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Written and directed by Preston Sturges
U.S., 1941
Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest
Approx. 94 min. 35mm.

Con-artist Barbara Stanwyck, aided by "dad" Charles Coburn, preys on owlish herpetologist Henry Fonda (SNAKES ARE MY LIFE), of Pike's Ale (THE ALE THAT WON FOR YALE) fame. For wedding night entertainment, the veddy British "Lady Eve" recounts to a slack-jawed husband a seemingly endless list of former lovers. A Sturges masterpiece, it topped The New York Times 10 Best of 1941 list. CITIZEN KANE came in second.


“The dizzy high point of Sturges’ career.”
– Pauline Kael

“Stanwyck supplies a bravura double performance, a showcase for her brilliant versatility.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Third writer-director effort of Preston Sturges is laugh entertainment of top proportions.”

“Very nearly perfection, and quintessential Sturges.”
Time Out (London)

“If I were asked to name the single scene in all of romantic comedy that was sexiest and funniest at the same time, I would advise beginning at six seconds past the 20-minute mark in Preston Sturges' THE LADY EVE, and watching as Barbara Stanwyck toys with Henry Fonda's hair in an unbroken shot that lasts three minutes and 51 seconds.”
– Roger Ebert

Film Forum