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All About Eve
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All About Eve More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A back stage, back-stabbing dark satire about an ambitious young actress who tries to take over a star's career and love life.

Author: jennyp-2 from United States
22 August 2008

All About Eve tells the story of maturing Broadway diva Margo Channing (Better Davis) and the plot to usurp her crown by the seemingly adoring stage-door Jane, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Eve first gets herself hired as Margo's PA, then understudy, and is soon after Margo's director-boyfriend and her circle of theater friends. A short story, "The Wisdom of Eve" by Mary Orr that ran in Cosmopolitan magazine was the source of the script. Orr based the character of Margo Channing on German/Austrian actress Elisabeth Bergner (The Rise of Catherine the Great) who once had a would-be Eve in her life; a young actress named Martina Lawrence who (according to Orr) "…lied to her, deceived her, did things behind her back, and even went after her husband."

In a rare Academy occurrence, both Davis and Baxter were Oscar nominated in the same category (Best Actress), which is generally believed to have canceled each other out. (Judy Holliday took home the award for BORN YESTERDAY.) The film garnered a record 14 nominations and seven wins including Best Picture in 1950. Look for ravishing Marilyn Monroe, typecast as an aspiring starlet in the party scene.

So folks, fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night!

Named to the National Film Registry in 1990.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Men are stupid

9/10
Author: jimmy860 from United States
18 August 2008

I love this movie... it's a great film to dive into when you just want to relax after a long week. After repeated viewings, subtle character traits emerge: Karen wants to be liked by everyone at any cost: "Eve, I've just heard the most wonderful things about your performance," which is said so that Addison can see how kind Karen is, even though Karen herself was responsible for "arranging" that particular performance... Margo is so vulnerable yet none of her friends really want to see that side of her... and the men are idiots. Even after Eve is exposed for what she is-- a lying bitch-- they STILL rally to have her star in their play, just because she's a fine actress and will make money for them: Lloyd, Bill, Max-- they all succumb! Margo is the least cynical person in this movie, because her character is colored with lots of shadings. She's not just "playing Bette Davis." Margo Channing is kind, clever, tough, compassionate, and the earlier-mentioned vulnerable. Watch this movie to see some wonderful characterizations, a fabulous script, and a truly over-the-top ending!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Smart, sassy, and completely captivating.

9/10
Author: bobsgrock from United States
18 August 2008

Joseph L. Mankiewicz made his masterpiece here with All About Eve, a smart, sassy and completely captivating film about the life behind the curtain of the theater world that may in some instances mirror the world behind the film industry. Bette Davis resurrected her career with a tour- de force performance that is nothing short of exemplary. Anne Baxter is perfect as the sneaky, conniving Eve trying to do all she can to get ahead. Gary Merril, Hugh Marlowe, and Celeste Holm also give fine performances to complete the ensemble. Nevertheless, George Sanders gives the finest performance as the smart and sinister Addison DeWitt, an influential critic who has a major role to play in this event.

Above all, the script is what makes this a classic film in its own right. Mankiewicz, just like he did in his previous film A Letter to Three Wives, perfectly balances the transitions between all the main characters. There isn't a dull moment here and by the end, it is a surprise as well as a satisfying look at backstabbing and deceit. This is a near-perfect movie that gets better and better with each viewing. Great acting, solid direction and perfect writing make this a true classic of the Golden Age.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Intelligently crafted..

9/10
Author: AKHIL AGGARWAL from United States
8 August 2008

It is a well written movie and I am saying so because even though I have seen a lot of movies but I was never sure as to how the character of Eve will turn out. It was so very well sugar coated that the coating felt like the real crust of the character. It was all about Eve but Bette Davis had the strongest character in the movie, her performance in the party scene towards the middle of the movie is the most enjoyable part of the movie since that's when all the characters in the movie come into one frame and you can see the real dynamism between them all. The movie moves fast for a drama based movie and there is hardly a weak link in the movie. So enjoy!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

All About Eve is a classic talkie

9/10
Author: Cinexcellence from United States
29 June 2008

Another AFI film off the list. Watching All About Eve, lots of things I'd heard over the years clicked and made sense. I heard the classic line, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night" I finally saw a Mankiewicz film, who I'd heard about for quite some time (Although I may have seen The Virginian) And last but not least, I realized why All About Eve was listed AFI's Heroes & Villains list, and deservedly so.

