There’s a playful subversion to The Lady Eve casting its lot with the temptress and sinner, and Sturges’ casting of the lead roles really makes it pop. As the title character in 1937’s Stella Dallas, the gold standard of melodramas about female self-sacrifice, Stanwyck played another woman with no regard for social mores, despite her ambitions as a garish status-seeker. She isn’t tentative in pursuing her desires, she doesn’t shrink in the name of propriety, and she’s in full possession of feminine powers—a modern woman, often bracingly so. By contrast, Fonda, who had never done comedy, so throughly embodied forthrightness and down-to-earth decency that he was cast as Young Mr. Lincoln two years before. To stick with the Biblical theme, Sturges found an actress who represented the “sin” in cinema, and an actor who made it seem like he’d never done anything wrong in his life.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
I NEED HIM LIKE THE AXE NEEDS THE TURKEY: If you've never seen The Lady Eve, good god, what are you waiting for? Perhaps my favorite romcom ever. (That, or His Girl Friday.) The Dissolve is giving it a week's worth of discussion, which is well worth your time. Scott Tobias' keynote:
Posted by Adam at 10:35 AM