The Lady Eve [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1941]

Long considered one of the classic screwball comedies of all time, Preston Sturges' delirious comedy of the sexes The Lady Eve has been given a superb digital unveiling from the folks at The Criterion Collection. As with their disc of Sullivan's Travels (also directed by Sturges), the Criterion release of Eve is a sumptuous delight, beautifully preserving this madcap farce for a new generation of movie lovers who may not yet be acquainted with its oddball charms. The disc has been given a wonderful new digital transfer (presented in its original full-screen format of 1.33:1), taken from a 35 mm duplicate negative, as well as a new audio boost. Sound and picture look great. The black-and-white picture is sharp and clean, with very little scratches or lines detected. The high-contrast transfer is always stable and is a definite improvement over previous video releases. That goes for the mono soundtrack as well. The dialogue is always clear and there is little to no audio hiss. In terms of extras, the disc has some very nice ones, including an excellent audio commentary track from film scholar Marian Keane. Her track is more of an audio essay than a scene-by-scene analysis of the film (though it does do that as well), as Keane talks at length about Sturges' deft skill at staging comedy and how he manages to juggle more than a few thematic balls in the air at once. Keane does not hide her love for the film, and her erudite and insightful comments are worth a good listen. The disc also includes an optional video introduction from director Peter Bogdanovich, who offers up some anecdotes about the making of the film and about the peculiar career of Eve's director. The original 1942 Lux Radio Theater adaptation has also been included, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Ray Milland (taking over Henry Fonda's role). A peek at some Edith Head costumes that were used in the film (and some that weren't) has been added, as well as production stills and the original theatrical trailer. Liner notes from writer James Harvey have also been included. The disc will make a great companion to the above mentioned Sullivan's DVD.
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Special Features

  • New digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by noted film scholar Marian Keane
  • Video introduction by writer-director Peter Bogdanovich
  • The 1942 broadcast of the Lux Radio Theater adaptation, performed by Barbara Stanwyck and Ray Milland
  • Edith Head costume designs
  • Scrapbook of original publicity materials and production stills
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • English subtitles
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition


The Lady Eve

Cast & Crew

  • Henry Fonda
    Henry Fonda - Charles Pike
  • Barbara Stanwyck
    Barbara Stanwyck - Jean Harrington
  • Charles Coburn
    Charles Coburn - "Colonel" Harry Harrington
  • Image coming soon
    Eugene Pallette - Mr. Pike
  • William Demarest
    William Demarest - Muggsy-Ambrose Murgatroyd

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