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Interview: Author Tom Sturges – The Lady Eve | Criterion Collection

I had the chance to speak to Tom Sturges (noted music executive, author, and speaker), the son of director Preston Sturges, to converse about the comically inclined films of his auteur father whose works came to define American cinema and sentiments of the 1940s. For the occasion of the Criterion Collection’s re-release of the 1941 classic The Lady Eve on Blu-ray (which is also a newly restored 4K digital transfer), Sturges shared illuminating asides about how his father’s personal experiences shaped some aspects of the film (which are also detailed in his 2019 publication Preston Sturges: The Last Years of Hollywood’s First Writer-Director).

As we discuss how The Lady Eve fits into and partially defines the oeuvre of Preston Sturges, several motifs within the film are explored as well as its legacy and influences. Check out our phoner conversation below.


New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

Audio commentary from 2001 featuring film professor Marian Keane

Introduction from 2001 by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich

New conversation among writer-director Preston Sturges’s biographer and son Tom Sturges; Bogdanovich; filmmakers James L. Brooks and Ron Shelton; film historian Susan King; and critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan

New video essay by film critic David Cairns

Costume designs by Edith Head

Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1942 featuring Barbara Stanwyck and Ray Milland

Audio recording of “Up the Amazon,” a song from an unproduced stage musical based on the film

English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1946 profile of Preston Sturges from LIFE magazine

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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