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All About Eve

It's on TCM right now.

It's probably the favorite of all datalounge movies, and I've never quite understood why. I'll admit it's very funny, with great wisecracks, and both Bette Davis, George Sanders, and Thelma Ritter are terrific (as is Marilyn Monroe in her small part). But the other actors aren't, and there's absolutely no subtext to the film. All of its meanings are right there on the surface, and they're not terribly deep.

by Anonymousreply 13201/30/2013

I just like the way Bette Davis crunches her celery stick while glaring at Addison Dewitt.

by Anonymousreply 103/31/2011

OP just doesn't get it.

by Anonymousreply 203/31/2011

Wait till HBO and I turn it into a 6 hour mini series!

by Anonymousreply 303/31/2011

Streisand wanted Sondheim to turn it into a film musical for her. And I'm not talking about the awful "Applause". It was going to be a completely new musical. I don't know why they never did it.

by Anonymousreply 403/31/2011

One guess, R4?

Sondheim didn't see the need or the point.

by Anonymousreply 503/31/2011

Sadly Op...it used to be one of my favorites.

And then I watched it too many times.

by Anonymousreply 603/31/2011

I thought Anne Baxter and Celeste Holm were perfect in this, as well. Hugh Marlowe and Gary Merill are deservedly forgotten today - they're limited actors, but their parts didn't call for much else. %0D %0D It's considered to have one of the greatest scripts in Hollywood history, which is why it's so revered, and not just with the gays.

by Anonymousreply 703/31/2011

OP, it is easily one of the wittiest screenplays ever written, the best film about the theater ever made, and just a good time. Just give in to its pleasures and enjoy. And PS, probably not a good idea to use the word "both" when talking about 4 different people.

by Anonymousreply 803/31/2011

Why must they all look like nappy rabbits?

by Anonymousreply 903/31/2011

Gary Merrill was pretty famous in his day, but if he's remembered at all today it's as Bette Davis's drunken asshole 4th husband. Even Bette herself said in her later years she didn't know WTF she was thinking when she married him.

by Anonymousreply 1003/31/2011

This is the first time I've ever watched it. I'm enjoying it, but having seen George Sanders in several movies, he seems to play the same role every time. Has he ever played someone that wasn't a conniving, smug cad?

by Anonymousreply 1103/31/2011

I will undoubtedly earn the ire of R8, but while I agree with most of those assertions, I don't actually think it is about the theatre. Among other things, it was penned by a man who never spent any time working in the theatre. (Certainly not when AAE was written.)

Witty? Yes. Insightful? Absolutely? A script with splendid scenes and roles? For sure? One of American cinema's sharpest comedies? I adore it.

Best film about the theatre?

I think a far better film about the theatre and the nuts and bolts of putting on a real show is TOPSY-TURVY.

by Anonymousreply 1303/31/2011

R13, the movie screenplay was based on a short story by Mary Orr, who based it on events in the life of Elisabeth Bergner, who was an actress in the theatre in Switzerland & Germany (& in English & American movies after WWI).

by Anonymousreply 1403/31/2011

Indeed, R14.

Have you read the story? Have you read the play adaptation, THE WISDOM OF EVE.

The kernel of the story - the young actor conniving her way to the stardom is Orr's. Otherwise, the screenplay, its characters, plot, dialogue, etc. is entirely Mankiewicz's.

[quote] The story of All About Eve originated in an anecdote related to Mary Orr by actress Elisabeth Bergner. While performing in The Two Mrs. Carrolls during 1943 and 1944, Bergner allowed a young fan to become part of her household and employed her as an assistant, but later regretted her generosity when the woman attempted to undermine her. Referring to her only as "the terrible girl," Bergner related the events to Orr, who used it as the basis for her short story "The Wisdom of Eve" (1946). In the story, Orr gives the girl a more ruthless character and allows her to succeed in stealing the career of the older actress. Bergner later confirmed the basis of the story in her autobiography Bewundert viel, und viel gescholten (Greatly Admired and Greatly Scolded).

[quote]In 1949, Mankiewicz was considering a story about an aging actress and, upon reading "The Wisdom of Eve," felt the conniving girl would be a useful added element. He sent a memo to Darryl F. Zanuck saying it "fits in with an original idea [of mine] and can be combined. Superb starring role for Susan Hayward." Mankiewicz presented a film treatment of the combined stories under the title Best Performance. He changed the main character's name from Margola Cranston to Margo Channing and retained several of Orr's characters, Eve Harrington, Lloyd and Karen Richards, and Miss Caswell, while removing Margo Channing's husband completely and replacing him with a new character, Bill Sampson. The intention was to depict Channing in a new relationship and allow Eve Harrington to threaten both Channing's professional and personal lives. Mankiewicz also added the characters Addison DeWitt, Birdie Coonan, Max Fabian, and Phoebe.

So I stand by my statement: it was written by someone who had, to that point, never worked in the theatre.

by Anonymousreply 1503/31/2011

Anne Baxter just isn't very good as Eve. She's ridiculous when she's worn out by Addison's arguments and is stretched out on the bed saying, "Yes, Addison... yes, Addison..."

