Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Director: Preston Sturges
A family of grifters on a cruise ship meet their mark in the person of “Hopsie” Pike (Fonda), a wealthy heir to an ale fortune and a snake enthusiast. Whilst the daughter, Jean (Stanwyck) starts to seduce him, all appears to go well, until he throws her over when he finds out it’s all a con.
Incensed and rejected, Jean disguises herself as Lady Eve, and travels to Hopsie’s mansion house to seduce and marry him, with the plan of revealing herself later and taking her financial and emotional revenge. But in the process of all these machinations, Jean finds herself really falling in love with the kind and odd Hopsie.
It’s a hysterical film, a real screwball comedy, with the leads engaging in some really witty dialogue and sexual tension as they spar for who will get the upper hand in the game of love. Director Preston Sturges is a master film maker and here he really shows his ability to create comedy and tension in what is a rather ridiculous plot, and hilarious situations. Both the lovers here are made fools of in turn, and it’s lovely watching to see if they’ll figure it out and get together, and to see them get their comeuppances.
Fonda and Stanwyck have some really wonderful chemistry and the ability to talk fast and deliver lines that snap and sparkle. It’s a wonderful example of this form of comedy, and a delightful romance too.
See It If: you like your romance with humour, sarcasm and wit. This movie is a true diamond.