Author Topic: All about Eve (1950)  (Read 2021 times)

Offline Antares

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All about Eve (1950)
« on: June 25, 2010, 12:31:02 AM »
All About Eve





Year: 1950
Film Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Genre: Drama, Classic
Length: 138 Min.

Director
Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909)

Writing
Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909)...Written By

Producer
Darryl F. Zanuck (1902)

Cinematographer
Milton R. Krasner (1904)

Music
Alfred Newman (1901)...Composer

Stars
Bette Davis (1908) as Margo
Anne Baxter (1923) as Eve
George Sanders (1906) as Addison DeWitt
Celeste Holm (1917) as Karen
Gary Merrill (1915) as Bill Simpson
Hugh Marlowe (1911) as Lloyd Richards
Gregory Ratoff (1897) as Max Fabian
Barbara Bates (1925) as Phoebe

Review
       While Casablanca is without a doubt the one film with the most memorable and quotable lines of dialogue in film history, running a very close second is Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s scathing look at the behind the scenes world of live theater, All about Eve. Released in 1950 to critical and financial success, this would be the comeback film for one of the most popular performers of the previous two decades, Bette Davis. Davis stars as Margo Channing, an aging thespian who has graced and reigned over the Broadway stages for most of her life, and whose character closely resembles that of an autocratic monarch. This was the role of a lifetime for Davis, and the parallels between hers and Channing’s life are very plain to see. Davis had been the perennial prima donna for many years and although she was very successful in her career, her private life was unfulfilling. She longed for the same thing that Margo wanted, a loving husband and a leisurely life away from the ballyhoo that stardom acquires.

       Her counterpart is portrayed by Anne Baxter, who plays Eve Harrington, a somewhat timid and taciturn young woman who idolizes Margo. In time, we will come to realize that looks and appearances can be deceiving, as Eve works her way methodically into Margo’s inner circle of friends. Through deception and ruthless aggression she makes her move to dethrone Margo, and supplant herself in the hallowed spotlight. Unwittingly, Margo’s circle of friends aid Eve in her ascent to the top, as none of them can see her for what she is. The only member of the cast who can see through her charade is Addison DeWitt (George Sanders), a verbose and acid tongued theater critic who at first assists Eve and then in the end controls her. Sander’s performance is flawless as he uses every bit of his off-screen panache and style to embody in DeWitt the perfect mix of guile and lechery. In no time in film history has an actor ever been more deserving of the awards and accolades that a remarkable performance can procure, than was Sanders for this significant role.

       There are only a handful of truly perfect films in the history of Hollywood and All about Eve can be ranked high on that short list. With the breathtaking new restoration and re-mastering that this film was given for its DVD release, new generations will be able to appreciate the classical collaboration of a flawless screenplay and bravura acting performances.



Review Criterion
- The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
- Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
- Historically important film, considered a classic.
- An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
– A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
- Borderline viewable.
– A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
– Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
– A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
- A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 03:02:05 PM by Antares »

Najemikon

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Re: All about Eve (1950)
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 12:42:28 AM »
When I last saw All About Eve, it lost a little something for me. Not sure what, but it can be overly dramatic although I could watch Bette Davis' performance all day. I think it was the Eve character that was frustrating me.

Offline Antares

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Re: All about Eve (1950)
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 01:13:14 AM »
Anne Baxter is definitely the weak link in the cast, but she has never been a good actress. Look at her performance in The Ten Commandments, you would think she was in the 1925 silent version for her over the top theatrics. It's one of the reasons she disappeared rather quickly in 60's, with every other immersed in the method.

That being said, it is still one of the all time great films. It's worth seeing just for George Sanders' performance.

Offline goodguy

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Re: All about Eve (1950)
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 01:18:48 AM »
Jason Bellamy and Ed Howard recently did one of their monthly conversations at The House Next Door comparing Sunset Boulevard and All About Eve.
http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2010/06/the-conversations-sunset-boulevard-and-all-about-eve/
Matthias

Offline Antares

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Re: All about Eve (1950)
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 01:45:07 AM »
Good read, but I disagree with a couple of points. You can't compare Billy Wilder to Joseph Mankiewicz from a directorial standpoint, it's just not fair to Mankiewicz. Wilder had many films under his belt by that time.

Also, Norma doesn't lose her sanity because she is being dumped for a younger woman. She goes insane because the fantasy world that Max has built for her is shattered by the man Norma has fallen in love with. When Joe explains that Max has written all the fan letters, and that Paramount only wanted to rent her car, her safe haven of denial comes crashing down upon her.

Oh, and I loved the Tarantino reference, spot on and I think I have a new found respect for Bellamy.  :whistle:


What's also interesting are the responses on the bottom.