The Lady Eve

The Lady Eve, a 1941 film directed by Preston Sturges surely grabbed my interest. A witty love story with a fine lesson, I was captured by the comedy and stupidity of mistakes often made in love. The leading lady Barbara Stanwyck plays Jean Harrington an expert con artist who falls in love with the leading male, Henry Fonda who plays Charles Pike. Through a series of elaborate scenes and funny coincidences the two end up together.

Jean Harrington is a con artist who along with her father swindle rich young men aboard ships. Charles Pike is an air to a rather large ale fortune who has finished research deep in the jungles of South America and now returns to a social climate filled with bachelorettes attempting to catch his eye. Jeans initial sentiments were to pull Pikes attention towards her long enough to steal away his riches. What Jean failed to see coming was the love which ensued when they met. As the fell in love Jean no longer seeks to steal away his money but instead attempts to keep him safe and away from her father who continually attempts to gather some sort of riches. Pikes right hand man who looks after him, identifies Jean and her father as con artists. When Pike gets wind of this, he immediately breaks up with her and returns home to his fathers residents. Jean wouldn’t let this slip her by.

Jean meets up with a fellow con artist and constructs and elaborate scheme in which she is ‘ Lady Eve’ a doppleganger of Pikes ex, Jean. Lady Eve woo’s Pike, who is oblivious to who she is even though the answer is so clearly staring him in his face. Led down a road of wild stories of there being a twin sister who was sent away Pike questions no more. Eventually Pike is subject to leave Eve when his perfect romance turns sour as Eve tells him of her past ventures. Pike divorces her and attends an ocean liner where he reunites with Jean(who played Eve if you didn’t follow). Pike gives Jean the benefit of the doubt realizing how honest and straightforward she was and how unique and special he found her.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film as it often deals with how people perceive one another. By taking everything at face value you are unable to see the deeper side of things such as with Jean, though she was a con artist she loved Pike and would never do anything to hurt him. By just hearing the word con artist, Pike runs away. This film teaches a valuable lesson in an enjoyable format.

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