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Lady Eve, the

4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest
  • Directors: Preston Sturges
  • Writers: Preston Sturges, Monckton Hoffe
  • Producers: Albert Lewin, Buddy G. DeSylva, Paul Jones, William LeBaron
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005JH9B
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,714 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

A conniving father and daughter meet up with the heir to a brewery fortune-a wealthy but naïve snake enthusiast-and attempt to bamboozle him at a cruise ship card table. Their plan is quickly abandoned when the daughter falls in love with their prey. But when the heir gets wise to her gold-digging ways, she must plot to re-conquer his heart. One of Sturges' most clever and beloved romantic comedies, The Lady Eve balances broad slapstick and sophisticated sexiness with perfect grace.

Special Features

Criterion's digital transfer, created from a 35mm duplicate negative, is luminous and so sharp you can see the grain in the film. The commentary by film scholar Marian Keane is informed but academic and gets a bit cerebral as she extends her theme of role-playing to the entire film itself, constantly reminding us of the Hollywood machinery just out of frame. Peter Bogdanovich offers a more down-to-earth appreciation in his short video introduction, and James Harvey writes a lovely essay in the accompanying booklet. The disc also features the "Lux Radio Theater" adaptation performed by cast members Barbara Stanwyck and Charles Coburn (Ray Milland takes the Fonda role), Edith Head's costume designs with written comments from her memoirs (in which she describes her doomed efforts to create clothes for the snake!), stills and publicity materials, and the trailer. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Another comedy by Preston Sturges , so by reputation we know it is good fun. However , this movie doesn't have the political or social satire of some of the others and is thereby lessened in its' impact. There is a father/daughter duo of con men , who might deserve to have some consequences because of their stealing , but there are no consequences. Barbara Stanwyck was a master of her craft , and the movie is a tour de force showcasing her. Henry Fonda , also an accomplished actor , is no more than a mirror for Stanwycks character. As Stanwyck sets him up for the kill , she ( out of character for a con woman ) falls for the mark. Before she can come clean to Henry , he finds out through his butler about their sullied past. Suddenly the comedy becomes a tragedy , love gone wrong. Now the movie takes flight , as Stanwyck becomes The Lady Eve , supposedly another person completely , who by sheer coincidence looks exactly like the woman Henry was in love with , but had to abandon. As time goes by , a marriage is arranged , and the funniest bit is where Stanwyck tortures her new hubby Henry by telling him of her ( endless ) list of past lovers. At this point Stanwyck intends only to make a fool of Henry , but as time goes by she falls in love with him again , and everything works out in the end. Glorious Black & White , and a classic that I witch over and over every couple of years.
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Format: VHS Tape
Plot reviews are elsewhere below - Here's some background...Stanwyck and Fonda did a film prior to this, THE MAD MISS MANTON, but absolutely nothing happened between the stars. She was too involved with Robert Taylor and he was in his third year of films and still being miscast. By the time Sturges coupled them for EVE, they were ready to work together as a team and their chemistry was incredibly right. Once the premise is established and Stanwyck has him in her sights, the ball is rolling and it never stops. Fonda has stated more than once that he fell in love with Stanwyck at the time, and had he not been married, would've tried his best to win her away from Bob Taylor. Barbara was thrilled that someone was willing to cast her in a role that required more of her in the way of an accent, having been pidgeon-holed with tough talking Brooklyn gals(previous attempts at an accent had failed until she passed with flying colors in 1939 as Irish Molly in Cecil B DeMille's UNION PACIFIC). Fonda was fresh from heavy dramas after GRAPES OF WRATH and was looking for something light. Stanwyck had been cast in a holiday comedy penned by Sturges, REMEMBER THE NIGHT with Fred MacMurray(years before DOUBLE INDEMNITY) so Sturges knew she'd be perfect in his first A picture directing project. The stars liked everything about the script, the shoot was a joy and she was nominated for a Best Actress award.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
As a lifelong Preston Sturges fan, I find the problem with submitting reviews of his films to be twofold. The first is where to begin; the second how to stop. A third problem (growing out of the first two) manifests itself immediately upon watching a flawless jewel like THE LADY EVE: why even bother to praise it? No matter how accurate or elegant a rave you write, they'd still be merely words, and words can't do Sturges justice...not after hearing and seeing his own words spinning like a thousand plates over the 90-odd minutes this film is utterly captivating you. Unlike many black-and-white products of the studio era, which generate condescension or apathy in the current version of the Pepsi generation, the Sturges cult grows with every passing year. Young audiences fall under his spell, drawn initially to his work for the still-startling energy of the stream of raspberries he blew at the Production Code. (In this sense, EVE marks a high point; it's all about sexual gamesmanship, and its tone, both matter-of-fact and dizzyingly playful at the same time, is a decided departure from the typical 1940s studio approach.) But hopefully, they're coming for the sizzle and staying for the steak. Like all Sturges' Paramount films, EVE is an embarrassment of riches - a boudoir farce, a slapstick clinic, a cynical dialogue comedy AND a love story of great, soulful heart. It's especially recommended to anyone beset by misery and tribulation as a guaranteed restorative and all-around black cloud lifter. When a movie from any era can so completely and pleasurably take you out of yourself without resorting to any cheapjack plot-gimmicks or trite manipulation of an audience's emotions, all you can do is be grateful.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
The gist of THE LADY EVE is ably summed up by Barbara Stanwyck's character in the first half of the film: "The good girls are never as good as they seem to be, and the bad ones never as bad." In this movie, Barbara plays Jean Harrington, a "bad girl" who is not as bad as she seems to be, who later pretends to be Eve Sidgwick, a "good girl" who isn't as good.
In my opinion, this is the greatest romantic comedy ever made. Other films may be more romantic, others funnier, but not a single one combines both elements so perfectly. Everything about this film sparkles. Preston Sturges, one of the finest screenwriters in the history of cinema, turned out one of his most perfect scripts.. The details, the transitions between scenes, the wit, the lightning pace, the superb oneliners, the cascading dialog, absolutely everything marks this as a Preston Sturges production. The cast is utterly beyond reproach. Absolutely no one in the history of film could have been more perfect in the central role as Barbara Stanwyck. Other men could have played the Henry Fonda part, but he was nonetheless excellent in his role, one of the very few comedic parts he managed in his career. Charles Coburn sparkles as "Handsome" Harry Harrington, just as he excelled in a dozen or so other great films from the thirties, forties, and fifties. Eugene Palette, the finest Friar Tuck there ever was or ever could be, is delightful as Henry Fonda's beleaguered father. William Demarest is a fixture in nearly all of Preston Sturges's films, and while his role is not as large here as in some of the others (like HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO, SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, or THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK), he nonetheless manages to steal nearly every scene he is in.
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