And it's also very hard to believe Addison DeWitt is supposed to be straight (even though George Sanders himself WAS straight).

by Anonymousreply 1603/31/2011

[quote]Why must they all look like nappy rabbits?%0D %0D Un-HAPPY rabbits.

by Anonymousreply 1703/31/2011

You won't earn my ire R13, I think Topsy Turvy is an excellent film, and is a great example of the nuts and bolts of putting on a show. But that isn't what All About Eve is about, so I wouldn't compare the two. When I say it is the greatest film about the theater, I mean the world of theater, the passion, the sheer love of the art.

by Anonymousreply 1803/31/2011

Ambition, betrayal, birthday party, rehearsal, long distance phone calls, cigarettes, martinis, long frocks, chocolates, furs and marilyn monroe.

by Anonymousreply 1903/31/2011

A pleasure to meet you, R18!

I think we still differ, but we are on the same page, and with equal enthusiasm for two marvelous movies.

by Anonymousreply 2003/31/2011

I didn't care for Baxter's performance. It reminded me too much of Eleanor Parker's Baroness in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Yes, I know SOM came 15 years later, but I saw that first as a kid and when I watched EVE later as a young adult, Eve reminded me of the Elsa. Same campy, breathy mannerisms.

by Anonymousreply 2103/31/2011

The original Margo was Claudette Colbert, who broke her back and had to pull out.

by Anonymousreply 2203/31/2011

I stand corrected, I always thought it was nappy rabbits. I prefer my version.

by Anonymousreply 2303/31/2011

I love Eve's cape. Gorgeous.

by Anonymousreply 2403/31/2011

[quote]The original Margo was Claudette Colbert, who broke her back and had to pull out.

It is just my pedantic nature, but CC was not the original Margo. She was the person that was cast, but she never filmed a single scene.

I would think it was closer to say that she was the first person cast as Margo, but since she never played the role, she was not the original Margo.

Davis, but any standard, originated the role.

by Anonymousreply 2503/31/2011

I thought it was nappy rabbits too, and I also think it fits better.

by Anonymousreply 2603/31/2011

It IS nappy rabbits not unhappy rabbits!

by Anonymousreply 2703/31/2011

R11, George Sanders was typecast as a supercilious cad but occasionally got to work outside the box Hollywood put him in; for example, he stars alongside Ingrid Bergman in Roberto Rossellini's [italic]Viaggio in Italia[/italic]. Film historian David Thomson wrote of Sanders's performance: "Rossellini boldly cut through irritability to the shy observer of life who hid behind Sanders's barbs. The actor was visibly unsettled by this and by the heat and spontaneity of Naples, and thus he more profoundly resembled an inhibited English snob at a loss with his marriage."%0D %0D Sanders is also very good in a supporting role in [italic]The Ghost and Mrs. Muir[/italic] as Gene Tierney's married lover.

by Anonymousreply 2803/31/2011

[quote]It IS nappy rabbits not unhappy rabbits!

Which is why Addison then tells Ms. Caswell to go and make them... nappy?

by Anonymousreply 2903/31/2011

No subtext?? Jesus Christ, it's about power, human venality, the business of art, role-playing, illusion and reality, romantic folly, the artist and non-artist in society, friendship, marriage, identity...I could go on and on. %0D %0D NO SUBTEXT????????????????????????????

by Anonymousreply 3003/31/2011

George Sanders was not straight, dearies. He was a bisexual.

by Anonymousreply 3103/31/2011

It's a shame it was so underappreciated when it first came out. I'm glad these otherwise forgotten gems can find an audience on TCM. It's heartbreaking that its potential was only realized years after most of the cast had died.

by Anonymousreply 3203/31/2011

All About Eve became such a gay-beloved film because it was Bette Davis at her absolute best, and because 50% of the script was witty little epigrams that could be lifted out and quoted standalone at parties.

by Anonymousreply 3303/31/2011

It's a scallion, asshole!

by Anonymousreply 3403/31/2011

Bette's stage business with the chocolate (while arguing with Merrill before the party) is genius. Likewise her scene with the celery.

by Anonymousreply 3503/31/2011

[quote]No subtext?? Jesus Christ, it's about power, human venality, the business of art, role-playing, illusion and reality, romantic folly, the artist and non-artist in society, friendship, marriage, identity...I could go on and on.

That's all on the surface.

by Anonymousreply 3603/31/2011

[quote]It's a shame it was so underappreciated when it first came out. I'm glad these otherwise forgotten gems can find an audience on TCM. It's heartbreaking that its potential was only realized years after most of the cast had died.

HUH? HUH?

What year do you think that its, "full potential was realized?"

Trust me, as someone who grew up in the '60s and '70s, it was already regarded as one of the finest comedies produced in America.

That was long before David or Baxter or Mankiewicz died.

by Anonymousreply 3703/31/2011

It won 6 Oscars, 2 awards at Cannes, and BAFTA, DGA, WGA, New York Film Critics Circle awards among others, R32. It was about the furthest from "underappreciated" a film can be.

by Anonymousreply 3803/31/2011

OMG - Hugh Marlowe was Jim Matthews.

by Anonymousreply 3903/31/2011

"Unhappy rabbits."

