The Lady Eve

A beguilingly ribald sex comedy, spattered with characteristic Sturges slapstick (Fonda can hardly move without courting disaster) and speech patterns ('Let us be crooked, but never common,' urges Coburn's conman). Fonda and Stanwyck are superbly paired as the prissy professor and the brassy card-sharp who meet on a liner for a ferociously funny battle of the sexes in which she proves triumphantly that Eve and the serpent still have the drop on poor old Adam. The glittering screwball comedy of love's labours that ensues - denounced as a brazen gold-digger and cast off, Stanwyck vengefully seeks revenge by reconquering Fonda's heart while masquerading (inimitably) as a flower of English society - is not just funny but surprisingly moving, given the tender romantic warmth of the early shipboard scenes in which, with Stanwyck's veneer slowly melted by Fonda's vulnerability, the pair first fall irrevocably in love. Very nearly perfection, and quintessential Sturges.

Release details

Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Preston Sturges
Screenwriter: Preston Sturges
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck
Henry Fonda
Charles Coburn
Eugene Pallette
William Demarest
Eric Blore
Melville Cooper

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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usman khawaja

sturges indeed did god proud for creating adam with his intelligently witty script which discovered the comic genius of both sturges and fonda ,but the limelight is stolen as always by stanwyck as eve,without her it is impossible to contemplate a movie so perfect in timing and in emotional harmony with it's simple plot ,yet so profoundly rich in affect with love and comedy, if this was the archetype of the romcom ,then i regret to say that hollywood is in stone age today compared to the forties as this works at every dimension and all the human senses are satiated besides the sense of style and intelligence . that it does so by an impossible plot twist which does not bother you the least is due to the delicious presentation where frothy comedy has already touched you so deeply in heart and mind that you can accept the characters as bigger than life with delight . this is totally lacking in the cinema today where you usually breed contempt for even likable characters midway and that is usually inadvertent , this is a movie set on a cruise liner with great romantic indoors and outdoors and then plays in a huge country house ending in a train and ship compartment but it is so balanced with itself that it becomes spacious and widely arousable in every site, a special mention for fonda as the stoic,naive but charming millionaire who had the courage to play the buffoon to gentlemanly perfection which can also be called comic genius , he is truly a great as much as preston sturges is a genius indeed , great movie dedicated to the adams and eves and the essential sin they committed in the best of style possible . - jbz7879

usman khawaja

sturges indeed did god proud for creating adam with his intelligently witty script which discovered the comic genius of both sturges and fonda ,but the limelight is stolen as always by stanwyck as eve,without her it is impossible to contemplate a movie so perfect in timing and in emotional harmony with it's simple plot ,yet so profoundly rich in affect with love and comedy, if this was the archetype of the romcom ,then i regret to say that hollywood is in stone age today compared to the forties as this works at every dimension and all the human senses are satiated besides the sense of style and intelligence . that it does so by an impossible plot twist which does not bother you the least is due to the delicious presentation where frothy comedy has already touched you so deeply in heart and mind that you can accept the characters as bigger than life with delight . this is totally lacking in the cinema today where you usually breed contempt for even likable characters midway and that is usually inadvertent , this is a movie set on a cruise liner with great romantic indoors and outdoors and then plays in a huge country house ending in a train and ship compartment but it is so balanced with itself that it becomes spacious and widely arousable in every site, a special mention for fonda as the stoic,naive but charming millionaire who had the courage to play the buffoon to gentlemanly perfection which can also be called comic genius , he is truly a great as much as preston sturges is a genius indeed , great movie dedicated to the adams and eves and the essential sin they committed in the best of style possible . - jbz7879