COMEDY GOLD #17: The horse from The Lady Eve (1941)

the lady eve 8Just when you thought Preston Sturges’ iconic screwball comedy The Lady Eve (1941) couldn’t get any better, in comes the horse that somehow managed to upstage both Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda for nearly three minutes.
At this point, mistaken identities and misunderstandings have well and truly done a number on our characters, and snake-expert Pike (Fonda) doesn’t know that socialite Eve (Stanwyck) is actually Jean, the con artist he met on the ship and with whom he fell in love, so he, of course, proposes. Again. The same proposal, the same lines as before, as soon as they get off their horses after a ride. Starting with Jean/Eve’s line ‘Stop that! Oh, I thought it was the horse’ as Pike tries to get closer to her, the horse provides some laughs as it gently starts headbutting Pike as he tries to get the words out. Pike’s exasperation is even funnier when you realize that both Fonda and Stanwyck were trying not to laugh the whole time. Sturges’ flair for combining screwball, soph-com, slapstick and farce has never been more wonderfully highlighted as it is in The Lady Eve and I, for one, am a sucker for this scene!

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6 thoughts on “COMEDY GOLD #17: The horse from The Lady Eve (1941)

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