Lord, go to the source, people.

by Anonymousreply 4003/31/2011

Hugh Marlowe was brilliant in 'Earth vs the Flying Saucers' and bares a memorably hairy back at the End fade-out.

by Anonymousreply 4103/31/2011

Bette married Gary Merrill because, as she said, "I love hairy men!" %0D %0D Since apparently Hugh was hairy as well, according to R41, perhaps a shirtless scene between these two actors might have brought some life to their otherwise dull performances. %0D %0D (If nothing else, these two actors prove that not everyone can pull off dialogue like that in AAE; if you're good, you can make it sound effortless but Hugh and Gary have to work hard to get those sentences out of their mouths.)%0D %0D AAE is a good "screenplay" because the screenplay is the best. The best line about Mankiewicz' "directing" came from his son who said that, for his father, an "action scene" was opening a door.%0D %0D The brilliance of Davis, Ritter, Sanders, Holm and, briefly, Monroe, make up for whatever the other actors are lacking. (Yes, "Mary!!!!")%0D %0D I don't Thelma Ritter was ever better. Her Oscar loss rivals Davis' (though it would have hurt less if Bette had lost to Gloria).

by Anonymousreply 4203/31/2011

Pauline Kael's review pretty much sums up my reactions to it:

"Ersatz art of a very high grade, and one of the most enjoyable movies ever made. A young aspiring actress, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), intrigues to take the place of an aging star (Bette Davis), on stage and in bed, and the battle is fought with tooth, claw, and a battery of epigrams. The synthetic has qualities of its own--glib, overexplicit, self-important, the 'You're sneaky and corrupt but so am I--we belong to each other darling' style of writing. The scriptwriter-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's bad taste, exhibited with verve, is more fun than careful, mousy, dehydrated good taste. His nonsense about 'theatre' is saved by one thing: Bette Davis is at her most instinctive and assured. Her actress--vain, scared, a woman who goes too far in her reactions and emotions--makes the whole thing come alive (though it's hard to believe Anne Baxter could ever be a threat to Bette Davis)."

by Anonymousreply 4303/31/2011

I always thought this movie would work if all the characters were gay men.%0D %0D %0D %0D I picture a John Gielgud type as "Margo"

by Anonymousreply 4404/01/2011

Any pics of Hugh Marlowe's hairy back in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers??

by Anonymousreply 4504/01/2011

"Make someone nappy, make just one someone nappy! And you will be nappy, too!"

by Anonymousreply 4604/01/2011

"And it's also very hard to believe Addison DeWitt is supposed to be straight (even though George Sanders himself WAS straight)."%0D %0D Um, no dearest, Addidon is NOT supposed to be straight; neither is Eve. And Sanders called himself bisexual, which in those days (and sometimes these days) meant a queen sitting on the fence. %0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 4704/01/2011

Agree Anne Baxter is the weak link- but oh my God, Bette Davis gives one the the great performances of all time- she is the screen actress consumate in this one- her pinky acts, her eyelash acts... and MM shows in a few minutes why she would go on to be just as magnetic as Davis. George S is perfections if type cast perfectly- who cares- the script is perfect except as Kael says when it gets all mushy about the theatre- which Davis saves with her vanity smashing all the muck to pieces. %0D %0D Love it every time.

by Anonymousreply 4804/01/2011

Anne Baxter's stardom was always kind of a mystery to me. There is nothing extraordinary about her or her acting. I was struck by her ordinariness as she left the awards ceremony and went back to her apartment. She was all dolled up in some very pretty clothes and yet they did nothing for her. Average looks, average body that looked rather stumpy to me.%0D %0D She was architect Frank Lloyd Wright's granddaughter.

by Anonymousreply 4904/01/2011

"Birdie, you don't like Miss Harrington, do you?"

by Anonymousreply 5004/01/2011

R50, THAT'S why it worked for the character Eve (yes, it did). As played by Baxter, Eve was so unassuming, everyone believed her act. Except for Birdie...

by Anonymousreply 5104/01/2011

Gary Merrill played opposite Judy Holiday in the stage version of "Born Yesterday". I wonder who he was rooting for in the Oscar race?

by Anonymousreply 5204/01/2011

"Oh, that word again. I don't even know what it MEANS!"

Favorite overlooked line!

by Anonymousreply 5304/01/2011

I love the movie. I love the movie. I love the movie.

My one sorrow?

Thelma Ritter's character disappears. I am not saying Mank made a mistake - Birdie is not useful to the narrative after the party - but her brand of everything suits me to the ground.

by Anonymousreply 5404/01/2011

Sub-text is not a necessary requirement of a well-made film or play.

by Anonymousreply 5504/01/2011

I love how everybody smoked and drank everywhere they went.

by Anonymousreply 5604/01/2011

Or in the case of Jacques Tati, text isn't much of a requirement, R55.

by Anonymousreply 5704/01/2011

"Addison is NOT supposed to be straight."

