Friday, February 15, 2013

THE LADY EVE (1941) movie review

Lady Eve, The
d. Sturges, Preston (USA)

Preston Sturges works his magic once again in this madcap tale of Pike’s Pale Ale fortune heir/snake aficionado Henry Fonda running into radiant con lady Barbara Stanwyck aboard an NYC bound cruise ship. Duplicitous mayhem and hilarity ensue, aided by a superlative supporting cast that includes Charles Coburn as Stanwyck’s affable and conniving father, the bombastic Eugene Pallette as Pike the elder, and William Demarest as Fonda’s grouchy, irascible aide-de-camp Muggsy.

And just when you think the good times onboard are over, Sturges and co-screenwriter Monckton Hoffe rev back up for a second act that tops the first for sheer belly laughs. Fonda has rarely, if ever, been this funny, and Stanwyck gives Kate Hepburn and Claudette Colbert a run for their money as the sexiest, most fetching thing on high heels. Classic screwball comedy from one of the best in the biz.

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