THE LADY EVE (1941)
Directed by Preston Sturges. Bookworm and opheologist (snake lover and scientist - note the progression from worm to snake) Henry Fonda, an ale millionaire's son, has been "up the Amazon for a year" (note the echoes of jail or solitary) and is out of things. On the ship to the States, all the women try to snare this great catch. The cool, clever winner is cardsharp Barbara Stanwyck who is traveling with her accomplice father Charles Coburn and their acolyte William Demarest. Her smooth play for Fonda and what follows -- on board and on shore -- results in one of the funniest, wittiest, most ironical comedies ever.
It ranges from subtle dialogue to broad slapstick, has wonderful mix-ups, howling situations, sophisticated dialogue. A masterpiece, down to the ironical use of music. Stanwyck and Fonda are in topmost comic form, as is the supporting cast. This includes gravel-voiced Eugene Pallette as Fonda's father (note the pairings of father and daughter and father and son); Eric Blore who passes as a "Sir" and later introduces Stanwyck to the Fonda milieu as ther Lady Eve Sidwick (don't ask); William Demarest as Fonda's factotum and friend; and too many others to list. A gem of hilarity, written and directed by a genius.
Copyright © Edwin Jahiel
Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel