Eve (Anne Baxter) is waiting backstage to meet her idol, aging Broadway star Margo Channing (Bette Davis). It seems innocent enough as Eve explains that she has seen Margo in EVERY performance of her current play. Only playwright/critic DeWitt (George Sanders) sees through Eve's evil plan, which is to take her parts and her fiancé, Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill). When the fiancé shows no interest, she tries for playwright Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), but DeWitt stops her. After she accepts her award, she decides to skip the after-party and goes to her room, where a young woman named Phoebe has sneaked into her room and fallen asleep. This is where the "Circle of Life" now comes to fruition as Eve will get played like she played Margo.
Contrary to popular belief, the character of Margo Channing is not based on Tallulah Bankhead. The film was adapted from an original story published in Cosmopolitan, "The Wisdom of Eve" by Mary Orr (uncredited in this film). It was based on an actual incident involving Austrian actress Elisabeth Bergner during her run in the hit stage thriller "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" in 1943-44. The story's main character was, like Bergner, a foreign actress named Margola Cranston, before it was changed to Margo Channing. However, the story about its being based on Bankhead persisted, and when Bankhead heard it, she reportedly told a live radio audience that the next time she saw Bette Davis, she would "tear every hair out of her mustache". See more »
In the dressing-room scene at the beginning, Margot turns in her chair to look at Karen. In the subsequent reverse angle, her arm positioning across the back of the chair has completely changed. See more »
Please don't play governess, Karen. I haven't your unyielding good taste. I wish *I* could have gone to Radcliffe, too, but Father wouldn't hear of it... He needed help behind the notions counter
I'm being rude now, aren't I? Or should I say "ain't I"?
You're maudlin and full of self-pity. You're magnificent.
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Eddie Fisher is credited in the cast as 'Stage Manager,' although all of his scenes were cut from the released print. This is not the the singer Eddie Fisher, but another actor. See more »
As close to perfection as they come. A film than can be viewed again and again without ever getting tired. Bette Davis's Margo Channing is a film icon of major proportions. A point of reference. Her fear of the abyss is as human as it is at the center of this selfish, insecure, sacred cow. She is surrounded by some other sensational women. Thelma Ritter, Celeste Holm, Anne Baxter and in a tiny but telling part, Marilyn Monroe - a graduate from the Copacabana school of dramatic art. Wittily prophetic. George Sanders is another piece of extraordinary casting and writing. "I'm essential to the theater" Indeed. And here is a film that has become essential to anyone who loves movies"
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