Friday, 6 September 2013

''All About Eve'' (1950 movie)- Review

Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz 
Released: 1951
Country: United States

Genres: Drama

Cast: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe, Thelma Ritter, Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Bates

Rating: 5 out of 5


All About Eve is a great film. Yeah, it's GREAT. The wonderful story is presented with a great screenplay, with excellent performances from the leads and the supporting cast. Eve Harrington is such a vile and cunning character... And Anne Baxter is excellent... she is perfect as Eve. 

All About Eve starts at an an award ceremony, the ''Sarah Siddons Award''. It is time to present the award to a very talented actress. And the award goes to... Eve Harrington...

As Eve receives the award, two characters, theater critic Addison Dewitt (Sanders) and Karen Richards (Holm), wife of a playwright, narrate how Eve found this fame... how Eve climbed the social ladder and became so famous and, and known as one of the talented young actresses.

Flashback. About a year ago, Karen Richards had come across a gentle young woman, Eve Harrington. Karen is impressed after observing that Eve is such an avid fan of the famous and successful theater actress, Margo Channing (Bette Davis). Karen takes Eve to Margo, who also gets quite happy to see the girl's devotion for her. Gradually, Eve becomes Margo's constant companion. And everybody gets quite fond of her. Eve becomes friends with playwright (and Karen's husband) Lloyd, theater director (and Margo's boyfriend) Bill, and producer Max Fabian.

But things are not as simple as they seem to be. Over time, Margo starts noticing strange things. Eve becomes her understudy without her knowing it... Eve gets to play an important part in a play. Is Eve really a naive girl who was such a dedicated fan of Margo? Is Eve really a modest girl? Or were they all nothing but pretenses? Is Eve nothing but a ruthless social climber?

Both Anne Baxter and Bette Davis give memorable performances. Baxter is amazing... At the beginning of the film, she perfectly plays a naive and modest girl, an avid fan. Nobody can guess what the character's purpose really is, what her intentions really are. Similarly, she also plays an excellent villain. One of the most memorable instances of her villainy was the scene where she meets Karen Richards in the lady's room. Ah, that scene was so very well crafted. The apology, and then the terrible blackmail... oh, the scene was so well written. I began to hate the character at the latter part of the film, especially after the scene at the lady's room. There Eve had revealed her true color, that her apologies were meaningless and nothing but a part of her bunch of pretenses. There have been several characters similar to this one. Becky Sharp, for example. A social climber who can do anything to reach her goal .

Bette Davis was fascinating as well. Her character, Margo Channing, an actress who is at the peak of her career, feels threatened because of her age. She feels threatened by Eve, her rising fame. And she begins to hate Eve after she comes to realize how ruthless, how snake-like she actually is. Davis was excellent, and Margo is a character for who is sometimes irritating, but mostly a character whom we can sympathize. 

Celeste Holm- she was so nice. George Sanders (as Addison), Gary Merrill (as Bill), Hugh Marlowe (as Lloyd), and Thelma Ritter- they are all so amazing. Marilyn Monroe is present in a small role.

The last scene was so iconic and memorable! I was really impressed with the last scene.

The screenplay was amazing... all of characters were brought to life, the situations were built up well. All About Eve is an excellent film, with an excellent cast, an excellent story with a great screenplay.

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