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Easy Living (Universal Cinema Classics)

59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Jean Arthur and Ray Milland shine in this screwball comedy written by Academy Award winner Preston Sturges. Mary Smith (Arthur) is a poor working girl who literally has a fortune dropped in her lap when a wealthy financier (Edward Arnold) tosses a sable coat out a window and it lands on her. Everyone automatically assumes she's his mistress, and soon her fairytale-like rags-to-riches lifestyle threatens a very real romance with an inept waiter (Milland). It's a "delightful comedy" (Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide) full of misunderstandings that showcases high-society slapstick at its best!


Special Features

  • Exclusive Introduction by Turner Classic Movies Host and Film Historian Robert Osborne

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland
    • Directors: Mitchell Leisen
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: English, French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
    • Run Time: 89 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0012GVMIA
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,021 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Easy Living (Universal Cinema Classics)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Jay Lesiger on January 11, 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Jean Arthur was one of the greatest screen actresses of the 1930s and early 1940s, but because she worked semi-independently (she had non-exclusive contracts with Paramount, RKO, Columbia and United Artists), her combined work has been little seen in these days of box sets. With a great Preston Sturges script, and expert direction by the much-underrated Mitchell Leisen, EASY LIVING is one of the best examples of her work: a working-class girl (Arthur) is sitting atop an open-air bus when a millionaire (the inimitable Edward Arnold) flings his wife's fur coat out the window and it lands on Arthur's head. Hilarious complications ensue, which include a young Ray Milland as the millionaire's son and the always-great Mary Nash (Hepburn's mother in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY) as the coat-less wife. But it is Jean Arthur, whose wonderful combination of dizziness and indomitablility, that make this spin merrily along, and it is a delight form start to finish. Columbia (Sony) has the bulk of the best Arthur titles in its library (MR. DEEDS, MR. SMITH, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, MORE THE MERRIER, TOO MANY HUSBANDS, TALK OF THE TOWN, ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS), but the MCA/Paramount titles are also pretty prime (A FOREIGN AFFAIR, THE PLAINSMAN, SHANE and EASY LIVING), and a mini-box set would be greatly anticipated. MCA has done extremely well by several of its great Paramount stars (Lombard, Dietrich) but we need more Colbert, more Stanwyck, deHavilland, Rogers, Russell, Goddard, Fontaine et al. The announcement of some other gems on their release schedule (the divine MIDNIGHT and THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR) is cause for celebration; let's hope this really is the beginning of a great trend!
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    34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on August 30, 2002
    Format: VHS Tape
    In retrospect, this little 1937 flick holds up as one of the funniest screwball comedies of the thirties. Loud millionaire J.B. Ball tells his extravagantly aggressive wife (Mary Nash) that she cannot keep her $58,000 Sable coat. Ball throws it out of the upper window of their mansion where it happens to fall right on top of bewildered Mary Smith (Arthur), who's travelling on an open-air bus. Mary's a poor gal who works for a magazine similar to BOY'S LIFE. Arnold is seen buying Mary a new hat by pussy-cat faced gossip Franklin Pangborn and soon she gets more than just a hat: practically all of New York is at her feet. The scene where she and Milland wreak havoc at the now-obsolete automat is truly inspired and hilarious, as is Luis Alberni - as Louis Louis - when he shows Mary her new "quarters" -- i.e. "And make it snappa...Thaank Yewww". The rather offbeat cast works wonders with the great Preston Sturges script: Milland and Nash make a weird son and wife to the always good (and always loud) Edward Arnold, but somehow it makes for better screwball; the whacko cast helps push the one-joke material through to a happy finish, and the movie helped establish Jean Arthur as a comedienne of the first rank. P.S. While listening to Arthur's wonderfully off-beat voice, I realised it reminded me a little of Julie Harris (!).
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    17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 26, 1998
    Format: VHS Tape
    Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, a baby Ray Milland, and the beginnings of what became known as the Sturges Players combine for a tight little screwball comedy. This was not available on video until just recently, but if you enjoy the old madcap comedies, ala MY MAN GODFREY, NOTHING SACRED, and Preston Sturges romps like PALM BEACH STORY, THE LADY EVE, etc, I'm confident in recommending EASY LIVING. I didn't notice Sturges wrote it until the final credits, but that didn't alter my feelings. This is an under-appreciated jewel!
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    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Christenson / Lunamation on October 13, 2005
    Format: VHS Tape
    Easy Living is one of the best screwball comedies of the depression era. Jean Arthur (Talk Of The Town, Shane) is a poor working girl who comes into sundry luxuries coincidentally, causing the loss of her job and apartment. Edward Arnold (Meet John Doe, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington), is her anonymous benefactor, a well-intentioned but cantankerous prominent banker who throws his wife's extravagant fur coat out the window of their skyscraper. It lands on Arthur, who tries to return it, but he makes a gift of it to her, and insists on replacing her damaged hat with an expensive one as well, making her late for work, causing the job loss which in turn costs her to miss paying rent.

    But the hat store proprietor (Franklin Pangborn) recognized Arnold and spreads the misinformation that Arthur is his mistress. One thing leads to another, and she finds herself put up rent free in a grand hotel suite. Meanwhile, she meets Arnold's son (Ray Milland, of Lost Weekend, Panic In Year Zero, etc.) by coincidence. He's trying to make it on his own as a waiter in an automat, so she has no idea of his connection with Arnold, and vice versa. Milland's character having the same last name, of course, as his father, reinforces the misinformation propogated by hotel clerks, stock brokers, and others, resulting in an interesting situation exploited for plenty of laughs.

    The script was written by Preston Sturges and while I think the story could have been improved, the performances by Arthur and Arnold make it pleasant and funny. Arthur is cute and funny as ever, and Arnold is funnier than expected due to his disagreeable and argumentative - though honest and generous - character, which his performance makes work.
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