Then why does he have that line to Eve about how she now "belongs" to him -- and the other line, something like, "That I should want you at all strikes me as ridiculous"? It seems clear that he's talking in sexual terms.

by Anonymousreply 5804/01/2011

To the naked ear it sounds like that, r58. But both have "contempt for humanity," code for queer. %0D %0D He owns her as a prize after her stage success. And she is forbidden by Addison to seek out other men or companions to further her career.

by Anonymousreply 5904/01/2011

R13, it's spelled theater.%0D %0D T-H-E-A-T-E-R.

by Anonymousreply 6004/01/2011

I confess, R60, I have always obeyed you in all things.

In this matter, however, I feel my obedience will end.

In this, I will not let you rule me!

In the future, of course, I will resume my utter subservience.

by Anonymousreply 6104/01/2011

Oh, and by the way, R60...

But by all means, keep correcting me.

I love it!

by Anonymousreply 6204/01/2011

WISDOM OF EVE You can now perform the play.

by Anonymousreply 6304/01/2011

[quote]Bette's stage business with the chocolate (while arguing with Merrill before the party) is genius.

My God, yes, and not just genius with the chocolate. Watch her face during the entire scene while Gary Merrill is ragging on her for her ragging on him about spending time with Eve. Just superb. Her drunk scene, while sitting next to the poor piano player who plods through "Liebestraum" five straight times, is icing on the cake.

Yes, it was a scallion that Margo bit into in the Cub Room. That's why Bill says "Why take it out on me?" and responds by chomping on another scallion. This way they'll have onion breath together.

Agreed that Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlowe are pretty much nonentities in this. As they used to say, it's a woman's vehicle. George Sanders does well because he's got panache, a trait you can never associate with Merrill and Marlowe, both of whom are too straight to really take the material for a ride.

[quote]Then why does he have that line to Eve about how she now "belongs" to him -- and the other line, something like, "That I should want you at all strikes me as ridiculous"? It seems clear that he's talking in sexual terms.

Addison DeWitt is like Clifton Webb's character in "Laura". It is confusing if you think of this in sexual terms, but it makes sense if you think of this as a total power trip. Both characters wanted complete control over every aspect of these women's lives. It's a desire to be Pygmalion since it's doubtful there will be sex involved.

by Anonymousreply 6404/01/2011

R62, you got me with that one. How could I possibly doubt some two-bit blogger?

by Anonymousreply 6504/01/2011

I wish is was prettier to look at. The cinematography always struck me as dull and dusty.%0D %0D And the men - I can't. They had no idea what they were doing, except of course for ADW, and he was loathesome.%0D %0D But taking jabs at this particular film is useless - ever since I was a mere gayling, there too was All About Eve, in bars, retro houses, people's living rooms. I do watch when it's on but basically I agree with Kael on this one. It just never moved me.

by Anonymousreply 6604/01/2011

R65, you're right.

Only a fool would listen to spelling advice from some two-bit blogger.

So how far below a two-bit blogger would you rate a Data Lounge poster?

by Anonymousreply 6704/01/2011

But the biggest mystery has always been: Why didn't Bette make another great film after All About Eve? She never played another role that came anywhere near Margo.%0D %0D I don't think she ever even worked with Mankiewicz again, though their professional relationship was apparently entirely amiable.

by Anonymousreply 6804/01/2011

I'm knitting you a scarf. Call me when you get it.

by Anonymousreply 6904/01/2011

Well, I for one think Gary Merrill was actually pretty dishy as Bill. I can totally see how Bette fell for him during the shoot.%0D %0D Even Hugh Marlowe is perfectly fine and believable as the plodding playwright perfectly matched to hausfrau Celeste Holm.%0D %0D Supposedly, Jeanne Crain had been cast as Eve but her imminent pregnancy kept her from the playing the role...which is a shame because she did have a certain Ann Blyth-ish kind of venomous beauty that Ann Baxter completely lacked. %0D %0D I have always wondered if Birdie was in a scene or two late in the film that had been cut. Anyone know?

by Anonymousreply 7004/01/2011

Scroll down for Marlowe's hairy back. It's amusing that you get quite a few hits when you google the phrase.

by Anonymousreply 7104/01/2011

IMO, I think Anne Baxter gets a bit of a bum rap re: her performance. Eve is by far the most difficult role as far as a character arc - not unlike how hard it is to find good Eliza Doolittle... someone that can play both the guttersnipe and the transformation.

I think AB's best scene in the whole movie, by far, is the last scene (with "I CALL myself 'Phoebe'"), when she sounds like Suzanne Pleshette after her third pack and really lets the lesbian subtext come through. When she says "Erasmus Hall - that's in Brooklyn, isn't it?" in this jaded, world weary voice, she's right on the money.

Maybe that's the problem... she has to lay on the mousy bit so heavy in the early scenes, which was so far removed from the broad Baxter was in real life (not surprising that Davis and Baxter got along so well). I dunno, could an actress who truly was an innocent played the qualities in the later parts of the film? And who?

Could Jeanne Crain pulled it off? Donna Reed?

PS: Fascinating how Thelma Ritter actually gets billed BELOW Barbara Bates in the credits, when she's one of the two or three most memorable characters in the film. It just shows to go you that it's not the number of lines, it's what you do with them.

by Anonymousreply 7204/01/2011

Anne Baxter was innocence itself in MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS but I guess Hollywood happened to her.

by Anonymousreply 7304/01/2011

R72 here.

