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...'
Fave scenes: Jean narrating all the women trying to get Pike's attention as she watches with her make up mirror; Jean's reaction to Emma, the snake; the card game in which Jean thwarts the Colonel from getting his money back; and Lady 'Eve' Sidwich holding court w/ Pike's father. Stanwick didn't steal the show, she was the show, and all the supporting players were great too.