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IMDb > All About Eve (1950)
All About Eve
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All About Eve (1950)

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User Rating: 8.4/10 (19,336 votes)
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Overview
Writer:
Joseph L. Mankiewicz (written by)
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Release Date:
15 January 1951 (Sweden) more view trailer
Genre:
Drama more
Tagline:
It's all about women---and their men!
Plot Outline:
An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. more
Plot Keywords:
Satirical / Star / Urban / Actor's Life / Satire more
Awards:
Won 6 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 15 nominations more
User Comments:
One of the Greatest (Flaws and All) more

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 Sampson
Hugh Marlowe ... Lloyd Richards
Gregory Ratoff ... Max Fabian
Barbara Bates ... Phoebe

Marilyn Monroe ... Miss Caswell
Thelma Ritter ... Birdie Coonan
Walter Hampden ... Master of Ceremonies
Randy Stuart ... Girl
Craig Hill ... Leading man
Leland Harris ... Doorman
Barbara White ... Autograph seeker
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Additional Details
Also Known As:
Best Performance (USA) (working title)
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Runtime:
138 min
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 more
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
UK:A (original rating) / UK:U (video rating) (1987) / Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) / Canada:G (Quebec) / Canada:A (Nova Scotia) / Argentina:13 / Australia:PG / Chile:14 / Finland:S / Peru:14 / Spain:13 / USA:Unrated / West Germany:12
MOVIEmeter: ?
V 3% since last week why?

Fun Stuff
Trivia:
Bette Davis admitted later on that Joseph L. Mankiewicz's casting her in this movie saved her career from oblivion after a series of unsuccessful movies. She said in a 1983 interview, "He resurrected me from the dead." more
Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: After Margo reads the note written by Eve, Bill says, "I understand she's the understudy in there." However, when he turns his head to the camera, his lips aren't forming any words. more
Quotes:
Margo Channing: [in front of her boyfriend, Bill] I love you, Max. I really mean it. I love you. Come to the pantry.
[She leaves]
Max Fabian: [to Bill] She loves me like a father. Also, she's loaded.
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Movie Connections:
Referenced in Gay Sex in the 70s (2005) more
Soundtrack:
Manhattan more

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User Comments (Comment on this title)
35 out of 49 people found the following comment useful:-
One of the Greatest (Flaws and All), 28 January 2006
10/10
Author: JSlack-2 from USA

There have been a few perfect and near-perfect films, but ALL ABOUT EVE, as much as I love it, isn't one of the them. Even though it is one of the greatest films ever made, it is not without its share of flaws.

1. The time scheme in this movie is more than a little specious. The action takes place on a single night, but the flashback which forms the heart and core of the movie occurs in a period from October of one year to June of the following year, giving Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) only nine months to go from conniving, manipulating unknown to Broadway star, household name, Hollywood hopeful and the subject of all those "Eve Harrington clubs they have in most of the girls' high schools." If this brief period of time is meant to be used satirically, that purpose isn't made clear.

2. Two of the three male actors are just barely adequate. Gary Merrill as the Broadway director and Hugh Marlowe as the author of the plays in question don't look remotely like the characters they play, and their average-guy skills don't do much to heighten the film. Without the great lines Joseph L. Mankiewicz provides, even George Sanders as the critic and commentator Addison, "that venomous fishwife" and "professional manure slinger" wouldn't contribute anything except a certain look and a gift for perfect diction. This part is really just a 1940s-1950s style she-male in disguise, and Sanders doesn't even play him as the flamboyant queen he's meant to be. Instead he settles for a weary monotone, as though he were half asleep. It is ironic that of all the many fine performances in the film, Sanders is the only one to receive an Oscar.

3. As Margo Channing, Bette Davis takes possession of the greatest role she ever played. For most of it she is magnificent. However, particularly in her early scenes, she is a bit too eager and breathless with anticipation to get on to her next brilliant line. The relationship between her and her friend and companion (Thelma Ritter) is a bit too arch to accept--how can one smart-mouth be so compatible with another? Margo doesn't know where the stage stops and reality begins, and there are times when Miss Davis' lines sound too rehearsed, too unspontaneous. The plot device of her befriending Eve is just that--a plot device. It is doubtful that someone of Margo's experience and temperament would be so easily taken in. In her phone conversation to her lover-director (Gary Merrill), she isn't the tiniest bit believable until Eve's name is mentioned, and all at once she seems stricken, with looks of pain and bewilderment and maybe a sense of recognition dawning all playing across her face.

4. The film doesn't ingratiate itself to the viewer by trying to turn that despicable arch queen Addison into a macho purveyor of power and influence. There is even a hint of an affair between him and Eve! Addison is such a pitiful, self-obsessed boob that how can anyone imagine him in bed with anyone but himself?

ENOUGH ABOUT THE FLAWS! For the better part of the film Bette Davis is terrific. Her rants and tantrums are all believable, as long as she shows us the motivation. The coming home party when she first suspects Eve is making a play for her man; her outburst following the disastrous audition of Miss Caswell (Marilyn Monroe), when she learns that Eve has been signed on as her understudy--these scenes are highly volatile with a sense of purpose, and brilliantly played.

The strengths of this film easily outweigh its flaws. Joseph L. Mankiewicz' script is one of the wittiest, most intelligent, most sophisticated and compelling pieces of writing ever adapted to the screen, and must be the greatest cerebral comedy-drama ever written. Even though there are minor slips such as Margo's being an hour and a half late for Miss Caswell's audition (even moderately talented stage actresses must have an awareness of time, and Margo is a great one), there are so many beautifully written sequences and the quotient of wit is so high that ALL ABOUT EVE is a classic if only for its writing.

It may seem sacrilegious to think this since Bette Davis is my favorite actress and this is her greatest film (though not her greatest performance), and I know I am in the minority, but here it is: Anne Baxter gives the best performance in the film. ALL ABOUT EVE may be far from a perfect film, but Miss Baxter gives a perfect performance. She is Eve Harrington, convincingly and confidently. In a legendary year for great female acting, hers is the best of 1950.

In her early scenes Miss Baxter is timid, modest, flattering, a bit over-eager--everything that Eve should be. During her recitation in Margo's dressing room early in the picture, she manages to turn the entire room into her audience; she is giving the first important performance of her career. I like the way Anne Baxter stands during the airport sequence, demurely averting her eyes as Miss Davis and Merrill kiss. Later, when she watches Margo taking her curtain calls, she cries not because she has been moved by Margo's performance (as she claims) because she knows in her gut she should be playing this part. When Margo discovers her in a mock-curtain call with her discarded costume, there is a look of genuine panic on Eve's face which is quite unsettling.

The final scene of the film is sheer perfection. It's a bit jarring on the first viewing. Why bring in another character (Phoebe, the high school student and aspiring actress) with the movie winding down? That she will eventually become what Eve is, now that Eve has become what Margo was, is a superb way of dramatizing the themes of ongoing duplicity and raw ambition.

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