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All About Eve More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

let's hear it for Ann Baxter

10/10
Author: tday-1 (tday11@cox.net) from Tucson, Az
9 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I like this movie,it's full of stinging wit and dialogs,although it's written by a male chauvinist,Joe Mankiewitz. The notion seems absurd nowadays that women can't have a career and marriage,too,but it has to be taken in the context of the times. The only problem I have is Eve is so transparently phony that I'm surprised the supposedly hip theater crowd doesn't see right through her. Anyway,I love the comeuppance scene where Addison tells Eve about all her lies and how she belongs to him. Ann's voice drops from sweetly phony to guttural scowling with panache. It's almost a shocking transition. Everyone in the cast is good but I like Ann Baxter. Incidentally,Claudette Colbert was supposed to be Margo but she dropped out because of a back injury. The idea was there was supposed to be a similarity between Margo and Eve.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Triumphant Lead Performance By The Legendary Bette Davis

Author: soranno from Las Vegas, Nevada
21 October 2002

After 17 years under contract to Warner Brothers, Bette Davis' first film as a freelance (for 20th Century Fox) is generally considered by many to be her all time greatest performance. Davis superbly shines in her role as Margo Channing, an aging Broadway star who tries to keep a close watch on her new secretary, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), a young stage newcomer who is willing to use and abuse anybody in her path through her ambitions to be a breakout star. Great acting by all involved (even Marilyn Monroe in a bit part and early film appearance). This film is one of the last gems of the studio system and it also has one of the best screenplays of any film made during the 1950's.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

"Classics" aren't always good

2/10
Author: jwb001
2 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Positive

1. Excellent storytelling

2. High production quality

3. Like most classic films, the dialog is perfectly clear to understand.

Negative

1. The film's fundamental premise - a stalker immediately accepted into a theater star's inner circle - is completely unbelievable. My god, then the film concocts the same premise a second time!?#@ The entire film is more contrived than an O. Henry short story.

2. Actors portraying actors feels so self-indulgent.

Additional Notes

1. Interesting to see Marilyn Monroe in a minor role

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Let Other Movies Go For Broke With Wit Like This One

9/10
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States
23 July 2007

All About Eve is written with a consistent attention to stylization and lyrical perfection given to its dialogue. Whether it is truly realistic or blatantly theatrical is not a decision between a flaw and a pro, but between the nature of dialogue that is normally striven for by a logical writer and what could be beyond that nature and perhaps some new, inventive little flare, something to keep the audience determinedly on their toes. The film is loaded, and neatly limited modestly at the brim, with powerhouse scenes of dialogue, be they fiery arguments between infamous flamethrower Bette Davis and a co-star who dares to match her or dangerous, hardly predictable scenes tossed with threats and lies between others. To me, beyond the cast, beyond the direction, beyond the atmosphere of the scenery and cinematography, director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's script is what makes this movie the powerful light-refracting gem that it is.

I will admit that this is my first Bette Davis film. I had never seen a performance by her before this film. I believe she has a mixture that always turns me on to an actor actress, a mesh of an extroverted, active, dynamic quality that allows them to act upon people and surroundings extremely quickly and with no inhibition and an intuitive, deeply emotional characteristic that may even negate the shallow emotional characteristic of the aforementioned quality, revealing a penetrating insight into people. Davis conveys this in the least challenging and most entertaining way, which is by playing herself, which is perfectly fine by those who judge that sort of thing because that is truly what was required of the role. She is not the light-refracting beauty one expected from a star actress in the silver screen era, but I believe she was still an untouchable star not only because of pure confidence but confidence so solid that one like Joan Crawford who would attempt to tamper with it would be thrown back as if it were a forcefield. What presence she has.

Anne Baxter plays the title character, a character who is supposed to be Bette's match. As an actress, Baxter could never match Bette. Where Bette is completely natural in every way on screen, Baxter is not at all. Baxter looks and feels staged to us, because she endlessly stares off into nothing whenever she is speaking, and no matter how interesting she makes her monologue, she still unrealistically stares, and sometimes leans, into space. However, her saving grace is how beautifully she executed the very difficult and tricky role she played. Eve is a person who can never appear to be doing what other characters suspect that she's doing, and even more, she can never appear to be the sort of person that would ever feel inclined to do what they suspect that she is doing. She is the most secretive sort of mysterious personality, quite insightfully captured by the screenplay, which I once again complement, and also fleshed out very effectively by Anne Baxter, who despite her hopeless overtheatrical habits completely becomes Eve.

