildered about in this heavenly screwball farce. Arthur is poor, honest, hardworking Mary Smith, whose life is changed when a sable coat thrown out of a window lands on her head. She tries to return it, but the man who threw it, rich banker J.P. Ball (Edward Arnold), in a fit of pique at his wife's extravagance, insists she keep it, and even buys her a matching hat in a nearby store. The store's employees, assuming she's a fancy kept woman (the idea!) spread the word around town, and soon everyone in sight wants to be her best pal, not least of all Arnold's son (Ray Milland), who is trying to make his way in the world without his father's backing. Although scenes such as Arthur's dismissal from her job (for "ethical violations") have become dated (without losing their humor), the portrait of an entire city eagerly sucking up to a (supposed) rich man's consort in hopes something will rub off on them couldn't be more timely. The movie has some of the best choreographed pratfalls in the genre, not least of all in the celebrated Automat sequence, when the windows accidentally open and everyone scrambles for the free food. (It's slapstick Marxism). And Arthur's pleased yet skeptical reaction to the enormous hotel suite she's offered (it looks like it belongs in the Emerald City of Oz) is just right; she looks at the lily-shaped tub, which is crowned by a statue of a shrugging goddess, and comments, "Look at her standing there with her arms sticking out; I guess she doesn't know either.") The only wrong note (for me), is the performance of Luis Alberini as the hotel owner; his brand of dialect humor gets tiresome--I'd just as soon it was left in the thirties for good.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Easy Living See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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