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All About Eve (1950)

Passed | | Drama | 27 October 1950 (USA)
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An ingénue insinuates herself into the lives of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Writer:

Joseph L. Mankiewicz (written for the screen by)
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Popularity
3,920 ( 560)
Top Rated Movies #116 | Won 6 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Margo Channing
Anne Baxter ... Eve Harrington
George Sanders ... Addison DeWitt
Celeste Holm ... Karen Richards
Gary Merrill ... Bill Simpson
Hugh Marlowe ... Lloyd Richards
Gregory Ratoff ... Max Fabian
Barbara Bates ... Phoebe
Marilyn Monroe ... Miss Casswell
Thelma Ritter ... Birdie Coonan
Walter Hampden ... Aged Actor
Randy Stuart ... Girl
Craig Hill ... Leading Man
Leland Harris Leland Harris ... Doorman
Barbara White Barbara White ... Autograph Seeker
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's all about women---and their men!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

27 October 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Best Performance See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,177, 8 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,177, 8 October 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 66 critic reviews. See more »

Goofs

When Addison slaps Eve in the hotel room, her head snaps toward him rather than away, indicating a "stage" slap. See more »

Quotes

Margo: Where is Princess... fire and music?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Empty Nest: All About Harry (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Liebestraum
(1850) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Liszt
Played on the piano at the party when Margo is sitting with the pianist
Also heard on the car radio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superb Acting And Dialogue
20 February 2010 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

What a movie! It's the cinematic ideal, the standard by which subsequent films are judged, at least in terms of acting and dialogue. Maybe the camera, which does nothing but sit there as the actors act, could have been made a little less static. But the story screams stage play, which implies lots of talk and not much "action". The film doesn't pretend to do all things. But what it does do, it does extremely well.

As Margo, Bette Davis gives what I would consider one of the best performances, if not the best performance, in any film I have ever seen. She truly becomes Margo, that "fixture of the theater", so beloved yet so insecure. And as Eve, "the mousy one, with the trench coat and the funny hat", breathy Anne Baxter proves adept at subtleties that allow her character to change gradually over time.

Then there's George Sanders who effortlessly slips into the role of witty, urbane, pompous Addison DeWitt, columnist magnifico, a man whose high opinion of himself allows him to declare to us, as viewers, that he is "essential to the theater". Celeste Holm and reliable Thelma Ritter give topnotch performances as well.

And the Mankiewicz script, which tells the story of a group of theater people, is heavy on dialogue, but it's totally believable, as characters talk shop and interrelate, by means of suitable verbal conflict and subtle subtext. Even more than that, the dialogue is witty and clever, with tons of theatrical metaphors, like when Bill (Gary Merrill) angrily tells Margo: "And to intimate anything else doesn't spell jealousy to me, it spells a paranoid insecurity that you should be ashamed of." To which Margo just as angrily spits out: "Cut, print it, what happens in the next reel? Do I get dragged off screaming to the snake pits?"

One of my favorite scenes has several people sitting on a stairway at a party. A curvaceous but bird-brained Miss Casswell (Marilyn Monroe), "from the Copacabana school of acting", desires another drink. "Oh waiter!", she yells out. Addison schools her: "That isn't a waiter, my dear; that's a butler." To which she fires back: "Well I can't yell 'Oh butler', can I? Maybe somebody's name is Butler". Addison then concedes: "You have a point, an idiotic one, but a point."

I'm not sure I really like the characters in this film. Generally, they're self-absorbed, vain, haughty, and backbiting. They're not all that likable. And that would be my only serious complaint.

Otherwise, "All About Eve" is a film that excels at great language and great acting. If ever there was a film that deserves the status of "classic", this is surely it.


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