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For dramatic effect movies about mental illness always have the
psychiatrist coming up with a miracle cure of the patient. You saw that
in Spellbound with Gregory Peck and in The Snake Pit with Olivia
DeHavilland. It's not that easy, but it does make for good cinema. To
give credit where it is do, The Three Faces of Eve is about a real case
of multiple personality disorder and Alistair Cooke's narration does
give it a proper time frame, the cure is a matter of years here.
In only her third feature film Joanne Woodward became the Best Actress for 1957, ironically beating out Elizabeth Taylor who was descending into madness in Raintree County instead of being cured. I read somewhere that the Southern born Ms. Woodward remarked ironically that it took years of training for her to lose her southern accent and then she has to find it all over again to win her Oscar. I guess the Academy voters that year were as impressed as I was how she was able to flip into three different characters in many scenes. She's drab homemaker Eve White, a Tennessee Williams sexpot as Eve Black, and as Jane who's trying to leave both behind.
As good as Woodward is, my favorite scene in The Three Faces of Eve is when psychiatrist Lee J. Cobb tries to explain to Woodward's working class husband David Wayne about multiple personality disorder. The patient looks on Cobb's face and the blank expression on Wayne's face say more than ten pages of dialog. Another performance to look for is that of future TV physician Ben Casey, Vincent Edwards as a soldier trying to pick up Woodward in her sex kitten self.
Nunnally Johnson gets some real good performances out of his cast and a once in a lifetime role for Joanne Woodward.
For the average viewer, this will be a highly entertaining film. Joanne
Woodward's performance is extremely colorful and entertaining--she
really did a good job in portraying the 3 personalities! However, the
sad problem with the film is that so much of the movie just isn't true
or sound psychologically--at least according to the average
psychotherapist. This is actually a pretty controversial topic among
some therapists today. Many (and probably the vast majority) therapists
now believe that these multiple personalities are, in fact, not a real
manifestation of underlying parallel personalities but are
unintentionally created by the therapists themselves or are created by
the patient due to all the exposure MPD has in the media (such as after
the film SYBIL appeared on TV). For example, IF the therapist believes
that multiple personalities exist, they tend to find that MANY of the
patients who come to them have MPD--while those who don't believe in
its existence do not see people with these traits. In addition, many
cases (especially the more famous "Sybil") have actually been debunked
PS--In response to OTHER postings on IMDb, schizophrenia and multiple personality disorders are NOT the same. Even among therapists who believe MPD exists, there is universal agreement among professionals that MPD and schizophrenia are not at all the same. The DSM (the therapists' bible for diagnosing mental illnesses) lists them as separate disorders with very different symptoms. They are VERY different and are treated VERY differently. This movie was NOT about schizophrenia. I use the movie myself in my psychology class as it is a wonderful introduction into this controversy. Great entertainment but "fact"? I am skeptical.
PPS--In response to one posting advising others to IGNORE another posting because it is WRONG. I would NEVER want to do this. Whether you believe DID/MPD exists, it is very unwise to advise others to ignore those whose opinions differ. Provided you have an informed opinion (like the 2 in question), it's nice to hear the controversy. I want people to be aware there is a lot of disagreement--don't believe any one posting is definitively right just because they say so!
Wow! Woodward is amazing in this film as Eve White, Eve Black and Jane. She plays them all to perfection. It has to be hard to switch and do all these different characters right after one another but she did it wonderfully. It's no surprise she won the oscar for best actress. Great film, if you havent seen this one yet do ASAP!
