|Theatrical poster via Wikipedia|
In the film, the man she is scamming is named Charles Pike, played by Henry Fonda, and he is the wealthy heir to a beer company. He is naive and kind of dense. In the course of one day he and Jean fall in love and plan to get married and she discontinues her con. But then Charles finds out that Jean and her father are scam artists and breaks it off with her. Jean becomes angry with Charles for dumping her and devises a plan to reinvent her identity as a British socialite named Eve to exact revenge. Eve and Charles meet and they fall in love and get married. Eve plans to drive him to divorce for a settlement and begins telling him about her fictitious escapades with other men. They end up separating, but not divorcing, and during their estrangement she reverts back to Jean and bumps into him again on another cruiseliner and they reaffirm their love for one another. Charles never knows the two women are one in the same. The end.
|The lovely Barbara Stanwyck via Wikipedia|
|L-R: Henry Fonda, Preston Sturges, and Barbara Stanwyck via Roger Ebert|
|Garden of Eden, anyone? via Nathan Hartman|
Interesting note: Jean's main con is that she is a card sharp so she cheats people out of money during card games on cruiseliners. I always thought the term was "card shark," but everything I was reading about this film kept referring to her as a "card sharp." I started feeling like I had possibly misheard, and therefore was misusing, this popular turn of phrase. I had a friend in high school who swore another popular phrase was "I'll give it a world" and could not be convinced otherwise. How embarassing. Luckily, our favorite myth-busting website, Snopes, has an article about this etymological quandry. Evidently, both are correct and there is much dispute over which word originated first, but "card shark" in a more inclusive term which can be used to describe people skilled at cheating in cards or skilled at simply playing cards and is not necessarily pejorative, while "card sharp" is only used in the negative sense. Good to know.
Have you seen this movie? What did you think? Am I way off base by being thoroughly unimpressed?