The Lady Eve (1941)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Romance


The Lady Eve (1941) Poster

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.

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7.9/10
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  • Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941)
  • Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941)
  • Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941)
  • Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941)
  • Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941)
  • Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve (1941)

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21 December 2001 | mdmphd
10
| A brilliant comedy - from script to acting
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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