Sunday, July 18, 2010

All About Eve (1950)

All about Eve (1950) is one of those movies that I can’t believe I lived without watching for 24 years. It was so freaking fabulous that as soon as the movie was over I wanted to hit play and watch it all over again. It had every component a guilty pleasure should have – handsome men, beautiful women in amazing dresses, dramatic love stories, and awesome one liners. It was so good I almost couldn’t believe it won an Oscar (ah, take that diss Hollywood).

Made in 1950, it’s easy to see that All About Eve really set the tone for movies in the decade including one of the first appearances by Marilyn Monroe. And let me tell ya, I know totally understand what Kim Carnes was singing about in Betty Davis Eyes.

The film centers on the famous stage actress Margo Channing who finds her life turned upside down by the young, manipulative Eve Harrington.

The film begins at an awards ceremony for Eve, and then turns back in time to show the viewers how Eve became so famous. Eve befriends Margo’s best friend Karen Richards and her husband, Lloyd who is a playwright. She tells Karen how much she admires Margo’s work and Karen introduces the two of them. Margo is taken with Eve and how much she admires her, so she takes Eve under her wing. Eve moves in with Margo and becomes a sort of personal assistant. The only person who seems to suspect something is strange about Eve is Addison DeWitt, a theatre critic. Eve schemes her way into becoming Margo’s understudy and performs Margo’s role one night. The theatre critics love her and Margo begins to become very upset with Eve.

Lloyd is working on a new play which is set to star Margo, but Eve blackmails Karen into convincing Lloyd to give her the role. Eve takes the role and begins her next plan, which is to drive a wedge into Karen and Lloyds marriage and one day marry Lloyd. Addison Dewitt discovers that Eve is not who she says she is, but is Gertrude Slojinski a woman from Wisconsin who was paid to leave town after an affair with her former boss. DeWitt blackmails Eve saying that she now belongs to him.

Eve becomes a famous Broadway actress and the film ends as it begins, at an award ceremony. Eve receives the top honor for a theatre actress. When she returns home she see that a young female fan, named Pheobe has slipped into her apartment. Pheobe begins to take care of Eve, and the movie ends with Pheobe wearing Eve’s clothes holding Eve’s award.

Ah, the circle of life.

This film has some serious staying power. It’d be a great one to remake. Maybe with Meryl Streep as Margo and Michelle Williams as Eve. Love it!

I couldn't find a decent trailer for this movie, which is unfortunate.  But I did find a clip of the famous "bumpy night" line.

All About Eve was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture and Best Director. Unfortunately neither Betty Davis (Margo) or Anne Baxter (Eve) won Oscars for their performances, even though they were AMAZING in this movie.

This movie is the origin of AFI's 9th Most Memorable Movie Quote - "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."  It's the 16th Best Movie of All Time according to AFI also. 

I’m going to give All About Eve five statuettes out of five, a perfect score for a perfect movie.

1 comment:

  1. I love this film! It shows Bette at her best! I can watch this one over and over. Great blog, keep it coming!