Anne Baxter put in a near-perfect performance as the title character, playing Eve with just the right amount of subtlety and charisma. I also really liked Bette Davis in the role of Margo Channing. I was reminded of Gloria Swanson's chilling performance as Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. Both characters are obsessed with their own stardom and have a desire to control their surroundings. (Both films also have similar beginnings as well) Ironically, both films were released in the same year.

For a film that relies predominantly on dialogue between the many characters to tell the story, I was surprisingly engaged throughout. This is proof that you don't need action to tell an entertaining story.

All About Eve also has another ending that I really liked and fit the story perfectly in a circular manner. This is definitely a film worth watching.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

All Around Eve

10/10
Author: Marcin Kukuczka from Cieszyn, Poland
11 November 2011

A special moment at the Sarah Siddons Awards when a new talent shines...the talent of a 'Junior - a golden girl, a cover girl,' young and pretty Eve who looks so innocent, grateful and fresh while receiving the desirable statuette for the role of her life. It seems that we already know all about Eve at the glimpse of her modest gesture. Yet, we soon realize there is a lot to be revealed for the sake of honesty between the award in her hands and her speech of gratitude; a lot in the drama fully equipped with classy entertainment and clever dialogs. The girl's heart is as old as a theater where applause gives all satisfaction but...each theater has its stage and its wings.

As a holder of many awards, including the Best Picture Oscar, Joseph L. Mankiewicz's movie has been acclaimed as one of the most significant movies ever made, one of the 1950s' gems. Truly, more than half a century later, we can still say that the film is a captivating experience. Yet, its strength does not lie in innovative camera-work, great sets nor special effects. ALL ABOUT EVE relies on clever screenplay and absorbing performances. Its major strength, in other words, lies in the film's theatrical nature. Here, let me quote James Berardinelli who states accurately that "ALL ABOUT EVE stands out as one of the best small-scale dramas ever produced under the Hollywood system" (2003). He adds that the film "could easily be mistaken for a movie adaptation of a stage play." And from within the truly clever script and the stagy nature emerge brilliant performances.

Although Anne Baxter as the title character calls viewers' attention naturally due to her duality, we get to know her thanks to other characters around her. As naturally as life can appear...a person is perceived better by others than by oneself. Viewers call their attention towards those people in the lead, particularly Bette Davis as Margo Channing and George Sanders as Addison DeWitt. They are not only given some best lines in the film but also portray their characters with real charisma and climactic focuses.

BETTE DAVIS: There are many reasons why we can openly say that this was one of her greatest roles, a real milestone in her later career. Why? This part not only re-established the actress after her farewell at the Warners Studios and welcome at Twentieth Century Fox but Margo is a sort of character Bette was born to play. Bette and Margo...a lot of parallels between two women! Bette's primary contribution is her own personality: her strong straightforward attitude, charisma of an aging star, pretentious with producers who leaves 'peace and quiet for the libraries' striving to be on the top, jealous of women who are too many things for a man she loves. 'Liebestraum' by Franz Liszt appears to be merely a 'cheap sentiment' that she detests. Davis admitted her confusion as for where the fictional personality ended and the real-life personality began. Although her roles galore are worth attention, this performance of hers is a must-see.

GEORGE SANDERS: As the narrator of the story and an intensely dry Martini of the drama, his major merit is distance to all characters and his 'rapport' with viewers. He is certainly 'nobody's fool' who is 'essential to the theater' and to both Margo and Eve. Sarcastic, sympathetic at moments, cold in emotions, a perfect observer who leaves us all with a breathless delight. His lines occur to be the main entertainment of the storyline that raise unique movie fans' experience. Similarly to the director, he also seems to psychoanalyze the characters around. Sanders as DeWitt makes the entire story truly believable and inspiring. He simply leaves a viewer with pure admiration for the performance that vibrant. Sanders's best moments include the sarcastic talks with young Marilyn Monroe as Claudia and acting as a sardonic 'master' of disguised Eve in the harsh talk filled with 'boxing terms.'

