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The Lady Eve (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 21 March 1941 (USA)
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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:

Eve Sure Knows Her Apples ! 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:

Lady Eve 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

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." See more »

Goofs

When Jean is looking at Charles in the mirror, what she sees is the right way round (you can clearly see this by looking at the cover of Charles' book). See more »

Quotes

Jean: Don't you like my perfume?
Charles: Like it? I'm cockeyed on it.
Jean: Why, Hopsi, you aught to be kept in a cage.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Henry Fonda (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Blaydon Races
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Geordie Ridley
Whistled by Henry Fonda
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A brilliant comedy - from script to acting
21 December 2001 | by mdmphdSee all my reviews

One of my favorite films of the forties and, I believe, one of Barbara Stanwyck's best. Fonda also gets a chance to show some comedic chops as well as the foil for her Eve. It's apparent everyone involved knows they're in something good and enjoys it - Eugene Palette as Fonda's wealthy Father, William Demarest(think Uncle Charlie in My Three Sons)in one of his best supporting roles as Fonda's crusty valet, and Charles Coburn and Eric Blore doing brilliant comic character turns as card sharks on Eve's side. Stanwyck hadn't really cared about clothes before(see Mad Miss Manton) but this time Edith Head came up with some innovations that suddenly made her a fashion hit as well. Her bolero jackets, evening dresses, wedding gown and cap hats were big fashion successes, tailored to Stanwyck's tiny form. But the real star is the sparkling dialogue, delivered flawlessly by everyone. Plenty of one liners, double entendres and an incredibly sexy seduction in one long take where Stanwyck simply toys with Fonda's hair as he reclines, uncomfortably, on the floor beside her. There are other scenes - Stanwyck sizing up the room with commentary as seen thru her makeup mirror...the dinner party where Fonda can't get over how much Eve looks like the girl he left on the ship...a sequence where Fonda's horse started to move in on a romantic scene so Sturges rewrote and reshot other parts, making Fonda the foil of the intrusive horse. See if you can spot the take where the horse actually nibbles on Fonda and watch Stanwyck glide thru it all like a pro. BRILLIANT film -- can't recommend it highly enough - five stars of five - MDMPHD:>


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