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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Lady Eve (1941)

On a ship traveling from South America to New York, a rather naive ophidologist (Henry Fonda) who also happens to be the wealthy heir to an ale fortune meets up with a beautiful con artist (Barbara Stanwyck) and her father (Charles Coburn). They plot to swindle him out of thousands of dollars but she didn't count on love entering the picture. But love's path isn't so easy. This delightful screwball comedy written and directed by Preston Sturges is a highpoint in classic American film comedy. It ranks right up there with BRINGING UP BABY and THE AWFUL TRUTH. Sturges' screenplay provides both verbal witticisms as well as physical comedy and the appealing combination of Stanwyck and Fonda makes this a joyful watch. Fonda is my least favorite (very least) leading man of the classic era but I've always been fair to him when he's good and he's flawless here. The qualities that irritate me in some of his other performances match his character perfectly. A sparkling entertainment. With William Demarest, Eugene Pallette, Eric Blore, Melville Cooper and Martha O'Driscoll.

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