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The Lady Eve

Isn't Romantic Comedy redundant?

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ken123
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The Lady Eve

Postby ken123 » April 14th, 2007, 9:19 pm

Maybe this post deserves to be put in the Comedy thread, but I am going to put it here.

I have wondered for years how did Preston Sturges and Paramount get away with that stateroom scene where Henry Fonda has his face up against ( near ) Barbara's bosom.I thought that something like that was against the Production Code.

In " Fallen Angel " Dana Andrews ( lucky fellow ) puts his hand on Linda Darnell's rear end, and in John Ford's " The Long Voyage Home ", Carmen Morales, who plays one of the ships lady " visitors ", is "handled " by one of the ladies male helpers. Nice work, if you can get it. :wink:

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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » April 17th, 2007, 8:13 am

I know it was a few years later but you could apply your question to the entire movie "Miracle At Morgan's Creek." The idea of a young marrying someone from a party, getting pregnant, can't remember her husband's name, throw in bank robbery, a jail break and talk of suicide it's a wonder, for that day, he ever got it made.
Chris

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MikeBSG
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Postby MikeBSG » April 27th, 2007, 10:18 am

I have the impression that thinking of the Production Code as one unchanging block of standards from 1934 to 1967 is wrong. The toughness came and went in waves.

I think if you look at the personnel of the Code Authority, you might find the reasons for changes. I read a book about film noir, "Blackout" by Sherri Beisen, and she said that around 1940-1, Joe Breen left the PCA for a while and his successor greenlighted some previously taboo stuff. This might correspond to the making of "The Lady Eve."

Also, during WWII, the restrictions on movie violence gradually were loosened, given the actual violence shown in newsreels. Certainly the violence in "The Body Snatcher," "Cloak and Dagger" and "The Big Sleep" is rather tough.

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ken123
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby ken123 » February 14th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Love MsBs gams ! :oops:

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phil noir
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby phil noir » February 16th, 2010, 7:38 am

Having seen The Palm Beach Story (and Sullivan's Travels and The Lady Eve a while back), I'm amazed at how much Preston Sturges gets away with.

There's a lot of frank and funny, completely matter of fact dialogue about sex in The Palm Beach Story; not forgetting the morning after scene with Joel McCrea blissfully asleep on one side of the double bed (a double bed not two singles!) while Claudette Colbert, up and dressed, is getting ready to leave him; and the bit where he loses his pyjama bottoms and unwittingly moons at an elevator full of people; and Mary Astor's racy character and dialogue, etc.

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JackFavell
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby JackFavell » February 16th, 2010, 12:15 pm

Watching The Lady Eve, the single line in the movie that most surprises and pleases me was "Don't you think we should go to bed?" delivered by Stanwyck as she leans her face in close to Fonda's, her lips parted and her eyes cast down. In the script, this line would probably be read as her turning down Fonda's request for dancing all night. But in the film, there is a long moment after she utters the words in which Fonda stares at her in profound shock and confusion, but her frankly sexy look back at him can leave no question as to her meaning.

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mrsl
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby mrsl » February 16th, 2010, 5:59 pm

.
I seriously think that as in all walks of life, directors and producers knew which palms to cross during the years of the code of conduct in order to make the movies they wanted to.

Jack Favell: You couldn't be more correct in what her meaning was, in addition to some of the other snappy lines, and situations the actors find themselves in.

This was a funny movie because I looked at it that way, but in actuality it was a very mean and self serving film. The idea of BS coming up with a scheme to get back at Henry because he couldn't accept the fact that she had spent her life as a thief (poor little thing), is not very cheerful to me. Also as she did it, by humiliating him the way she did, if I saw her on that boat later, I would have thrown her overboard. (well . . . . maybe not overboard, but at least in the pool).
.
Anne


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JackFavell
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby JackFavell » February 16th, 2010, 6:36 pm

To me the key line in the whole movie is this:

You see Hopsie, you don't know very much about girls. The best ones aren't as good as you think they are and the bad ones aren't as bad. Not nearly as bad.


She was just showing him that there were worse things than being a thief, especially if that thief was honest with you, and never swindled you out of a penny. He was guilty of snobbery. If he really loved her, why didn't he stick up for her? At some point, he should have seen that she hadn't taken anything from him, and had even protected him. He did not give her a chance, but listened to others' opinions of his supposed true love. He deserved it.

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mrsl
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby mrsl » February 16th, 2010, 6:55 pm

.
Jack:

You quoted: "You see Hopsie, you don't know very much about girls. The best ones aren't as good as you think they are and the bad ones aren't as bad. Not nearly as bad."

I see your point and can't find fault except the first line of the quote which I highlighted. He was such a nerd, he wouldn't know how to argue with his mentors, plus, he really didn't know that they were not working together, or did I miss something?
Anne


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* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

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JackFavell
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby JackFavell » February 16th, 2010, 8:09 pm

That's true, mrsl.... but I think he might have given her the benefit of the doubt that's all. :D

I just love the movie. It's taken me a while to warm up to the second half. I always miss Jean when Eve is onscreen. Now is that crazy? It's positively the SAME DAME.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby charliechaplinfan » February 17th, 2010, 10:19 am

It's been a long time since I watched this movie. It's very racy for it's day and thank the Lord for writers like Sturges who knew who to prepare a script to get it past the censors.

I'm not sure greasing of palms did go on. If MGM say got a film past the censors then the other studios would want the same advantage. I think it was more likely that there was a slackening off over time followed by the code being tightened up again, depending on how it suited the mood of the time.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby charliechaplinfan » February 20th, 2010, 5:52 pm

I just had to watch this again, it had been a while. What a wealth of supporting actors in the cast, it's a pleasure to watch for them alone.

I thought the same about Eve when I first watched the movie but watching it again I really like Eve and like every moment of her getting even with Hopsie (although she doesn't really swing the upper class British accent but who cares). Of course, he should have stuck up for all the way along, if he'd really figured it out he'd have seen that she protected him from her father. I guess after Eve, Jean was calm waters.

A very suggestive movie.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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JackFavell
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby JackFavell » February 20th, 2010, 7:17 pm

I enjoy it more every time I see it. I love movies like that.

If I had to pick my favorite scene other than the suggestive ones, it would be the one where Barbara and Charles Coburn are battling over Hopsie at cards - "Ah, will ya look at that..... I could have sworn one of you had 4 aces...."

The pointed barbs that only they (and we) understand make that scene for me.

No, Barbara didn't nail the accent, but I don't even care!

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Lady Eve

Postby charliechaplinfan » February 21st, 2010, 10:09 am

It is better the second time around. I love the sequence when they are playing Hopsie at cards, I hadn't remembered the outcome, I just knew somehow he found out that she was a card sharp. It's a great sequence.

Henry Fonda, I'm beginning to realise is one of the very best actors of his generation.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin


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