The cast is consistently great. Celeste Holm as a playwright's housewife, a very honestly written character, is very effective in her fleshing it out. Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe, and Gregory Ratoff are all very entertaining and likable. The doosie is Marilyn Monroe, who even with her few minutes on screen is very wooden. The outstanding man in the film is George Sanders, who plays theater critic Addison De Witt, one of the most intelligent and refreshingly practical and analytical characters I've seen in a movie. He is introduced as simply another one of the many people we will be seeing in the social circle of the film's main characters, even through the story he is partially narrating. Yet he slowly grows to be something more, and we are surprised to see the full extent of what his character is significant for. Sanders has a scene where he is disturbing and vindicating to us at the same time.

All About Eve is full of what so many people don't seem to realize can be the most satisfying and fascinating quality a movie can have, in its writing, in its actors, in its direction, in its detail, and that is a razor wit to wield. It has all different brands of smarts, and we need more films like it today.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Ambition & Deceit

10/10
Author: Jem Odewahn from Australia
13 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An amazing cast and script work together to achieve magic in 'All About Eve'. This is one of the film legends that show what Hollywood film-making is truly all about.

Davis gives one of her best performances ever as the ageing stage actress Margo Channing. Margot is pretty cosy in her nest with her circle of friends until an ambitious young woman, Eve, comes along. One might say that as Margo, Davis was simply playing herself. There is a lot of truth in that, as Margo's barbed sense of humour, neuroticism, warmth and professionalism are typical Davis qualities. Davis is simply brilliant in this role, as is Anne Baxter. A sorely underrated performer, Baxter definitely tops Davis for sweet cunning and measure as Eve.

And the supporting cast...how fabulous are they? We have the great George Sanders as Addison de Witt, the cynical theater critic. Addison's the only one not fooled by Eve's plans, and delivers most of the sharpest lines in the film. Sanders oozes both charm and venom in a role that won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Celeste Holm is much better here than in Gentlemen's Agreement, as Margo's best friend Karen. Her warmth and understated performance works well with Davis' paranoid theatrics. Delightful Thelma Ritter is just priceless as Birdie, and Gary Merrill is fine too, as Davis' beau (they were married in real-life at the time of making the film). Maybe the only downer is Hugh Marlowe, who has about as much screen presence as a cardboard box.

Check out a young Marilyn Monroe in a small role as a would-be starlet who has been taken under Addison's wings. She gets some good lines as the dumb blonde she would be destined to play over and over again later years. Is it pure coincidence that Monroe gets the lines that parody Gable? Marilyn, as Norma Mortensen in younger years, idolised Gable as the perfect father figure. There's plenty of other occasion for name dropping in this film, with Fox stars Tyrone Power and Gregory Peck getting a mention, too. Smart marketing ploy, actually.

There is a never a dull moment or spare scene in this film. It is rather long for a comedy-drama, but that just means more wit and humour can be added. Perfectly directed, this is one of the best satires of the acting industry you'll ever see. It also deals with universal themes ; ageing, ambition, deceit, the abuse of trust etc.

Very entertaining 10/10.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

All Above Backstabbing Shines ****

Author: edwagreen from United States
23 December 2005

The ultimate best film ever made about backstabbing individuals.

Broadway veteran pro Margo Channing is fooled into taking in Eve Harrington, who supposedly idolizes her. Channing's maid,Birdie Coonan, sees Harrington for what she is, but is unable to convince Margo that Eve is dangerous.

Eve is quite a character. In one movie, she nearly breaks up a friendship, destroys a marriage, and wins a major part in the Broadway production of "Footsteps on the Ceiling." That will be a memorable name always for me.

The cast is top rate. This film marked a comeback for Bette Davis, and what a performance she gave as Margo. Anne Baxter is memorable as the cunning Eve. Gary Merrill, Celeste Holm and George Sanders are all in top-form as characters revolving about Margo but fooled by Eve as well. It is only Sanders, who won the best supporting Oscar as the cynical writer, who is able to turn the tables on Eve.

Davis and Baxter were both up for best actress; a mistake, since Baxter belonged in the supporting division. Thanks to this divide, Judy Holliday won best actress for "Born Yesterday."

Celeste Holm, as the caring but duped friend, Karen, and Thelma Ritter, as maid Birdie, were up for best supporting actress.

The dialogue in this film is crisp.