ANNE BAXTER: She has a hard role, supposedly the hardest one, because as the title character she cannot allow herself to be predominated by other cast. Ms Baxter, as one of my favorite actresses, absolutely rivets me as a shy Margo's fan who takes a chance of a lucky evening and visits her idol in her dressing room. There, she submits herself to the self-expected emotions and desirable impressions from her listeners. She bursts out with all her passionate fan's love but no hysteria. And, viewers along with Margo Channing allow themselves for a delusive sympathy for the young Eve. Then, her task is to reveal her true nature and her means that, at first, appear so good and honest. Then, we realize that she would do much more for the part that good, for the goal that ambitious and the career that promising. Does she manage in executing that? I think she does it well artistically but we, as viewers, no longer like her, she disappoints us as a character and, consequently, major appreciation is not of Eve/Baxter.

SUPPORTING CAST: There are two people who are most memorable as an extra ingredient to the whole drama's taste: Gary Merill as Bill Sampson and Thelma Ritter as Birdie. Mr Merill as Margo's lover delivers some best lines about the theater, about his own dilemmas and accurately depicts a young man in this reality. Ms Ritter is excellent at her doubts about Eve. The matter of liking the ambitious fox is rather an argument than an answer...until Eve stops acting as if Margo were a 'queen mother.'

Some outstanding moments, delightful dialogs, and riveting performances...a great achievement you will never forget!

Slow curtain...the end...Although the show on stage is over, it goes on offstage. Knowing the wings equals to knowing all when the winner gets her trophy and all around Eve are not content with everything. All except one...a 'replacement' to come who learns the cruel maxim: The end justifies the means...

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An aptly titled masterpiece

10/10
Author: Arcturus36 from Vancouver, Canada
11 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

People rave about Bette Davis in this film, and duly so. She's wonderful. But, for me, Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington is tops. Not only a favorite performance of mine, but character too. I put the performance up against entire careers. George Sanders, for whom I have a very high opinion, is at his best also. Celeste Holm — whom I'm delighted to say is still among the living and working as of 2010, no less — is indispensable. The demise of Barbara Bates adds a poignancy to the final scene as Phoebe stands before the mirror wanting success "more than anything else in the world."

More than anything, a film is its characters. All About Eve exemplifies this by combining perfect casting with writing of the wittiest kind. The Killer to Killer scene where Addison unravels Eve's fictitious life is one of my favorites, period. She is loathsome, yet I can't blame him for being so caddishly enamored.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

All About Eve commentary

10/10
Author: aknight12 from United States
1 November 2009

All About Eve included an all star cast of characters including Margo Channing portrayed by Bette Davis, Eve Harrington portrayed by Anne Baxter, Addison DeWitt portrayed by George Sanders, Karen Richards portrayed by Celeste Holm, Bill Sampson portrayed by Gary Merrill, Lloyd Richards portrayed by Hugh Marlowe, Max Fabian portrayed by Gregory Ratoff, Birdie Coonan portrayed by Thelma Ritter, Miss Caswell portrayed by Marilyn Monroe and Pheobe portrayed by Barbara Bates.

The classic film All About Eve owes its fame to an incredible director/writer, Joseph Mankiewicz. Mankiewicz created a script and mixed it together with an incredible cast of performers almost as if the roles were created for the individual actors based on their true-life personalities.

All About Eve is a story about Margo Channing who is a Broadway star who is growing older. Margo invites a fan into her home only to learn that she is trying to become famous herself and has set her sights on Margo's life as a star.

The theme of the film All About Eve, is the pursuit of success. Eve Harrington wants to become famous in the theatre so badly that she will do just about anything in order to climb her way to the top in the fastest manner possible. Eve is a caring person on the surface in order to get in close with those that can help her to maneuver her way into stardom to the top. However,under the surface she doesn't care about anything or anybody and doesn't care who she destroys in her quest for fame. Addison sees the true person that she is and begins manipulating her in order to prevent her from ruining the careers of any more actors.

Bette Davis is a cigarette-smoking strong, independent woman in the film. As the character of Margo nears a midlife breakdown Bette Davis plays the emotional roller coaster incredibly. Bette Davis has can give credit to this role as that which made her famous. George Sanders is the theatre critic Addison Dewitt in the film. His performance is incredible as he convincingly conveys cutting remarks to the actors almost as if he enjoyed the power. Thelma Ritter is not very well bred in the film. Birdie Coonan plays the unmannered, wisecracking character perfectly. Celeste Holm plays a housewife who is gentle natured on the surface, however obvious jealousies are bubbling inside of her.

