The Lady Eve


The Lady Eve (1941)


Critic Consensus: A career highlight for Preston Sturges, The Lady Eve benefits from Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda's sparkling chemistry, and from a script that has inspired countless battle-of-the-sexes comedies.


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Movie Info

In Preston Sturges' comedy, Henry Fonda stars as Charles Pike, the son of a beer magnate who becomes the target of the father-daughter team of card sharps 'Colonel' Harry and Jean Harrington (Charles Coburn and Barbara Stanwyck). Their plan to rob the naive young man blind hits a snag, however, when Jean actually falls head over heels for an equally-smitten Pike.

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Barbara Stanwyck
as Jean Harrington
Henry Fonda
as Charles Pike
Janet Beecher
as Mrs. Pike
Robert Greig
as Burrows
Dora Clement
as Gertrude
Luis Alberni
as Pike's Chef
Frank Moran
as Party Bartender
Wilda Bennett
as Party Guest
Evelyn Beresford
as Party Guest
Georgia Cooper
as Party Guest
Sam Ash
as Husband on Boat
Gayne Whitman
as Party Guest
Alfred Hall
as Party Guest
Wilson Benge
as Butlers at Party
Bertram Marburgh
as Party Guest
George Melford
as Party Guest
Al Bridge
as Steward
Arthur Stuart Hull
as Party Guest
Kenneth Gibson
as Party Guest
Eva Dennison
as Mother on Boat
Pauline Drake
as Social Secretary
Harry Rosenthal
as Piano Tuner
Helen Dickson
as Mother on Boat
Abdullah Abbas
as Man with Potted Palm
John Hartley
as Young Man on Boat
Robert Warwick
as Bank Manager
Betty Farrington
as Mother on Boat
Jack Richardson
as Father of Girl on Boat
Ray Flynn
as Lawyer
Harry Depp
as Man With Glasses on Boat
Esther Michelson
as Wife on Boat
Robert Dudley
as Husband on Boat
Norman Ainsley
as Sir Alfred's Manservant
Jimmy Conlin
as Steward
Alan Bridge
as Steward
Victor Potel
as Steward
Reginald Sheffield
as Prof. Jones
Wanda McKay
as Daughter on Boat
Arthur Hoyt
as Lawyer at Telephone in Pike's Office
Frances Raymond
as Old Lady on Boat
Ella Neal
as Daughter on Boat
Joe North
as Butler at Party
Cyril Ring
as Husband on Boat
Pat West
as Bartender
Harry A. Bailey
as Lawyer in Pike's Office
Almeda Fowler
as Mother on Boat
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News & Interviews for The Lady Eve

Critic Reviews for The Lady Eve

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (7)

The picture returns the lately heavily dramatic Barbara Stanwyck to glamor.

Feb 10, 2014 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Barbara Stanwyck is the sexiest con woman ever captured on film.

Jun 16, 2012 | Full Review…

Third writer-director effort of Preston Sturges [from a story by Monckton Hoffe] is laugh entertainment of top proportions with its combo of slick situations, spontaneous dialog and a few slapstick falls tossed in for good measure.

Nov 13, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Preston Sturges extended his range beyond the crazy farces that had made his reputation with this romantic 1941 comedy, and his hand proved just as sure.

Nov 13, 2007 | Full Review…

A beguilingly ribald sex comedy, spattered with characteristic Sturges slapstick.

Jun 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Now there's no question about it: Preston Sturges is definitely and distinctly the most refreshing new force to hit the American motion pictures in the past five years.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Lady Eve


With a perfect balance between farce, screwball, slapstick, romance and even suspense, this is a witty comedy that relies on a delightful dialogue (which should be considered one of the finest ever written) and a wonderful chemistry between Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Barbara Stanwyck exudes enough sexuality to spark a fence post. I don't think I've ever seen a film with such perfect casting. Hilarious and brilliant.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

An unusual romantic comedy, it's really funny, and has a good cast. Really worth watching.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Hah! Delightful!! I'm not sure who was the bigger scene stealer, Barbra Stanwyck or Henry Fonda, I loved them both. Fonda was sweet and naive while Stanwyck was closer to her Ball of Fire role, witty and fiery and perfect! The story lagged a bit here and there, but the humor kept me going.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

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