Eve White is a quiet, mousy, unassuming wife and mother who keeps suffering from headaches and occasional black outs. Eventually she is sent to see psychiatrist Dr. Luther, and, while under hypnosis, a whole new personality emerges: the racy, wild, fun-loving Eve Black. Under continued therapy, yet a third personality appears, the relatively stable Jane. This film, based on the true-life case of a multiple personality, chronicles Dr. Luther's attempts to reconcile the three faces of Eve. multiple personalities.Written by
'The Three Faces of Eve' tells the true story of a housewife who suffers from the condition recognized as dissociative identity disorder today. Nunnally Johnson's movie entirely focuses on the experience of Eve White, Eve Black and Jane during a period of a couple of years beginning from the time she started visiting her psychologist. This is unlike many of the 50s movies I've seen because it deals with several adult themes such as divorce, spousal abuse, sex and childhood trauma unlike the comparatively melodramatic films that were so popular at the time. Nunnally proves to be a fine storyteller as the meticulous writing is rich, tight and full of depth and the direction is great. I liked how he showed the 'treatment process'. It was cleverly downplayed in the story. The execution is done with skill. 'The Three Faces of Eve' has some outstanding nuanced performances. Lee J. Cobb is restrained as Eve's psychologist but it is Joanne Woodward who carries the film. She is simply sublime. Since then there have been numerous movies on dissociative identity disorder but 'The Three Faces of Eve' is the pioneer but that's not the reason why the movie ought to be watched because even as a stand alone, it works very well as a captivating character study.
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