Easy Living

Easy Living

Director: Mitchell Leisen Cast: Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland

Blu-ray (Black & White)

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Overview

Financier J.B. Ball (Edward Arnold) -- known in the press as "the Bull of Broad Street" -- may be one of the wealthiest investment bankers in the country, but he also knows the value of a dollar. And when his wife (Mary Nash) spends 50,000 of them on a sable coat, he is driven into such a fury in the ensuing argument on the roof of their Fifth Avenue townhouse, that he throws the coat into the street -- where it promptly lands on the head of Mary Smith (Jean Arthur), a clerk-typist on her way to work, riding on the upper deck of a double-decker bus, ruining her hat in the process. She jumps off the bus to try to return the coat, but Ball insists that she keep it. What she really needs, however, is not a 50,000-dollar sable coat so much as a ride to work -- as she doesn't even have a dime for bus fare -- and perhaps a new hat. Ball obliges, taking her to one of the top clothing stores in New York, buying her an expensive fur hat to go with the coat, and then dropping her at work in his limo. Her superiors, seeing her decked out in a sable coat and a new hat, and getting out of the chauffeured car, conclude that Mary is a kept woman, and, therefore, unfit to work for the boys magazine where she is employed, and they fire her. Now out of work and virtually broke, she seems to have become a victim of random fate, but suddenly the scales start to tip the other way from the very same misunderstanding that got her fired. Having been seen in the company of J.B. Ball -- whose name she didn't even get -- she is rumored to be his mistress; the prissy clothing store proprietor (Franklin Pangborn) spreads this story, and that turns Mary into the object of attention for Mr. Louis Louis (Luis Alberni), the owner of a failed luxury hotel on which Ball's bank holds the mortgage, and is about to foreclose. For reasons that she can't begin to understand, since there is nothing going on between her and J.B. Ball (whose name she doesn't even know), or between her and anyone, Louis moves her into the most luxurious suite in his hotel for a dollar a day, asking her only to inform "that certain someone" of how she loves living there. Mary has no idea of who "that certain someone" is, or what Louis is talking about, but she needs a place to live, and Louis is insistent. She still needs to eat, and, while trying to get a meal at the automat, she crosses paths with a handsome, well-meaning, but inept waiter (Ray Milland), who gets fired for helping her. She takes him into her suite so he has a place to stay, and the two fall in love in the course of finding out about each other. She knows that he is John Ball Jr., but doesn't realize that he is the son of J.B. Ball, trying to make it on his own, nor does she yet realize who J.B. Ball is, in terms of being the man who gave her the coat and the new hat, or one of the wealthiest men in the country. But after the elder Ball spends an innocent night at the Hotel Louis, a gossip columnist named "Wallace Whistling" (William Demarest) prints that he is keeping a woman at the hotel, and suddenly the Hotel Louis, perceived as a fashionable playground for the upper-crust, is filled with guests. This multiple case of mistaken identity plunges through two or three new layers, eventually bringing about an impending stock market crash to rival 1929, before Mary discovers who her would-be benefactor and her would-be fiancé are. She bails them out of the jam that they're in, also restoring the Ball's marriage, her own reputation, and her romance with Ball's son in the process.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/23/2019
UPC: 0738329238308
Original Release: 1937
Rating: NR
Source: Kl Studio Classics
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W]
Time: 1:28:00
Sales rank: 16,215

Special Features

Audio Commentary by Film Historian Kat Ellinger

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean Arthur Mary Smith
Edward Arnold J.B. Ball
Ray Milland John Ball, Jr.
Luis Alberni Mr. Louis Louis
Mary Nash Mrs. J. B. Ball
Franklin Pangborn Van Buren
Barlowe Borland Mr. Gurney
William Demarest Wallace Whistling
Andrew Tombes E.F. Hulgar
Esther Dale Lillian
Harlan Briggs Office Manager
William B. Davidson Mr. Hyde
Nora Cecil Miss Swerf
Robert Greig Graves, Ball Butler
Stanley Andrews Captain
Bennie Bartlett Newsboy
Wilson Benge Butler
Lee Bowman Actor
Sidney Bracey Chauffeur
Don Brodie Auto Salesman
Ethel Clayton Actor
Dora Clement Saleslady
George Cowl Bank President
Virginia Dabney Blonde
Hal K. Dawson Jeweler
John Dilson Nervous Man
Florence Dudley Cashier
Harold Entwistle Elevator Man
Jesse Graves Porter
Robert E. Homans Private Guard
Marsha Hunt Actor
Olaf Hytten Actor
Adia Kuznetzoff Bum
Nick Lukats Bit
John Marshall Osric
Rex Moore Elevator Boy
Frances Morris Assistant Secretary
Bob Murphy Automat Detective
Forbes Murray Husband
Dennis O'Keefe Office Manager
Lee Phelps Hotel Detective
John Picorri Oinest
Kate Price Laundress
Jack Raymond Actor
Hector V. Sarno Armenian Rug Salesman
Francis Sayles Houseman
Leonid Snegoff Chef
Hayden Stevenson Chauffeur
Bernard Suss Man in Automat
Laura Treadwell Wife
William Wagner Valet
Gloria Williams Actor
Florence Wix Woman in Hat Shop
Harry Worth Hindu
Hal Greene Bellhop
Gertrude Astor Saleswoman
Vernon Dent 1st Partner
Arthur Hoyt Jeweler
Edwin Stanley 2nd Partner

Technical Credits
Mitchell Leisen Director
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Hans Dreier Art Director
Farciot Edouart Special Effects
Ernst Fegte Art Director
A.E. Freudeman Set Decoration/Design
Doane Harrison Editor
Arthur Hornblow Producer
Boris Morros Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Preston Sturges Screenwriter
Ted Tetzlaff Cinematographer
Wally Westmore Makeup

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