Eve (Anne Baxter) is waiting backstage to meet her "idol" aging Broadway Star, Margo Channing (Bette Davis). It all seems innocent enough as Eve explains that she has seen Margo in EVERY performance of the current play she is in. Only Playright critic DeWitt (George Sanders) sees through Eve's evil plan, which is to take her parts and fiancé, Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill) When the fiancé shows no interest, she tries for playwright Hugh Marlowe (Lloyd Richards) but DeWitt stops her. After she accepts her award, she decides to skip the after-party and goes to her room, where we find a young woman named Phoebe, who snuck into her room and fell asleep. This is where the "Circle of Life" now comes to fruition as Eve is going to get played the way she did Margo.
Gary Merrill described the experience of working with Marilyn Monroe in his autobiography as occasionally frustrating. He describes a dinner party that Bette Davis hosted the night before she and Monroe were to shoot a scene together. "The party went on quite late," he recalls, "but Marilyn excused herself early because she had to work the next morning. We all knew the scene Marilyn had to work on the next morning was really Bette's scene and that Marilyn had only a few lines...Bette had more, but she was an experienced actress and accomplished the scene with little bother. It had to be done in ten takes, however-Marilyn kept forgetting her lines." See more »
The hands in the bedside clocks do not move. See more »
When you're a secretary in a brewery, it's pretty hard to make-believe you're anything else. Everything is beer.
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Eddie Fisher is credited in the cast as 'Stage Manager,' although all of his scenes were cut from the released print. This is not the the singer Eddie Fisher, but another actor. See more »
Here's perfect writing if ever a movie ever had it-where did Joseph L. Mankiewicz come up with these people? Who would have thought he could not only revive Bette Davis' career with her greatest-ever role, but actually make her even more fascinating than she ever was before? Davis plays famous and established actress Margo Channing, a self-centred and tough but vulnerable woman who is purused relentlessly by Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), a seemingly innocent woman who worships Channing-she even becomes her personal assistant. However, her devotion soon becomes sinister, and Margo lets her friends know, though they just think she's being selfish and unfair. Celeste Holm is excellent as Margo's best friend, who at first is on Eve's side but eventually sees how conniving Eve can be and how ruthless she is in climbing to the top. The party scene early on in the film features some of the film's best lines (`Fasten your seat belts it's going to be a bumpy night!'), though my personal favourite is when Davis tells Baxter to put her award `where you heart should be'; Margo Channing is just about the best female character of the fifties. Features Marilyn Monroe in an early role.
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