I suppose the one thing Eve White could never be accused of, in the 1957 movie "The Three Faces of Eve," is not having enough of a personality! In fact--to the consternation of her dullard Georgian husband, and the amazement of shrink Lee J. Cobb--she's got three distinct personalities that tend to emerge quite unexpectedly. The first is Eve White herself, a mousy dishrag of a housewife; then there's "Eve Black," an extroverted, hard-drinking party girl; and finally "Jane," a nice, well-spoken young woman. As portrayed by Joanne Woodward in her Oscar-winning role, this mixed-up gal becomes a very believable and sympathetic figure. Woodward is actually pretty amazing here, and it is quite remarkable how she is able to switch on a dime from one personality to another, using all the actor's tricks of mannerisms, voice inflections, accents and so on. Cobb is also excellent, as usual, as the soft-spoken, patient doctor who tries for years to help her, and David Wayne is also fine as Eve's husband, who, in one fascinating scene, seems to cheat on his wife WITH HIS OWN WIFE! The psychological explanation of why Eve has become what she is may strike some as too pat, but we shouldn't forget that this is all based on a real-life case history. However, as Danny Peary reminds us in his fun book "Alternate Oscars," the real-life Eve had not been cured at the time this film was made, but rather required 17 years' worth of additional therapy, during which time a full 22 personalities came forth! But I guess that would have made for a very depressing 10-hour movie! And I wholeheartedly agree with Peary that Woodward deserved an Oscar for her work here. Heck, under the circumstances, they should've given her three!
Joanne Woodward is simply amazing as a woman who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder. She is very believable, and is fantastic in all three personalities, Eve White/Eve Black/Jane. Lee J Cobb is also great as the doctor who treats her. In my opinion one of the greatest "Best Actress Academy Award" winning performances that I have watched. She deserves all the critical acclaim and awards that she won. 10 out of 10.
This movie is definitely a must-see for any classic movie lover. Joanne Woodward definitely deserved the Oscar for this one. It is so amazing how seemingly easy she could change from one character to another in 2 seconds flat and make it so believable. This is an excellent movie and I highly recommend it. 5 stars out of 5!:)
Joanne Woodward is SO good in this (she won the academy award for best actress). Her portrayals of Eve White (dowdy and dreary), Eve Black (sensual and wild) and the eventual Jane (pretty close to what you'd call normal) were nothing short of incredible due to the diversity of the personalities and the fact that she was able to achieve such believability. Got to see this one.
Joanne Woodward was wonderful in this movie. She really showed the confusion and hardship surrounding multiple personality disorder. Years later, however, I found a book called, "I'm Eve". It was the autobiography of Chris Sizemore, the person the movie is based on. If you would like the continuation of this story, and there is a lot more, then this book is a must read.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this while in my mid 20's and found it a most daring and powerful
movie. Joanne Woodward's acting was phenomenal, especially her ability
to switch personalities instantly. And while much credit needs to be
given Nunnaly Johnson's direction, I believe Woodward's performance
fueled each of the other actors in reacting to her personalities.
These days, the film doesn't have the same power which is why I feel it needs to be seen from the mid 50's viewpoint.
I heartily disagree with those who feel there wasn't enough difference between the Eve White personality and the Jane personality. Woodward definitely brought out the submissiveness and lack of self confidence in Eve White and the level headed attitude of Jane.
It's true that the true story didn't end where the movie did. However it does stand as a great movie.
One does wonder if either Judy Garland or June Allyson, both of whom were offered the role, could have done as well. Orson Welles reportedly stated that any actress successfully doing the role would win an Oscar. However, Woodward did the switch so effortlessly that I feel she was destined for the role.
As for those who argue that MPD doesn't actually exist, I personally knew a woman afflicted with the disorder. It indeed exists.
The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
A lot of movies tell you they are based on facts, and it doesn't always matter in particular, or it even distracts because with fact, there are limits, and with fiction, there are none.
But if this movie was NOT based on fact, it would come off a little cheesy and a hair slim. There really isn't much a plot, or, oddly, development. The key twist happens right away, and is explained, through narration and by the main male lead, Lee J. Cobb, playing a psychiatrist. From there it is a matter of thinking, wow, this really happened?
And it happened to a young woman played here with energy by Joanne Woodward. I think it's a beautiful performance, an appropriate one, but the style of this quasi-documentary style movie makes it a little plasticky, too, chilling in a fake way. With keyed in music with each change of personality.
So there is something utterly amazing and chilling going on here, as a movie, and as psychology, but within constraints of its own making.
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