This film is delightful in every way possible. What do you get when you have Henry Fonda as a wealthy man who loves snakes and Barbara Stanwyck as a conniving cardsharp? You get a helluva lotta laughs!
I recently saw this film after several years of it being on my ‘to see’ list. Once I started… I couldn’t stop! I felt as though I was being sucked into a film like no other!
In this screwball comedy, Henry Fonda plays a man named Charles Pike who has spent a year up the Amazon studying snakes. After tripping on her heel, he meets Jean Harrington, played by Barbara Stanwyck. However, Jean knows that Pike is heir to his father’s ale company and knows he’s wealthy… the tripping was all a set up. Either way, he falls in love and to her surprise--falls in love with him, too.
After a misunderstanding, however, they break up on bad terms. To get back at Charles, Jean comes back into his life disguised as the Lady Eve. Although his bodyguard suspects that it’s the ‘same dame,’ Charles falls in love with Eve, and they get married. On their wedding night, Eve opens up about all the men she’s been with, and they divorce afterwards. Will the Lady Eve, or Jean, ever see Charles again?
I don’t want to give the ending away completely… but I do give this film a strong four stars. I think it’s ahead of it’s time, and surely stands the test of time. Plus, this film was the one that introduced me to Barbara Stanwyck [and then I saw Meet John Doe]. I haven’t gotten a big chance to see her. If you haven’t, I’d start with this film! She's beautiful and hilarious. And don't worry, Henry Fonda is completely handsome as the unsophisticated wealthy 'nerd'.