The performances of all of the actors blend together perfectly in order to create one of the most famous films of all time which is loved by generations of all ages.

The character of Eve, a Broadway actress who is growing old is compared to the performance of Gloria Swanson who played an aging star in Sunset Boulevard. Both Davis and Swanson were nominated that year for the Oscar award of best actress, but the award went to Judy Holiday for her performance in Born Yesterday.

The lighting, costumes, makeup, and set were all designed to portray the glamour and wealth of American actors in the 1950's, which was then present day. All About Eve is about the struggles of an aging star compared to those of a younger actress trying to make it to the top. The film was originally filmed in black and white therefore; careful consideration was given to the lighting. Many of the scenes were shot with lamp lighting giving a soft glow to the room. Frontal lighting and was used to illuminate the actors and it appears that filters were used when shooting Davis in order to give her a softer, more glamorous look. The costumes were circa 1950 with the women in glamorous gowns ornamented with jewels and the men in classic suit and tie giving the viewer a glimpse into the long forgotten glamour of actors of the last century.

The all-star cast of All About Eve, the sets, the costumes, the makeup, and lighting were successfully give the viewer the feeling of being there in the room with Eve through the struggles of an aging Broadway star.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A true classic

9/10
Author: Enchorde from Sweden
9 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Recap: We begin at the end, were the young actress Eve Harrington is presented with a prestigious award. There, the cast around her remembers how it all came to this moment. How they found Eve around the stage door, apparently the devoted fan. They took her in, gave her a chance and she used it to all it was worth. Although being in the company of prominent theatre professionals, and despite given an award for a play later, Eve gives the performance of her life to play all angles, to rise to the top, quickly and at all costs. Only writer Addison DeWitt sees through her, but instead of revealing her he gives aid with small advice, as another little project of his.

Comments: I find it is prudent to be careful when seeing old dramas, even when they are lauded and awarded as All about Eve is. They might be anything, a stellar classic or a boring slow movie that is just beyond me how everyone thinks it is so great. All about Eve is close to be the former, it is great, despite being quite long at 138 minutes (I believe). It is one of those movies where the sum is greater than its parts.

First off, and most important always, is the groundwork. The story. It is complex, intricate and not too apparent. It carefully examines its main characters, but not too quickly, it reveals small tidbits here and there, gives a small hint. It is a drama but seem to lend a lot of qualities how to develop a story from the genre of mysteries or crime. But also there is a hint, small but always there in the background of humor. A witty one-liner or remark or the behavior of a diva. It is a splendid story, keeping at least me in its grip during the entire run.

Second, there is the cast. Cast is nothing without a good story, but a good cast can let a story shine. This cast does. Anne Baxter is splendid as the coldly manipulating but oddly passionate Eve. Bette Davis is almost better, in part due to the more manic character of Margo. Supported by a good cast of Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe and, in my opinion (he did get an Oscar for it), especially George Sanders who plays the devious, equally manipulating, Addison DeWitt.

Not to mention Marilyn Monroe. She got a small role, really not very important to this story. She could have been excluded and not be missed. But with her looks, and her delivering her few lines it is apparent, at least in hindsight, that she would be a future star.

And everything just fits together. This is a true classic, a gem that is one of those you should see.

9/10

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Wow, an 11 if possible!

10/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
4 June 2009

All About Eve is my idea of a perfect film,(and I am 17) beautiful and brooding at the same time. People consider this as one of the finest films ever made, and I cannot disagree. This and Shawshank Redemption are actually films that deserve to be in the top 250. The black and white cinematography is gorgeous, and the script is sharp and focused with great lines such as "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night". The direction is excellent, and this is further advantaged by a terrific cast, a very good subject matter and sumptuous costumes. I couldn't help being captivated by Bette Davis's performance as Margo Channing, her presence in the film is actually the film's main merit. Davis was an incredible actress, and while not exactly pretty compared to Maaureen O'Hara and Rita Hayworth and not very easy to work with at times, she always brought a sense of command to all her roles, especially in this film. I still think that All About Eve is her best film, I honestly do, and she is well supported by a terrific supporting cast with the likes of the idealistic Anne Baxter and the suave George Sanders. All in all, a beautiful film, that is a must-see, if you haven't seen it already. It is quite long, but it is well worth watching for Davis's performance. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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