Saturday, November 28, 2009

THE LADY EVE (1941)

[Update 11/26/2016: I really need to redo this review.]

With so many great films under his belt it's hard to pick my favorite Preston Sturges film, but if I had to narrow it down to one I would choose THE LADY EVE. It's not as screwball as THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK or HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO, that's not to say there isn't plenty of laughs, but he thing that pushes it above his other films is the intelligence of the script and the impressive performances by the leads, especially Barbara Stanwyck.  She's great!  Not only does she play two completely different characters, but one of them is living a lie, so that adds an entirely new level to her performance.

In the opening scenes she plays a card shark who's out to ripoff the innocent and naive Henry Fonda, but even though it's not spoken you can tell just by looking at her eyes that she's quickly falling in love with him. Or is that part of her act? I used to think that, but the line she says at 11:38 indicates that she's thinking about him when he's old, so I believe that shows that she's already fallen in love with him.

Anyway, I'm just rambling. I don't want to give any more of the plot away than I already have, but just take my word for it: if you like classic cinema, especially screwball romances, then you're gonna love this movie! I give it my highest recommendation.  Maybe one day when I'm smarter I'll come back and write a real review.