Sorry, I left out the word "have" twice in my post...

"could an actress who truly was an innocent HAVE played the qualities..."

and

"Could Jeanne Crain HAVE pulled it off..."

by Anonymousreply 7404/01/2011

To add to this great discussion, that is GINGERBREAD that Bette is eating, not chocolate. You see, they filmed the scene early in the morning and Bette said she simply could NOT eat chocolate that early in the morning (it would make her hurl, understandably) since they had to do multiple takes and she would have to eat a fair amount of whatever was in the dish. Take after take. So, dark gingerbread was used. It filmed as candy.%0D %0D Anne Baxter modeled her "Eve voice" after June Allyson. You see, she PLAYED Eve as a rather sugary nice "fake" character on purpose since the character was a manipulative phony and that voice was part of the "act." We see the "real" Eve much later with Addison, Karen and then with Phoebe. Hard boiled bitch. But for much of the film she intentionally wanted to sound like June Allyson! Not many people know that.

by Anonymousreply 7504/01/2011

Well then, it's a shame it never registers as Allyson because it's a brilliant idea.

by Anonymousreply 7604/01/2011

Bette Davis and Anne Baxter became good friends during the filming of AAE and remained close until Baxter's death. %0D %0D And of course we all know Bette and Celeste did not get along at all.%0D %0D Thelma Ritter's original line was "Everything but the bloodhounds snapping at her ass" but the censors made Mankiewicz change "ass" to "rear end." %0D %0D Bette should have won the Oscar. One of the biggest WTF moments in Oscar history. Her Margo Channing is one of the top five greatest performances ever given by an actress.

by Anonymousreply 7704/01/2011

A must have for any fans of the movie...

by Anonymousreply 7804/01/2011

[quote]To add to this great discussion, that is GINGERBREAD that Bette is eating, not chocolate

This is an April Fool's post, right? She specifically refers to them as chocolate.

Also, relating to food use and bits of business in the show...After Eve's betrayal, when they are at the restaurant...they're drinking Bloody Marys, and the vegetable she crunches while giving Addison the evil eye is certainly a celery stick, because scallions just don't have that level of malicious crunch.

The "why take it out on me" from Merrill isn't referring to the onion breath, it's the evil eye left over when Bette Davis turns to look at him, after having sent Dewitt to hell with a curse conferred by her eyelashes.

by Anonymousreply 7904/01/2011

I was sure it was celery because you don't put scallions in a Bloody Mary. And there certainly wasn't a relish tray on the table (although it would have been funny to see Margot hold up a radish and show it to Addison).

by Anonymousreply 8004/01/2011

[quote]She specifically refers to them as chocolate.%0D %0D Referred to as chocolate but actually gingerbread.

by Anonymousreply 8104/01/2011

I've always wondered if they were really drinking martinis during the party scene. God knows Bette could knock them back in real life.

by Anonymousreply 8204/01/2011

According to Robert Osbourne, Bette had to shave her back to appear presentable in the party dress.

by Anonymousreply 8404/01/2011

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I totally would've fucked Gary Merrill.

by Anonymousreply 8504/01/2011

Oh,and r79, below is the section of the actual SCRIPT that describes what Margo chomped as an ONION. And that is why Bill asks "Why take it out on me?" It refers to her onion breath.%0D %0D Now, of course, she might have literally chomped on a celery stalk because it would make a bigger noise and have a bigger effect on film.%0D %0D I hope you can understand that since that gingerbread/chocolate thing really threw you for a loop. Things in movies are not always what they seem. You don't seem very bright. Sorry.%0D %0D %0D ADDISON%0D t Karen! How nice...%0D %0D She walks past him without a word. He smiles, looks toward%0D the group. He raises his glass in a toast. %0D %0D Margo responds to the toast by waving an onion with a grand%0D flourish, then eating it. %0D %0D tttBILL %0D t Very effective. But why take it out%0D t on me? %0D %0D He eats one in self-defense. %0D

by Anonymousreply 8604/01/2011

"Dearest [R83], I am not a dumbass."

Based on your post earlier, I disagree.

by Anonymousreply 8804/01/2011

r32, I know you were just kidding, but I wanted to point out that rather than being unappreciated, it was nominated for 14 Oscars, a record it held for decades.%0D %0D %0D All about Eve %0D 20th Century-Fox; 20th Century-Fox. %0D 1950 (23rd) %0D %0D (*denotes Winner%0D %0D %0D %0D * ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE -- George Sanders {"Addison De Witt"} %0D %0D %0D ACTRESS -- Anne Baxter {"Eve Harrington"} %0D %0D %0D ACTRESS -- Bette Davis {"Margo Channing"} %0D %0D %0D ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE -- Celeste Holm {"Karen Richards"} %0D %0D %0D ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE -- Thelma Ritter {"Birdie"} %0D %0D %0D ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) -- Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, George W. Davis; Set Decoration: Thomas Little, Walter M. Scott %0D %0D %0D CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) -- Milton Krasner %0D %0D %0D * COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) -- Edith Head, Charles LeMaire %0D %0D %0D * DIRECTING -- Joseph L. Mankiewicz %0D %0D %0D FILM EDITING -- Barbara McLean %0D %0D %0D MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) -- Alfred Newman %0D %0D %0D * BEST MOTION PICTURE -- 20th Century-Fox %0D %0D %0D * SOUND RECORDING -- 20th Century-Fox Studio Sound Department, Thomas T. Moulton, Sound Director %0D %0D %0D * WRITING (Screenplay) -- Joseph L. Mankiewicz %0D %0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 8904/01/2011

[quote]I am not a dumbass. I am a film enthusiast, you little shit-for-brains cuntwipe. This is where adults come to talk about various sorts of shit that they like.

