All About Eve

Bette_Davis_in_All_About_Eve_trailer.jpg

Dinner was 5 Spice Chickpea Udon Noodle Bowls from the amazing cookbook Protein Ninja. The movie was All About Eve.

Eric says:

All About Eve

1950

After the last couple of real clunkers this was a welcome change of pace! Bette Davis is marvelous. This movie (where the iconic “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” comes from) is just so good. All around. It’s weird enough, thought provoking enough, and well made enough, to be a classic in every sense. This film doesn’t seem 67 years old. It holds up so well.

George Saunders is brilliant as Addison Dewitt. I still can’t tell if I love him, or hate him, or something in between. That’s where this film succeeds so well – the in-between places. No character is really all that good or blameless or wonderful. All flawed, the four leads muddle through a supposed glamourous life like a bunch of high school kids in search of the next affirmation that they are cool enough, or hanging out with the right people.

Then we have Eve.

Eve is so infuriating and gross. I love it. Expertly played by Anne Baxter, the role of Eve Harrington is beautiful. From the poor little match girl act of the beginning to the tired diva of the closing, she is horrible and wonderful.

I absolutely love how woman-centric this film is. It’s funny, witty, smart and crazy and it’s like a suspense film wrapped up in a drama. Also, the sheer amount of smoking in this movie is insane.

As a bonus, as if this wasn’t good enough already, a young Marilyn Monroe as Miss Caswell is fantastic. I love it. She is smart and funny and wonderful.

This movie was made the same year as Sunset Blvd (an absolute favorite of mine) and it shares a lot of the same devices and themes. Both are almost all essentially flashbacks, which is a cool device. The self-reflectiveness of Hollywood at a time when the first wave of superstars was aging, looking at how we view fame, stardom, wealth, fanaticism, femininity, masculinity, loneliness, and what it means to be alone…both films do a great job of getting into all of these things. Sunset Blvd was up for Best Picture that year as well, and while part of me wishes THAT had won, All About Eve is fantastic.

If it wasn’t Sunset Blvd for best Picture in 1950, I’m glad it was All About Eve.

Rating 9.5/10

~~~

Darcy says:

All About Eve
“Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
Claudette Colbert was brilliant as aging thespian, Margo Channing, playing against
ingénue, Anne Baxter, who was cast because of her resemblance to Colbert. Well that’s
what the film’s producer had in mind, but Claudette was otherwise occupied so they had
to cast someone else. We might have watched Gloria Swanson vamping along
Sunset Boulevard last Sunday if they had chosen anyone but the queen of snark to star in
All About Eve. Some films are so actor dependent as to be impossible to imagine
otherwise, like Oz without Judy; Tara without Vivien; Manderley without Judith
Anderson.
“And she’ll tease you
She’ll unease you
All the better just to please you
She’s precocious and she knows just
What it takes to make a pro blush
She got Greta Garbo stand off sighs”
Donna Weiss, Jackie De Shannon
Be warned, this is Hollywood’s view of Broadway. You get Hollywood’s idea of
Broadway’s view of Hollywood when characters disappear into a hellish vortex out west
only to return to New York with pots of money when they’ve come to their senses. It
professes an introspective eye but there is a certain amount of jaundice and vitriol in the
overblown portrayal of “Theatah People,” For one thing you never see them act. The
stage is just a snake pit where Eve and Margo get to slither and hiss. Who knows what
kind of plays they were putting on? Why these plays were so successful is also a
mystery. More than anything, where did Eve learn to act? After all, Celeste Holm was
the only one completely taken in by Eve’s innocent shrinking violet character. Bette,
George, and us in the audience didn’t fall for little miss innocence. We all know Eve
didn’t eat the apple she made a pie and gobbled it all with ice cream and chocolate
sauce. However, she must have picked up a few pointers on her way to New Haven in
order to graciously receive the Sarah Siddons, (Welsh actress who died in 1831), award
in 1950. Strangely; the first such award was given to Helen Hayes in 1953.
“If you covered him with garbage
George Sanders would still have style”
Ray Davies
George Sanders pretends to play a man in the movie, difficult if you’re Beelzebub in a
bow time. One suspects he moved on from fleecing old ladies to writing columns using
Dorothy Parker’s dictum, ““The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and
sharpen my tongue.”
Pursuant to Stanislavski’s, “no small parts only small actors,” George shows up at
the party with a blond bimbonic actress who turns out to be an honest Eve. Like Gary
Cooper in Wings, Marilyn drops in and out rather quickly but thereafter the film seems to miss her like a jilted lover.
“You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
Goodbye Norma Jean”
Elton John
There are some other men in the film. They know their lines and look good in suits and
tuxedos providing window dressing for the star.
“But stand close by Bette Davis
Because hers was such a lonely life”
Ray Davies
So is it really a ten? Probably not, but it is so much fun and so over the top you just
gotta love it.
~~~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s