The Lady Eve

1941

The Lady Eve

Critics 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.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,519
User image

The Lady Eve Photos

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.

Watch it now

Cast

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
View All

News & Interviews for The Lady Eve

Critic Reviews for The Lady Eve

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (8)

  • Stanwyck completely upstages Fonda who looks as delicate as a Lalique vase. Her chemistry is more with the dads: with Coburn and Pallette. She is the real thoroughbred.

    Feb 14, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    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

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Lady Eve

  • Sep 11, 2018
    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 M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2016
    Barbara Stanwyck sizzles in this movie, which has a bit of everything - sex, intrigue, and comedy. She plays a card sharp who travels with her father and his associate, bilking rich people out of their money. Henry Fonda plays her mark, a bumbling herpetologist and heir to a brewery business, but his naïve innocence makes her fall for him. The scenes where she is seducing him are absolutely electric. Later, she begins to be protective of him, and the gambling scene with her father (played by Charles Coburn) is wonderful. Frankly, Stanwyck's eyes and face are so alive that she steals every scene she's in. Director Preston Sturges paces the movie very well, there is never a dull moment or anything wasted. At the midway point it's hard to say what will happen, but I won't give anything away, except to say the first half of the movie is a bit better than the second. Released in 1941, it's got a couple of topical references, including William Demarest doing a Hitler impression, which was an interesting reminder of the darkness looming in the world. Overall, a very enjoyable movie, and a memorable Stanwyck performance.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 07, 2013
    Not only is its hilarious, its also secretly cynical (about people, not necessarily romance). Barbara Stanwyck is just fantastic in this.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2012
    Ultimately, "The Lady Eve" isn't as clever or as even as it should be and it concludes on a rather unsatisfying note, but Barbara Stanwyck is as beautiful as ever and she shines in her role, playing well opposite the understated performance of Henry Fonda. The first half of "The Lady Eve" is much, much better than the second, but it's an inventive screwball comedy that holds up well.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

The Lady Eve Quotes

News & Features