October 23, 2015
All About Eve.
Review #750: All About Eve.
Bette Davis (Margo Channing), Anne Baxter (Eve Harrington), George Sanders (Addison DeWitt), Celeste Holm (Karen Richards), Gary Merrill (Bill Sampson), Hugh Marlowe (Lloyd Richards), Thelma Ritter (Birdie), Gregory Ratoff (Max Fabian), Marilyn Monroe (Miss Casswell), and Barbara Bates (Phoebe) Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
Based off "The Wisdom of Eve" by Mary Orr, All About Eve is a movie that held the record for most Oscar nominations (14) until Titanic tied it over four decades later, with five actors receiving nominations, and one (Sanders) winning. In fact, Joseph L. Mankiewicz won two Oscars for the movie (Best Director and Adapted Screenplay). 65 years later, the movie is heralded as a classic. And why not? It is great. It's interesting that the big highlight in a movie all about Eve is not Eve herself, but Bette Davis and her tremendous screen presence. She is always interesting to watch and always entertaining, especially when interacting with the cast. Baxter is effective in making her character come off as innocent and helpful...for a while, anyway. Her scene with Holm in which she would will be willing to use Karen's deep friendship with Margo as leverage just to get a part shows the extent of Eve's manipulation. But while her ambition got her out of one problem along with getting her this far, it may have gotten her into another situation...but the movie ends on a different character, named Phoebe. The final scene, with her taking the award and imagining herself winning one is certainly fitting. Sanders manages to ingrain his character into the narrative. He may be snide. but his way with words is much more devastating. His scene with Baxter at the end, is especially well-done, as the movie comes full-circle. The movie begins with Eve winning an award for her performance in a play...but maybe in a way she hasn't won. She won the award, but perhaps at the cost of her heart, in a sense. One actress who also is in the movie, though brief, is Marilyn Monroe, whose character also plays a role in regards to Eve's rise. Monroe doesn't get much to do, but she is interesting to watch, especially when being guided by Sanders in his attempts to give her a career. The movie certainly looks well in both fashion and just in general, with the Costume Designers (Edith Head and Charles LeMaire) winning an Oscar for it. Bottom line, the movie is interesting to watch, especially if you love big performances and love big classical drama.
Thank you for reading this 750th Review. I hope you enjoyed it.
Overall, I give it 10 out of 10 stars.
For all of the appreciation over the past 750 reviews, I made a collage detailing from the first big landmark (and the number before it is, as customary)...all the way up to now. Thank you. Enjoy.