Director: Preston Sturges

94 minutes, USA, 1941, Digital, Black and White

This film was released on Friday 15th February 2019 and is no longer screening. 

One of the greatest screwball comedies from one of the genre’s greatest practitioners, Preston Sturges’s The Lady Eve has now been digitally restored for a welcome return to cinema screens.

Con artist Jean Harrington (Barbara Stanwyck) enlists her father and his partner in a scheme to separate naïve Charles Pike (Henry Fonda) from the fortune he is due to inherit. However, her plans are derailed when she falls hard for Charles, only to be turned away when her original intentions come to light. Seeking revenge for what she feels is her mistreatment, she seeks to inveigle her way back in to his life by posing as the aristocratic Lady Eve Sidwich.

With its sparkling dialogue and knowing satire on gender roles, the film belongs to the wonderful comic performance from Stanwyck, better known for her later, dramatic performances.

(Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

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