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Film Review: The Lady Eve

Third writer-director effort of Preston Sturges [from a story by Monckton Hoffe] is laugh entertainment of top proportions with its combo of slick situations, spontaneous dialog and a few slapstick falls tossed in for good measure.

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Third writer-director effort of Preston Sturges [from a story by Monckton Hoffe] is laugh entertainment of top proportions with its combo of slick situations, spontaneous dialog and a few slapstick falls tossed in for good measure.

 

Basically, story is the age-old tale of Eve snagging Adam, but dressed up with continually infectious fun and good humor. Barbara Stanwyck is girl-lure of trio of confidence operators. She’s determined, quick-witted, resourceful and personable. Henry Fonda is a serious young millionaire, somewhat sappy, deadpan and slow-thinking, returning from a year’s snake-hunting expedition up the Amazon. He’s a cinch pushover for girl’s advances on the boat – but pair fall in love, while girl flags Charles Coburn’s attempts to coldeck the victim at cards.

 

Sturges provides numerous sparkling situations in his direction and keeps picture moving at a merry pace. Stanwyck is excellent in the comedienne portrayal, while Fonda carries his assignment in good fashion. Coburn is a finished actor as the con man.

 

1941: Nomination: Best Original Story

Film Review: The Lady Eve

  • Production: Paramount. Director Preston Sturges; Producer Paul Jones; Screenplay Preston Sturges; Camera Victor Milner; Editor Stuart Gilmore; Music Sigmund Krumgold (dir.); Art Director Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1941. Running time: 90 MIN.
  • With: Henry Fonda Barbara Stanwyck Charles Coburn Eugene Pallette William Demarest Eric Blore