7.8/10
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137 user 90 critic

The Lady Eve (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 21 March 1941 (USA)
Trailer
2:00 | Trailer
A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director:

Preston Sturges

Writers:

Monckton Hoffe (screen play: based on a story by), Preston Sturges
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Jean
Henry Fonda ... Charles
Charles Coburn ... 'Colonel' Harrington
Eugene Pallette ... Mr. Pike
William Demarest ... Muggsy
Eric Blore ... Sir Alfred McGlennan Keith
Melville Cooper ... Gerald
Martha O'Driscoll ... Martha
Janet Beecher ... Mrs. Pike
Robert Greig ... Burrows
Dora Clement ... Gertrude
Luis Alberni ... Pike's Chef
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Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Boy, does Eve know her apples... when it comes to getting a man! The funniest comedy in years! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lady Eve See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,020
See more on IMDbPro »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1938, a Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Preston Sturges had been assigned to write the script from Monckton Hoffe's story, and that the film was to star Claudette Colbert. See more »

Goofs

During the poker game on ship Eve asks Hopsy how much he's down and he says about $2000, She deals the next hand giving him 4 queens and the betting ensues. The pot grows to $4200 or a profit to the winner of $2100. After Hopsy wins, Eve asks again how far he's down and he answers about $1000, however he should be about $100 to the good. See more »

Quotes

Charles: There's just one thing. I feel it's only fair to tell you. It'd never of happened except she looked so exactly like you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A very large cartoon snake displays the opening credits while twining around an apple tree. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema: The Romcom (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Lover
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
In the score at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

A Tonic For The Senses
11 July 2001 | by fowler1See all my reviews

As a lifelong Preston Sturges fan, I find the problem with submitting 'user comments' on his films to be twofold. The first is where to begin, the second how to stop. A third problem (growing out of the first two) manifests itself immediately upon watching a flawless jewel like THE LADY EVE: why even bother to praise it? No matter how accurate or elegant a rave you write, they'd still be merely words, and words can't do Sturges justice...not after hearing and seeing his own words spinning like a thousand plates over the 90-odd minutes it takes for this film to utterly captivate you. Unlike many black-and-white products of the studio era, which generate condescension or apathy among the Gen X'ers of today (when do we get to Gen Z - or are we there already?), the Sturges cult grows with every passing year, as younger fans fall under his spell, drawn initially to his work for the still-startling energy of the stream of raspberries he blew at the Production Code. (In this sense, EVE marks a high point; it's all about sexual gamesmanship, and its tone is both matter-of-fact and dizzyingly playful at the same time.) But hopefully, they're coming for the sizzle and staying for the steak. Like all Sturges' Paramount films, EVE is an embarrassment of riches - a boudoir farce, a slapstick clinic, a cynical dialogue comedy AND a love story of great, soulful heart. It's especially recommended to anyone beset by misery and tribulation as a guaranteed restorative and cure-all. When a movie from any era can so completely take you out of yourself and lift the blackest of clouds without resorting to any cheapjack plot-gimmicks or trite manipulation of an audience's emotions, all you can do is be grateful. Though the unfailingly superb Sturges Players are on hand, in fine form (including of course his human rabbit's foot, Wm Demarest) EVE features a number of actors making their first and only appearances in a Sturges-directed film: Stanwyck, Fonda, Eric Blore, Melville Cooper and perennial Fonda cohort Eugene Pallette. All of them take to the material like catnip, making one long for an alternate reality in which Preston Sturges could have remained unmolested at Paramount for 20 years and a dozen more films than he actually made, not only to see this cast reunited, but to see what might have resulted from any number of quality actors being exposed to the hothouse atmosphere of his screenplays. That it never worked out that way is one more reason to treasure THE LADY EVE.


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