A raw Welsh novelist in Venice is humiliated by a money-loving Frenchwoman who erotically ensnares him.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Tyvian Jones
...
...
Alan McCormick - a screenwriter
Riccardo Garrone ...
Michele - a player
...
The red-headed Russian
Checco Rissone ...
Pieri
Enzo Fiermonte ...
Enzo
Nona Medici ...
Anna Maria
Roberto Paoletti
Alex Revidis ...
The Greek
Evi Rigano ...
(as Evy Rigano)
John Pepper ...
The little boy
Van Eicken
Peggy Guggenheim
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Storyline

A raw Welsh novelist in Venice is humiliated by a money-loving Frenchwoman who erotically ensnares him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 June 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eva  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hardy Krüger was considered for a key role See more »

Quotes

Eve Olivier: Bloody Welshman!
See more »

Soundtracks

Adam et Eve
Music by Michel Legrand
Lyrics by Joseph Losey and Evan Jones
Sung by Tony Middleton
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User Reviews

 
EVA {Extended and Theatrical Versions} (Joseph Losey, 1962) ***
24 August 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I had always appreciated Stanley Baker's presence in a film but having watched him in three major roles in a brief space of time - this, HELL IS A CITY (1960) and THE CRIMINAL (1960) - I realize how undervalued his talents are nowadays! This, naturally, makes me even more incensed to have missed out on the R2 SE of another notable film of his - HELL DRIVERS (1957) - which went unceremoniously out-of-print after having been available for barely a year!!

Though not a great beauty, Jeanne Moreau manages to make her character's essential irresistibility to men convincing, while her relationship with Baker - turning eventually into humiliation - makes for undeniably compelling drama. Losey gave the two stars uncharacteristic freedom here to get under their respective characters' skin and explore their various idiosyncracies (apart from utilizing records of the era, Eve's obsession with jazz music is also reflected in Michel Legrand's original score) - which probably resulted in the film's overgenerous length (originally 155 minutes!) and its subsequent butchering by the producers - Robert and Raymond Hakim, who had previously worked with Jean Renoir on LA BETE HUMAINE (1938) and would go on to produce Luis Bunuel's BELLE DE JOUR (1967)! The film, however, also allows lovely Virna Lisi to shine with her sympathetic portrayal of Baker's tragic girlfriend (later wife).

The film's uncompromising look at the jaded jet-set may have been inspired by Federico Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA (1960) - who, in turn, borrowed EVA's cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo for his masterpiece 8½ (1963)! I especially enjoyed the film's Venetian backdrop (though it occasionally relocates to Rome): Baker is ostensibly a writer whose first novel has been turned into a motion picture, which is being presented at the world-renowned Film Festival - where, ironically, Losey's own film was declined and which I had the good fortune to attend myself a couple of years ago!! Besides, the funeral-on-the-water scene reminded me of Donald Sutherland's premonition of his own death in Nicolas Roeg's DON'T LOOK NOW (1973), also set in Venice. I don't know how faithful the film is to James Hadley Chase's source novel but its plot of an arrogant, selfish man brought down by an even more cold-hearted femme fatale certainly recalled two masterful screen versions of the Pierre Louys novel "La Femme Et Le Pantin" made by a couple of my favorite directors - Josef von Sternberg's THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN (1935) and Luis Bunuel's THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE (1977) - but, while still managing to make all their points beautifully, those films were much more fun!

That said, I appreciated the film even more on a second viewing via the shorter released version (also because much of the detail had been rather obscured in the murky - and, apparently, sole-surviving - print of the longer cut, complete with forced Scandinavian subtitles): while I knew that certain scenes had been removed, I can't say that I particularly missed them; however, I was surprised to see additional footage incorporated into this version that was missing from the 119-minute cut and especially a scene (which actually constitutes one of my favorite moments in the film!) where Baker stumbles and wounds his hand which Moreau finds amusing - their relationship having soured considerably by this point - and he responds by punching her in the face!!

Despite having previously made a handful of excellent films, EVA was Joseph Losey's first bona-fide attempt to break away from genre movie-making and branch out into the art-house scene: as such, the film is not only a key work in his oeuvre but also one of his most personal. It's a pity that it turned out to be such a bitter experience, with Losey subsequently disowning the 103-minute "Producers' Version" but, given that his original cut had been shorn by over 50 minutes, that's perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, that complete version seems now to be lost forever...


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