Let's be honest: If you didn't realize that the anecdote was relating how gingerbread was made to look like chocolate so Bette didn't have to eat real chocolate, then you're not exactly a true "film enthusiast."

But given the spastic profanity of your reply, the same reply where you claim you're acting like an adult, I do wonder if you're joking with us.

by Anonymousreply 9104/01/2011

R68, did you forget 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?'

I love 'Dead Ringer' too, a minor classic.

by Anonymousreply 9204/01/2011

But I do specifically remember her swirling an olive on a toothpick in her martini before popping it in her mouth, yes?

by Anonymousreply 9304/02/2011

Did you know that Netflix has it on streaming?

by Anonymousreply 9404/02/2011

OP = heterosexual

by Anonymousreply 9504/02/2011

[quote]I was sure it was celery because you don't put scallions in a Bloody Mary. And there certainly wasn't a relish tray on the table (although it would have been funny to see Margot hold up a radish and show it to Addison).%0D %0D Beg pardon [R80] but no one at the table was drinking a Bloody Mary - they all had champaign.

by Anonymousreply 9604/02/2011

Uhm gang? r32 was being sarcastic. You know...KIDDING!

I was shocked at how awful and amateurish Anne Baxter's performance seemed when I first saw this film. Judy Garland, or Susan Hayward would have been perfect Eves. Too bad....

by Anonymousreply 9704/02/2011

"they all had champaign."

Who knew "All About Eve" was set in Illinois?

by Anonymousreply 9804/02/2011

Although only 28 in 1950, (Anne Baxter was 27) Judy was well-passed the ability to portray fresh-faced ingenues.%0D %0D She would have been a better Margot -- world weary showbiz veteran who had seen and done it all, forced to make room for the next generation.

by Anonymousreply 9904/02/2011

[quote]I was shocked at how awful and amateurish Anne Baxter's performance seemed when I first saw this film.%0D %0D As mentioned upthread, Baxter is supposed to be completely transparently fake. The point is that the other characters and we the viewers can easily see through Eve's unctuous phoniness but Margo cannot. As the two most cynical and grounded characters Addison and Birdie have Eve's number, but Margo is too much of a narcissist to see Eve for what she really is until later. The film's fun consists in waiting for her to discover what a vicious snake her protege is and then seeing Margo in action as she puts Eve in her place.

by Anonymousreply 10004/02/2011

OK, I am an idiot, but can anyone tell me what the subtext was when Margo bites the scallion? I get that it's an effective scene, but it doesn't really make any sense (to me anyway)

by Anonymousreply 10104/02/2011

it was gingerbread R79; she didn't want to eat chocolate so they cut up stuff she could eat.

by Anonymousreply 10204/02/2011

R101, Addison is toasting them and raises a glass of champagne. In response, she raises a stinky old onion and bites its head off viciously. It's a "fuck you" without having to extend your middle finger.

by Anonymousreply 10304/02/2011

Baxter was cast because she looked like Claudette Colbert who was meant to be the original Margo - so Baxter could physically look like Margo as well, but that went out the door once Bette was cast. %0D %0D Isn't it implied that Eve is gay, and Addison should be too.

by Anonymousreply 10404/02/2011

"OK, I am an idiot, but can anyone tell me what the subtext was when Margo bites the scallion?"

Hmmmm...she bites something longer than it is wide....Dr. Freud, paging Dr. Freud...

by Anonymousreply 10504/02/2011

It's more than implied that Eve is gay. The scene where she goes up the stairs to her apartment with her arm around the female neighbor with a devious grin on her face spelled it out as plainly as possible in early 1950's terms.

by Anonymousreply 10604/02/2011

Oh, and they were both in their night clothes so it's pretty explicit what's about to happen.

by Anonymousreply 10704/02/2011

R83

The reason gingerbread was used had nothing to do with Davis' preference. It was simply that chocolate would melt under the lights.

