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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another bona fide gem from the astute Preston Sturges., 5 July 2011
This review is from: The Lady Eve [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
Fresh from his Amazonian based jungle adventures, wealthy Charles Pike {Henry Fonda} is ripe for some female company, you would think? However, as he sets off home for New York aboard a luxury liner, Charles is oblivious to the attentions of all the women on board, with one exception, con-woman Jean Harrington {Barbara Stanwyck}. Who, aided by her card-sharp father, set about fleecing Pike of some serious cash. Until that is, Jean starts to fall for Charles and a turn of events will see The Lady Eve Sidwich put in an appearance.

The Lady Eve is one of Preston Sturges' best romantic comedies. Dripping with sly asides at the snobbish and fusing slap-stick with its gender inversion satire, "Eve's" ending may never be in doubt, but the journey getting there is an unadulterated joy. Flawless direction from Sturges and cracking performances from the leads, most notably Stanwyck who cements her standing as one of the finest comedienne's of her generation, "Eve" continues to this day to be a darling of critics and fans alike. Back in 1994 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the reasons correctly cited as being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.

Co-written by Sturges and Monckton Hoffe, the story is a loose reworking of a Hoffe story titled "Two Bad Hats" (also the original title for "Eve" the movie). A number of casting changes and rewrites to appease the Hays Office Censors occurred, but in the end it all worked out rather well, with the set apparently a fun and easy one to be on. It's something that shows thru in the best of Sturges' film's, that his cast are relaxed and knowing they are working for one of the sharpest and in tune writers of 1940s cinema. With Stanwyck baring midriff and sexy legs, and Fonda pratfalling for all his worth, The Lady Eve is simply a must see in classic cinema terms. But as is the way with the best of Sturges, you need to see thru the froth and sample the cunning that he was want to deliver, because only then you come to understand why critics and some big hitting directors have lauded him for the brilliant work that he did. 9/10
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