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.
Classics , Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MCA Universal Home Video

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Barbara Stanwyck
as Jean Harrington
Henry Fonda
as Charles Pike
Charles Coburn
as Colonel
Eric Blore
as Keith
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
Wilson Benge
as Butlers at Party
Alfred Hall
as Party Guest
Bertram Marburgh
as Party Guest
George Melford
as Party Guest
Arthur Stuart Hull
as Party Guest
Al Bridge
as Steward
Kenneth Gibson
as Party Guest
Pauline Drake
as Social Secretary
Eva Dennison
as Mother on Boat
Harry Rosenthal
as Piano Tuner
Abdullah Abbas
as Man with Potted Palm
Helen Dickson
as Mother on Boat
John Hartley
as Young Man on Boat
Robert Warwick
as Bank Manager
Torben Meyer
as Purser
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
J.W. Johnston
as Lawyer
Victor Potel
as Steward
Wanda McKay
as Daughter on Boat
Reginald Sheffield
as Prof. Jones
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
Jean Phillips
as Sweetie
Cyril Ring
as Husband on Boat
Julius Tannen
as Lawyer
Walter Walker
as Sparky
Pat West
as Bartender
Harry A. Bailey
as Lawyer in Pike's Office
Almeda Fowler
as Mother on Boat
J.W. Johnston
as Lawyer
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Critic Reviews for The Lady Eve

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (7)

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

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

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

Full Review… | June 15, 2012
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
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.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

June 23, 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.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Lady Eve

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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