Actual chocolates would never have been used for such a scene at that time. The lights were too hot.

by Anonymousreply 10804/02/2011

Is Birdie gay?

by Anonymousreply 10904/02/2011

They were off to make zucchini bread, R107.

by Anonymousreply 11004/02/2011

r108, Bette discussed the chocolate scene at length is some interviews. She most CERTAINLY said that she could not eat chocolate that early in the morning and that was factored into the equation when choosing the gingerbread.%0D %0D TECHNICOLOR lights were the blazing hot ones, not black and white lighting. And if they had WANTED to use chocolates, they would have kept them cool between scenes/takes in a cooler kept on the set. I've seen it done. It has to be done when characters eat ICE CREAM, for instance. %0D %0D Not many of you here in the film business, I see.

by Anonymousreply 11104/02/2011

I think the perfect Eve would have been Judy Garland.

by Anonymousreply 11204/02/2011

Ice cream was always simulated with mashed potatoes in films, with food coloring for different flavors.%0D %0D Maybe not any more, but it's what was done in olden tymes.

by Anonymousreply 11304/02/2011

[quote]Let's be honest: If you didn't realize that the anecdote was relating how gingerbread was made to look like chocolate so Bette didn't have to eat real chocolate, then you're not exactly a true "film enthusiast."

Oooh, you sure read him the riot act, Mary. Throw down, bitch!

by Anonymousreply 11404/02/2011

all right girls, your both ugly, now pipe down.

by Anonymousreply 11504/02/2011

Back in the day, R111, all lights were hot. The stereotype of the star with sunglasses is because many wore them to counteract the damage the lights did to the eyes. They were brighter and hotter than lights today.

by Anonymousreply 11604/02/2011

Are film lights on a soundstage not hot anymore? I always assumed they still were, although it does make sense to me that they would no longer have to be hot enough to melt chocolate and ice cream.

by Anonymousreply 11704/02/2011

Great thread. I love this movie and I try to watch it at least once a year.%0D %0D Also, I think R13 is hilarious. Some dried-up old theater queen who thinks her silly affectations supersede the dictionary.

by Anonymousreply 11804/03/2011

A great, great film, with excellent cinematography and great performances. The "campy" moments and brief periods of over-acting just add to the charm. Bette Davis is awesome in it, and I love Celeste Holm as well. RE: "Nappy rabbits," which is allegedly said by Marilyn Monroe. That has always bothered me as well, but I believe the line is: "Why do they [producers] always look like UNHAPPY rabbits?" It can SOUND like "a nappi rabbits," but "rabbits" (plural) doesn't make sense if that one syllable that can sound like "a" (as in "a nappi rabbits") is, in fact, an article denoting the singular. And you can hear for certain that she says "rabbits" (plural). Just a note for anyone who cares! I never did understand that line, but it can't possibly be "nappi"/"nappy" because of the number of syllables Marilyn utters. I adore Ann Baxter in this: she was grossly under-utilized in her day, and I would have liked to see her in something other than "The Magnificent Ambersons" (I have only seen the version with the butchered ending but understand that Hollywood has discovered some of the original footage. They should restore it).

by Anonymousreply 11901/28/2013

"I'll show you fire and music!"

by Anonymousreply 12001/28/2013

I would definitely recommend Sam Staggs' book, "All About 'All About Eve'".

According to Staggs research and interpretation, Eve can be interpreted as a covert, "killer lesbian", as based upon the very negative, homophobic mindset of the time. Staggs uses many examples, including the following:

1)Eve's manly appearance in her first flashback scene (e.g. the masculine raincoat and hat as she waits by the stage door)accompanied by a rather deeply-voiced call-out to Karen ("Mrs. Richards").

2)Eve's attempt at making a rather agressive pass at Bill in Margo's dressing room to which he responds with a line expressing that when he likes a woman he wants to do the pursuing, not be pursued (the subtext being that Eve doesn't fit within accepted gender roles). Bill also referred to her as "Junior" in a previous scene".

3)The scene in which Eve phones Lloyd urgently from her rooming house late at night, hangs up, smiles conspiratorially with another woman sitting nearby,and walks back upstairs, arm-in-arm with her (both of whom are wearing bathrobes). There is the possible implication that they are sleeping together.

4)Upon revealing her plans to marry Lloyd, the always fey Addison compares her to him, saying that neither one knows how to love (possibly meaning specifically heterosexual love) and threatens to expose her for the fraud that she is (i.e. a lesbian, not just her made-up story of her dead war-hero boyfriend). Addison also refers to her as "killer", seemingly within the context of describing a manly prize fighter, which really hits a raw nerve for Eve.

Now, I should emphasize that the examples above and the whole idea of Eve as a cold, ruthless lesbian who steals other women's men only to further her own career are a matter of speculation.

Staggs does present very convincing arguments, to which I have not done justice in this post. I believe that even Mankiewicz is quoted in Staggs' book as having said in an old interview that the lesbian subtext has its merits.

by Anonymousreply 12101/28/2013

IMO there was also a lez subtext between Karen and Eve, especially in that ladies room scene where Eve attempts to blackmail Karen. Eve puts her arm over Karen's shoulder as if she's making a pass or working her feminine wiles to cushion her blackmail.

by Anonymousreply 12201/28/2013

It would have been better with the original choice in the lead: Gertrude Lawrence.

by Anonymousreply 12301/28/2013

If the lights used to be hot enough to melt chocolate, did actors inclined to heavy sweatiness cause problems? Under that kind of hear, even if a makeup artist powdered me between every take, I feel like I'd still be dripping and it would show up on camera. And in a dance number, forget it.

by Anonymousreply 12401/28/2013

Why does a film need subtext exactly to make it special?

