The Three Faces of Eve
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

Yes. The Three Faces of Eve was a 1957 nonfiction book by two American psychiatrists, Drs Corbett Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley. The book was adapted for the screen by director Nunnally Jackson.

Eve White (Joanne Woodward) consults Doctor Curtis Luther (Lee J. Cobb) because she keeps suffering from headaches and blackouts. Under hypnosis, Eve displays another personalty, Eve Black, a fun-loving, wild child. Dr Curtis tries to unite the two personalities, but then a third one emerges, Jane.

Is Eve a real person?

Eve is a characterization of a real person, Christine Costner Sizemore, a woman who suffered from multiple personality disorder (MPD), now known as dissociative identity disorder (DID) in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). In the movie, Eve presents with three distinct personalities -- Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane -- all played by Joanne Woodward. In real life, Sizemore displayed 20+ personalities. Sizemore subsequently wrote two books about her experiences -- I'm Eve (1977) and A Mind of My Own (1989).

How does the movie end?

Eve White arrives for her therapy session with Dr Luther (Lee J. Cobb). She claims to be feeling tired and expresses concern for the welfare of her little girl, Bonnie (Terry Ann Ross). During one of her visits with Bonnie, Eve Black came out and must have been cross with Bonnie or slapped her or something because Bonnie asked that she not return as that mommy again. However, Bonnie did like the Jane personality. Dr Luther calls out Jane, who tells him about playing with Bonnie and going under the house to retrieve a ball. While under the house, she experienced a feeling of being a young child again, so Luther calls out Eve White and gets her, under hypnosis, to remember a time when she went under the house and got scared. Suddenly, she starts screaming, so Luther calls out Eve Black and then Jane, but neither of them remember the incident. Eventually he gets a description from Eve White about a time when her mother forced her to kiss her dead grandmother goodbye. She admits that this was nothing malicious, merely a prevalent belief that kissing a dead person goodbye would make the parting easier. Luther calls back Jane, who suddenly realizes that both of her other personalities -- Eve White and Eve Black -- have disappeared and that she is the only personality left in the body. In the final scenes, Dr Luther receives a letter from Jane. Jane tells him that she and Earl (Ken Scott) have married and that they have taken Bonnie home to live with them.

Those who have both seen the movie and read the book say that the movie accurately portrays the book with only some slight differences. One is that the switch from one personality to another wasn't as quick as the movie portrays. Another is that Eve's husband in the book was more abusive than portrayed in the movie and that Eve having to kiss her dead grandmother was not given as much importance in the book. Perhaps the major difference is that the movies doesn't mention the revolation of 19 other personalities that "Eve" later claimed she had experienced

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 1 year ago
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