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The Lady Eve

(1941 b 94')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A card sharp and her father go after a rich snake-lover; but she falls for him and is hurt by rejection, but gets him back by pretending to be British.

In the Amazon Charles Pike (Henry Fonda) is given a snake and says good-bye. On a ship Jane Harrington (Barbara Stanwyck) and her father Harry (Charles Coburn) aim to fleece rich Charles. Jane sees Charles ignoring women while reading and trips him. She complains he wrecked her shoe and takes him to her room to pick out another. Charles has money from ale but hates it. Charles shows Jane and Harry a card trick. They play cards and give Charles $600 in winnings. Charles takes Jane to see his snake, and she runs out to her room. Jane has Charles lay next to her, and they discuss ideal mates. Muggsy Murgatroyd (William Demarest) warns Charles even though he won. Jane tells her father that Charles is in love with her, and she likes him too. She asks Harry to go straight. At poker Harry wins money from Charles by cheating, but Jane helps Charles win most of it back. Charles asks Harry for his daughter's hand. While Jane is gone, Harry wins $32,000 from Charles. Jane complains, and Harry rips up the check. On the deck Charles kisses Jane. Harry asks Jane to tell Charles who they are after they land; but Muggsy has the purser give Charles a photo of card sharps Harry and Jane. Charles drinks, and Jane says she is an adventuress who fell in love with him. Sullen Charles shows her the photo and says he knew before. Jane cries and tells Harry she hates Charles.

Arriving at New York, Harry shows Jane the $32,000 check he palmed. At the races Alfred (Eric Blore) tells Harry and Jane he plays bridge with the rich, including Charles. Jane asks to visit Alfred as his English niece Eve to get back at Charles. At home Horace Pike (Eugene Pallette) demands food as servants prepare for a party. Eve arrives with Alfred, and Muggsy sees her. Charles meets Eve, who denies she was on the boat. Muggsy tells Charles she is the same dame. Alfred tells Charles that Harry has a daughter just like Eve. She spends time with Charles and agrees to marry him. Harry learns of the wedding by phone. On a train Eve tells Charles how she eloped at 16. He forgives her, and she tells him about other men. Charles gets off the train and has lawyers call her. Harry tells her to get a settlement. She calls Horace that she wants nothing but to see Charles, who refuses. On a boat Charles is tripped by Jane, and they kiss. Charles says he won't leave her, but he is married. She says she is too; but Muggsy says she is the same dame.

In this reworked screwball comedy he is rich and she is the gold-digger. After he was a year in the Amazon, the shenanigans lead to the foregone conclusion. The Eve theme pre-supposes that women are deceitful temptresses.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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