The Lady Eve (1941)

Henry Fonda doesn't know with whom he's dealing.

Poor Henry Fonda is no match for Barbara Stanwcyk.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a nice bicarbonate of soda with an egg in it.

Why would someone ingest that? you’re probably asking. We’re wondering the same thing.

We’ve been scratching our head about this drink? snack? hangover cure? ever since a character recommended it in The Lady Eve, which aired on TCM the other night.

It’s a terrific movie, if you’ve never seen it: fast-paced, funny, and zillions of great lines. Barbara Stanwyck, whom we love in everything, is fabulous as a charming con artist who falls for her mark (Henry Fonda). Charles Coburn, another of our favourites, is Stanwyck’s father, a card sharp who believes in being “crooked, but never common”.

There are many scenes in this movie that we never tire of watching, and we wonder why Fonda didn’t make more comedies. He’s a perfect straight man, and we like that his hair never looks like it’s been to a professional hairdresser.

(Also note that the costumes were designed by the famous Edith Head and, if you permit us a digression, we are convinced that costume designer Edna Mode in The Incredibles was based on our Edith.)

Be sure to watch this movie, if you ever get the chance. Oh! Speaking of chances, if you ever do try a nice bicarbonate of soda with an egg in it, please let us know how that went.

Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn. Written and directed by Preston Sturges. Paramount Pictures, 1941, 94 mins.

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