The Lady Eve

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Film poster
Barbara Stanwyck from a trailer for The Lady Eve

The Lady Eve is a 1941 comedy film about a mismatched couple (a shy scientist and a con artist) who meet on a luxury liner.

Directed by Preston Sturges. Written by Monckton Hoffe and Preston Sturges.
Eve Sure Knows Her Apples! taglines

Jean Harrington

  • I need him like the axe needs the turkey.


Jean: I don't see why I have to do all the dirty work. There must be plenty of rich old dames waiting for you to push them around.
Colonel: You find them, I'll push them.
Jean: Boy, would I like to see you give some old harpie the three-in-one!
Colonel: Don't be vulgar, Jean. Let us be crooked, but never common.

Jean: What were you doing up the Amazon?
Charles: Looking for snakes. I'm an ophiologist.
Jean: I thought you were in the beer business.
Charles: Beer? Ale!
Jean: What's the difference?
Charles: Between beer and ale?
Jean: Yes.
Charles: My father'd burst a blood vessel if he heard you say that. There's a big difference. Ale's sort of fermented on the top or something, and beer's fermented on the bottom, or maybe it's the other way around. There's no similarity at all. You see, the trouble with being descended from a brewer, no matter how long ago he brewered, or whatever you call it, you're supposed to know all about something you don't give a hoot about.

Jean: You have a right to have an ideal. Oh, I guess we all have one.
Charles: What does yours look like?
Jean: He's a little short guy with lots of money.
Charles: Why short?
Jean: What does it matter if he's rich? It's so he'll look up to me. So I'll be his ideal.
Charles: That's a funny kind of reason.
Jean: Well, look who's reasoning. And when he takes me out to dinner, he'll never add up the check and he won't smoke greasy cigars or use grease on his hair. And, oh yes, he, he won't do card tricks.
Charles: Oh.
Jean: Oh, it's not that I mind your doing card tricks, Hopsie. It's just that you naturally wouldn't want your ideal to do card tricks.
Charles: I shouldn't think that kind of ideal was so difficult to find.
Jean: Oh he isn't. That's why he's my ideal. What's the sense of having one if you can't ever find him? Mine is a practical ideal you can find two or three of in every barber shop, getting the works.
Charles: Why don't you marry one of them?
Jean: Why should I marry anybody that looked like that? When I marry, it's gonna be somebody I've never seen before. I mean, I won't know what he looks like, or where he'll come from, or what he'll be. I want him to sort of... take me by surprise.
Charles: Like a burglar.

Charles: What I'm trying to say is — only I'm not a poet, I'm an ophiologist — I've always loved you. I mean, I've never loved anyone but you. I know that sounds dull as a drugstore novel, and what I see inside I'll never be able to cast into words, but that's what I mean. I wish we were married and on our honeymoon now.
Jean: So do I. But it isn't as simple as all that, Hopsie. I'm terribly in love, and you seem to be too, so one of us has to think and try and keep things clear. And maybe I can do that better than you can. They say a moonlit deck is a woman's business office.

Charles: Are you an adventuress?
Jean: Of course I am. All women are. They have to be. If you waited for a man to propose to you from natural causes, you'd die of old maidenhood. That's why I let you try my slippers on. And then I put my cheek against yours. And then I made you put your arms around me. And then I, I fell in love with you, which wasn't in the cards.
[Charles shows her the photo of her and her father, identifying them as con-artists.]
Jean: Rotten likeness, isn't it? I never cared for that picture.

Gerald: I can't understand how that horse ran fifth!
Jean: There were only five horses in the race.


  • Eve Sure Knows Her Apples!
  • When you deal a fast shuffle... Love is in the cards.
  • Barbara Stanwyck has Henry Fonda Bewitched and Bewildered


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