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The Lady Eve is a 1941 screwball comedy film about a mismatched couple who meet on a luxury liner, written by Preston Sturges based on a story by Monckton Hoffe, and directed by Sturges, his third directorial effort, after The Great McGinty and Christmas in July. The film stars Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck and features Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest and Eric Blore.

In 1994, The Lady Eve was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Jean Harrington (Barbara Stanwyck) is a beautiful con artist. Along with her equally larcenous father, "Colonel" Harrington (Charles Coburn) and his partner Gerald (Melville Cooper), she is out to fleece rich, naive Charles Pike (Henry Fonda), the heir to the Pike Ale fortune ("The Ale That Won for Yale"). Pike is a woman-shy snake expert just returning from a year-long expedition up the Amazon.

But even the best laid plans can go astray. First, Jean falls hard for Pike and shields him from her card sharp father. Then, when Pike's suspicious minder/valet Muggsy (William Demarest) discovers the truth about her and her father, Pike dumps her. Furious at being scorned, she re-enters his life masquerading as the posh "Lady Eve Sidwich", niece of Sir Alfred McGlennan Keith (Eric Blore), another con man who's been swindling the rich folk of Connecticut. Jean is determined to torment Pike mercilessly – as she explains, "I've got some unfinished business with him — I need him like the axe needs the turkey" – and it doesn't hurt that Pike's wealthy businessman father (Eugene Pallette) is impressed by English nobility and eager to promote a marriage between his son and her ladyship. Soon her hapless victim is so confused and bothered he doesn't know which way is up, but, in the end, after all the twists and turns, deceptions and lies, true love wins out.

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CastHenry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Barbara Stanwyck
DirectorPreston Sturges
Genre:  Comedy
Release Date:  February 25, 1941
Runtime:  94 minutes
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review by . May 31, 2012
With little comedy and no romance, this Lady Eve fails to tempt
         The Lady Eve (1941) disappoints because it lacks a Joel McCrea moment. It needs at least three of them.      Writer/director Preston Sturges also created Sullivan's Travels (1941), in which McCrea stars as a successful movie director disillusioned by what he believes are the triviality and irrelevance of his profession. His quest to find the inspiration to make an important movie goes astray and he ends up in jail. As he and his fellow …
review by . January 18, 2009
In "The Lady Eve" Henry Fonda stars as Charles Pike, the heir to the Pike Ale fortune ("The Ale That Won for Yale"). An ophiologist (a snake expert), he just spent a year "up the Amazon" looking for rare snakes with his cynical and protective guardian/valet Muggsy (played by William Demarest).  Returning home on an oceanliner the extremely shy and vulnerable Mr. Pike becomes the primary target of a father-daughter team of con artists intent on seperating the young man from his fortune.  …
The Lady Eve
The Lady Eve
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