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.
During the scene in the out-of-gas car, Margo tells Karen that she loves Bill, but she's afraid that Bill is actually in love with "Margo Channing", the stage persona, instead of Margo Channing the woman: "Bill's in love with Margo Channing. He's fought with her, worked with her, loved her... but ten years from now -- Margo Channing will have ceased to exist. And what's left will be, what?" Bette Davis and Gary Merrill, who married after filming this movie together, did indeed divorce almost exactly ten years to the day after their wedding. Davis was quoted as saying that they had married their characters from the movie, rather than the actual people. See more »
When Addison slaps Eve in the hotel room, her head snaps toward him rather than away, indicating a "stage" slap. See more »
I will regard this great honor not so much as an award for what I have achieved, but a standard to hold against what I have yet to accomplish.
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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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