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THE LADY EVE
November 25, 2017  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

 

This 1941 film is a romantic, very funny movie by Preston Sturges, who directs and co-wrote this breezy story about card hustlers on a cruise ship who target an unsuspecting but wealthy herpetologist (that’s the study of snakes, not herpes). One of the hustlers is a fast-talking, faster-thinking woman who decides to target him more than once, and in more ways than by gambling. And the way she and this movie scores is by the casting: the hustler is played by Barbra Stanwyck, who’s perfect, and her intended victim by Henry Fonda, who turns flustered into an art form. No wonder this movie is one of TCM’s The Essentials. Watch, and enjoy. A lot.

 
 
 
 
 
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