Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Lady Eve (1941)

I was never a big fan of Barbara Stanwick (1907 - 1990), but in her 101 roles, the majority were made during the golden years of movies, from 1930 to the mid 1950s.  That is when the best Bit Actors and Actresses worked, giving me topics for my blog.

The Lady Eve (1941) starring Henry Fonda (1905 - 1982) and Stanwick, has a supporting cast that just doesn't stop!  Let's take a look.

Charles Coburn (1877 - 1961) has 95 titles to his credit.  He started making movies in the early 1930s and was cast in a Ginger Rogers (1911 - 1995) and James Stewart (1908 - 1997) film, Vivacious Lady in 1938.  He works in movies with some great stars, and in 1940 is in the Hope and Crosby film, Road to Singapore

Coburn's name always seems to be near the top of the cast list.  His persona probably kept it there.  In 1952 he works with Cary Grant (1904 - 1986), Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) in Monkey Business, and with Monroe again the next year in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  He then starts another career on television in 1950.  His final movie is John Paul Jones (1959), where he played Benjamin Frankin (1706 - 1790 - Franklin made no movies).

William Demarest (1892 - 1983) has 168 titles starting in 1926.  Eric Blore (1887 - 1959) made 86 films, including six with Fred Astaire (1899 - 1987).  Melville Cooper (1896 - 1973) has 101 titles.  Robert Grieg (1879 - 1959) made his name starting with the Marx 100 or so other titles.  And Dora Clement (1881 - 1979) who had bit parts in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Destry Rides Again (1939), and Buck Privates (1941).  Wow!

One last name we should look at is Eugene Pallette (1889 - 1954) who played in 250 movies starting in 1913.  He was in the 1918 Tarzan of the Apes with Elmo Lincoln (1889 - 1952).  Also look for him in My Man Godfrey (1936), he played Friar Tuck in 1938 in The Adventures of Robin Hood, and may be best known as Chick McGann in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  He was a big guy with a bigger voice.

I will have to look for The Lady Eve, because I have never seen it!  Now that I know who is in it, I have no choice.


  1. All terrific supporting actors and I think you will enjoy THE LADY EVE. Have to mention that William Demarist was also Uncle Bub on MY THREE SONS. Eric Blore was delightful in the Astaire-Rogers pics in which he appeared.

  2. I moseyed on over to Bit Part Actors tonight and what should I see...THE LADY EVE in the spotlight...with the careers of three of my favorite of its supporting actors getting special attention. Allen, I hope you have the chance to see this film, it's (IMHO) Preston Sturges' best. Also in the cast is another Golden Age favorite, Eric Blore.

    This may surprise you, but I wasn't a particularly big Stanwyck fan - I think EVE, CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT and REMEMBER THE NIGHT brought me around on I'll check out anything she's in.

    Thank you for featuring "my namesake."

  3. Thanks, Rick. I will look for it. I certainly remember Demarest from "My Three Sons" but I always missed William Frawley as Bub, who Demarest replaced when Frawley's health started to weaken. "MTS" was on for a phenomenal twelve seasons.

  4. What can I say, Eve. You inspired me! I saw your latest post,
    which included Remember the Night. I am more interested in the Bit Actors, of course, so then I saw Beulah Bondi's name in that movie.

    A great idea! See my post today.

  5. Christopher Anne SamsonNovember 27, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    Preston Sturges, the director and writer of The Lady Eve, kept a stellar company of supporting actors well showcased. I became a fan of William Demarest as a result of seeing the work he did with Sturges. It was nice to see Eric Blore, long a favorite because of the delightful droll touch he added to the Fred and Ginger confections, in a different venue.

  6. Preston Sturges, while having 45 writing credits including The Invisible Man (1933) and Remember the Night (1940), only acted in one picture (other than cameos). Look for him in Paris Holiday (1958) with Bob Hope. Sadly, he died the year after it was released. It may have been a new career!


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