By the end, though winning an acting award for "Footsteps," a young aspirant is hot on the heels of Eve. She no less is from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, my alma mater. A **** school in a **** film.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

'Eve, Eve, Eve, Little Miss Evil'

10/10
Author: (style@austinchronicle.com) from United States
31 January 2005

All About Eve A Triple-S movie (three suicides in the cast--Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Bates and George Sanders), All About Eve has enough dirt to satisfy even the heartiest appetite. A record 14 Oscar nominations for the cast and crew, it is as wicked and sophisticated as they come, with Bette Davis at her eye-popping, cigarette-swinging best as Margo Channing, Broadway's leading diva. Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington is deliciously calculating as the up-and-coming actress who moves in on Miss Channing, first ingratiating herself with Miss Channing, and eventually replacing her. The supporting cast is equally fine with George Sanders as "that venomous fishwife" Addison DeWitt, Celeste Holm as Margo's long-suffering best friend, Karen Richards, and an ethereally beautiful Marilyn Monroe as Miss Caswell, "a graduate of the Copacabana School of Dramatic Arts." Joseph Mankiewicz's script and direction are superb, with dialog so crisp and poisonous, it makes you wonder where script-driven movies have gone. Chock full of quotable lines, fabulous New Look costumes, and sheer irony. So thick and rich you'll be tempted to eat it with a fork but use a spoon to get every drop.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Fox's best movie for years.

Author: dougandwin from Adelaide Australia
8 August 2004

Without a doubt, "All About Eve" was one of 20th Century Fox's best movies for a number of years, with a memorable cast headed by the inimitable Bette Davis as Margo Channing - probably her best role ever, and one that merited an Academy Award. She was absolutely brilliant as the aging star, while in the remainder of the cast George Sanders stood out like a beacon as the caustic Addison de Witt (he, at least did get Best Supporting Actor). Anne Baxter was very good as Eve, and Celeste Holm as the best friend trying to be fair to everyone was just right. The story held interest right through to the very end, and the photography in Black & White along with the music and script was first class. Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlowe, both light weights most of their career, were very good, while Marilyn Monroe's cameo role was interesting. It is a movie that can be seen several times without losing its punch.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

It deserves its reputation.

10/10
Author: CountessM from California
21 May 2004

This film has a legendary reputation and it certainly lives up to it. All the catfights, the backstabbing, the blackmailing... What an exhilirating film! The cast is beyond superb and the ending is eerie, but sublime. George Sanders alone is worth the price of admission. Those heavenly voice-overs keep changing the point of view, but it is always done so perfectly. It is truly a cinematic masterpiece that hasn't aged a bit and still revels in all its glory. Set in the world of the theater, we listen to all the various characters talk about Eve, and not surprisingly, there is no shortage of things to mention. There's a reason why that "bumpy night" is still being talked about!

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

All about showbiz!

7/10
Author: Minty-5 from Sydney, Australia
1 March 2000

It deals with the novice exceeding the star in the theatre. Yet "Eve" isn't just a reflection of any particular genre of show business. We don't see it happening, but the wisdom of people like Eve keeps sneaking up on us all the time...and bringing us down when we least expect it.

Therefore, "All About Eve" still couldn't be extended to be just the entertainment industry, although the movies and "Sunset Boulevard" seem to take it all in their stride. It remains a wonder how a film made half a century ago still can retain a lot of its thought content value. THIS is a movie about the throes of human nature...and all in disguise of film epitome glamour, other lives and Bette Davis.

At the time of release, it was viewed as provocative. In other words, Hollywood, still in the Hayes Code era but heading dangerously close towards the end of the Golden era, basically didn't like the truth. "Eve" is not made in the obscene sense of being provocative, but it is perhaps more for Joseph L. Manckiewicz's crisp writing and direction. "A Letter to Three Wives" is my personal favourite of his films, but it was that film which paved the way for his glory days at the FOX studios.

It is not my favourite Bette Davis movie, but deserving credit, she brings home her strongest performance here by stealing the show. Anne Baxter, George Sanders and Celeste Holm, some of the strongest FOX studio supporting actors, all turn in respectable performances. Finally, Marilyn Monroe features in a small role, but noticable role, pre-exploitation period.

Despite this, the film dipped a fair way short of my expectations. It has been more than a year since I viewed this film, and since it was during the period of early classics days, I could provide a better judgement of the film. This could be an indication that "Eve" is a film that I should have another viewing of. Perhaps bitchy soap opera type films don't always entice me...or perhaps "Eve" still pales to a more compelling "Sunset Boulevard" which remains more worthy of taking out Oscar's top golden statuette for 1950.

Rating: 7/10

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