The lesbian theory is utterly ridiculous. And it makes the search for subtext equally absurd. The cues people are picking up on are possibly some masculinity, which men in particular seem to have a hard time distinguishing -- she was too aggressive and too ambitious, but she was an omnivore, not a lesbian.

It's a great film about theater and performing, but as the film makes clear, it's about keeping the drama onstage.

But the tension of manipulation it builds right up until the point where Addison confronts and exposes Eve's lie is intense, like an exorcism. The way she writhes on the bed -- fabulous.

It's hard to come up with another film with two powerful women with distinct personalities. Eve's attemtps to appear delicate and innocent that are so unconvincing and convincing in their own way, with a real bitch underneath. Margot's diva with a raw vulnerability poking through then and then, and a cutting sense of humor.

They were amazing, and so is the movie.

by Anonymousreply 12501/28/2013

Topsy Turvy is a great movie about the theatre, both its business and its passion.

Now back to OP's question. OP, there is subtext. The subtext always stems from an actor's need to be adored and the the inability to manage what that means onstage and off. And, more specifically, Margo's fear that as she ages she will not be loved. Sure, there is dialogue that makes this very clear. There would have to be some passages that are "on the nose" precisely because this theme has never been visited so specifically in the context of a great success who is afraid of losing it. But there are a great many scenes which are about just that where it is not so transparent, notably the pivotal one between Bill and Margo's after Miss Casswell's auction (the discovery of Eve's abilities).

As for the rest of the cast, I also disagree. Baxter is mannered but why shouldn't she be? It was a different time and she is playing a manipulative and mannered woman of that time; in fact she is playing one of the most self-conscious characters ever written. Holm and Ratoff are superb. Merrill is also strong. Marlowe has the least rewarding role by far but he holds his own and keeps from being cartoonish.

by Anonymousreply 12601/28/2013

Is there ever going to be a revival of "Applause"?

by Anonymousreply 12701/28/2013

"Why does a film need subtext exactly to make it special"

Any half way decently acted play, movie or tv show - including All About Eve - has subtext. If an actor can't find the subtext, they have no business being an actor.

Of course some scripts provide much more compelling possibilities for interpreting subtext than others. And All About Eve is one of them.

Perhaps OP believes a lack of clarity or an emphasis on the arcane or obfuscation is a necessary ingredient for art. It isn't.

There are great films that do not have to be carefully deciphered. There are great films that require careful deciphering. There are horrible films that do not have to carefully deciphered. There are horrible films that call for - and sometimes defy - careful deciphering.

by Anonymousreply 12801/28/2013

We need a "Babyface" (1933) thread.

by Anonymousreply 12901/28/2013

To be honest, I am not too fond of Bette Davis' performance in AAE; maybe because her performance became the material for a couple of generations of drag queens.

I think Baxter's performance is very good, almost as good as her Oscar winning performance in Razor's Edge. I thought her performance and was more natural and believable as opposed to Davis going way, way over the top.

Davis felt that Baxter cost her her third Academy Award, with Davis and Baxter splitting the AAE vote and letting Judy Holiday win for "Born Yesterday." AAE was a 20th Century Fox film and Baxter was under contract to the studio, while Davis was freelancing.

Baxter said in later years that she should have allowed herself to be nominating for Supporting Actress and to let Davis win. Baxter said with the momentum that AAE had, she probably would have won her second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. (Josephine Hull won for "Harvey" ... YUCK!) But as Baxter said the movie is All About EVE ... not All About MARGO.

As a previous poster said, Baxter and Davis were friends. Baxter was one of four actress/co-stars for which Davis had any respect -- the other three being Mary Astor, Olivia de Havilland and Gene Rowlands.

I would have preferred to see the late, great Celeste Holm win her Supporting Actress Oscar for AAE or for Come to the Stable as opposed to Gentleman's Agreement

Had I been alive and an Academy member in 1951, I would have voted for Sunset Boulevard for Best Picture.

by Anonymousreply 13001/30/2013

Well, yes, good actors explore the subtext of the characters they are playing even on the fucking Simpsons.

A well written movie, wonderfully performed, cast and properly paced provides its own subtext in this case.

You really do have it all wrong.

Not to mention there IS so much subtext regarding what was then both perceived and revealed about the theatre world, and the who is who inside stuff.

More relevant now is the subtext found in each of the characters relationship and history with each other - too much to say - but start with Birdie and Margo. Do you not get a sense that there is a history between them evolved over time that has somehow changed the dynamic - Birdie knows a lot of shit about Margo....)

No lesbian stuff, except EveÈs weakness for any praise, attention and servitude. i.e.

the end

by Anonymousreply 13101/30/2013

I watched All About Eve for the first time when I was twelve years old. I was totally enthralled with the movie, and with Margo Channing, in particular. But it was the character of Eve Harrington who made my young blood boil with a blinding and abiding hate. To this day, I hate Ann Baxter/Eve. And that is the most complimentary thing I can say about this fabulous actress and the iconic character who she played to perfection. I must add that Elvira Gulch came in a close second as my most hated movie character when I was a kid.

by Anonymousreply 13201/30/2013
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