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Playwright Stanley Krown has a terrific new play. It's got a great part for reigning Broadway star Beatrice Page, and a young actress named Sally Carver will do just about anything to get the ingénue lead. The problem is that Beatrice doesn't want the great role written for her. She wants the ingénue role, something she could have played wonderfully -- when she was twenty years younger. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The framed caricatures that line the walls of the Sardi's set are black and white sketches that include at least one movie star (Charlie Chaplin); in reality, the caricatures at the actual restaurant in New York are in color and, because they only honor celebrities connected with the Broadway stage, would certainly not have included Chaplin. See more »
This film was made in the shadow of ALL ABOUT EVE, and paints a more benign view of that film's central situation. Ginger Rogers plays a leading Broadway star, who retains a close relationship with her former husband (Paul Douglas), and works closely with playwright William Holden (possibly a softer build-up for his play director in Bing Crosby's/Grace Kelly's THE COUNTRY GIRL). Pat Crowley, a younger woman of some acting talent, is trying to break into the circles that cast and produce Broadway plays (she is doing mostly off-Broadway work). The relationship of these four characters are the basis of this comedy.
There are differences between the situation here and the situation in EVE. There was more of an atmosphere of the theater and it's traditions in EVE (because Joseph Mankiewicz writes literate scripts, and was determined to show what goes on behind the stage curtains). But there Bette Davis has gotten trapped into a lonely greatness on stage, and she turns out to be willing to vacate her pedestal if she can have a human life with Gary Merrill. She just does not like the way Anne Baxter is trying to replace her in her parts - Baxter's underhanded methods are despicable. Crowley is not Baxter. She genuinely admires Rogers, and just wants entry (which she may get through Holden). It is just that Rogers is still clinging to her youth - Holden is her last chance for such a cling when they go out together. But even Rogers realizes that she is beyond the point of return. In fact, towards the end of the film the audience and Holden and Crowley discover that Rogers actually gives herself a long summer vacation where she can wear softer, easier clothing and eat as much as she wants to. In the end she accepts that the scepter is passed, but she still has her old husband/friend/and continuous argument partner Douglass to play with.
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