Awfully close to being the sort of trite, self-satisfied Golden Age costume drama I generally abhor. Imagine my surprise when I fell completely in love with it. Fonda and Stanwyck are a match made in heaven -- their banter is so charming, earnest and genuine (especially in contrast with Classical Hollywood's predominantly flowery, OTT approach to love). Sturges' clever script and a colorful supporting cast help too.
Classic Sturges is comedic mastery. Written for Barbara Stanwyck who is magnificent in her portrayal of a con artist who truly falls for her mark and must manipulate him further after discovery. Full of surprises, wry dialogue and fun performances with kudos to Coburn, Pallette, Demarest and of course Henry Fonda. '...I need him like the ax needs the turkey...'
Among the two or three greatest comedies of the sound era. During Preston Struges' great run of the mid-1940s, The Lady Eve outshines them all, which is seriously saying something. Stanwyck proves her versatility here...it's amazing to think that this is the same actress who three years later would play the coldhearted Phyllis Dietrichson!
Hands down the best Sturges! Though sexual mores have changed, it's still a rich and very modern satire of class roles and how men (unfairly) judge women. Even the title is a perfect comic device, twisting that implicitly sexist Biblical origin story for worldly sin. Sturges, with customary wit and Stanwyck's best performance, suggests that if it were Woman who tempted Man to sin, She never did Him a bigger favor.
Amiable romantic comedy classic from writer-director Preston Sturges. The cast - Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda in particular - are top notch, and there's some great smart dialogue and gags. Unfortunately, its leisurely pacing lacks the energy it needs to really be a screwball classic.