Monday, June 16, 2014

All About Eve (1950)

Bette Davis is right.

Strap yourselves in, folks. All About Eve is a must-see film.

Thank you, Joseph Mankiewicz, for writing and directing this incredible 1950 release. All About Eve earned 14 Oscar nominations and won six including best film, screenplay and director.

This drama boasts such a beautiful script with all kinds of delicious lines. It's also topical to watch more than 60 years later when the cult of celebrity is as strong as it ever was. The fate of actresses as they age and their transition from talk of the town to yesterday's news is also explored.

Eve (Anne Baxter) is a devoted fan to theatre giant Margo (Bette Davis). But Eve doesn't just want to worship Margo's talent. She wants to top her success. This lady is hooked on the "waves of love" audiences offer when they really like an actor's work. Eve gets a job as Margo's assistant and her manipulation accelerates.

She worms her way into Margo's life and proceeds to scheme and manipulate her way to major success. Only Margo's handler, Birdie (Thelma Ritter) is suspicious of Eve from the start. "You want an argument or an answer," Birdie tells Margo when she asks about Eve's actions.

Eve is a master at her craft, subtly weaving her spell to get others to do what she wants. Others, such as Margo, her friend Karen (Celeste Holm) and her playwright husband Lloyd (Hugh Marlowe) are out of their element against this master schemer. Eve is agreeable to using blackmail to get what she wants too.

George Sanders shines as theatre critic Addison DeWitt. This guy lives for the stage and its characters. Nothing else matters in his life. Only he is able to go toe-to-toe with Eve's scheming. Wait for when they're together in her suite. Sparks fly. "You're stepping way up in class," he warns her as they square off.

Eve's actions leave viewers slack-jawed at their audacity. She really is something else - and so is this movie.

My only real beef. The ending strikes this film fan as a copout with Eve ready to get a taste of her own medicine. But that's a small lament. Watch this film.

RATING: 9.5/10

FUN FACTS: Marilyn Monroe stands out with a small role as Miss Casswell, another young actress who dreams of success. But she's an amateur compared to Eve's cunning.

Hugh Marlowe and Gary Merrill, who appears as Bette Davis' boyfriend, appeared in Twelve O'Clock High. It's another one of Reel Popcorn Junkie's must-see films.

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