History of Cinema II
Prof. Amy Herzog
The Lady Eve
This movie starts in the Amazon jungle where a rich biologist returns to the United States with a snake pet. Women aboard the ship know that Charles is rich and try to be noticed by him, including a lady-con artist. Jean is aggressive in her pursue for Charles and is able to seduce him but, she genuinely falls in love with him. When Charles finds out that Jean is a con artist, he treats Jean with disdain and breaks up the relationship. Sometime later, Jean reappears in Charles life as an English woman and decides to torture him before taking his money in revenge because Charles did not believe in her during their first encounter.
The movie is a funny physical comedy even though the situations are very much forced by the director, Preston Sturges, and Charles has to act in a role that puts him borderline retarded. Jean, played by a romantically aggressive Barbara Stanwyck, is the center of the movie charming everyone with her beauty and wit. I liked the pratfalls performed on poor Charles.
Jane seduces Charles twice in a smooth manner where the poor guy never had a chance. I found Jane’s character fascinating and well performed. Jane never stops loving Charles and twice she never gets to consummate her plot to rob him. That part of the story is very credible.
The English uncle and the fake father are very good in their performance. I also liked how subtle the mention of war in Europe is introduced in the dialogues. The movie is well done chronologically and though I find the movie pushed forward too fast in some instances, I liked the editing.
The movie presents the idea that though some persons do bad things, they remain vulnerable and sometimes they cannot control their feelings, as is the case of Jane in this movie.
At the end, the cat keeps playing with the mouse and both end up forever happy.