All About Eve (1950)

 

Well mostly about Eve
Well mostly about Eve

Genre: Drama

Starring: Bette Davis (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Now, Voyager), Anne Baxter (The Magnificent Ambersons • The Ten Commandments)

Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Cleopatra)

Overview: As Eve accepts her best actress award to applause at a ceremony, Karen and Margo are the only two who do not join in the clapping. This is the tale of Margo, a superstar of the theatre, but really, the story is all about Eve.

Melodrama:

work (as a movie or play) characterized by extravagant theatricality and by the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization. 

 

All About Eve is a story about actors, but not just any ordinary actors - actors of the theatre. The nature of our main character, Margo, is that of an entitled Diva. Her stage life is always one of being in the limelight, and her personal life is much the same. Always the center of attention, always ramping up the drama, always the star central to the universe, more sensitive and more affected by all things than her peers, Margo is the very embodiment of melodrama. Eve is a mousey waif who dreams of nothing more than meeting her most shining theatre star, Margo, the glorious Margo. When Eve has the opportunity to meet Margo, her wildest dreams are realized when Margo offers her the job of being her personal assistant. From here we explore Margo, her parties, her sensational mood swings, her insecurities of aging and especially her assistant, not to mention a few political machinations along the way as well.
 
Anne Baxter is a beautiful and talented woman who holds up rather well next to veteran Bette Davis, not to mention Thelma Ritter in a role her very similar to her snarky self in Rear Window. All About Eve has a plot with a sharp subtext that is rather reminiscent of the fourth-wall-skirting casting choices of Sunset Boulevard, most definitely including a cheeky, young Marilyn in a short role as a fame-hungry minx. What people will enjoy is the shifting dynamic between Margot, Eve, Karen, the men in their lives and the plans they engage in. It's Drama at it most melodramatic without actually being a melodrama. The portrayals are those of honest characters, even when they're being entirely overzealous. Because there are so many different character arcs crisscrossing one another, I can see All About Eve having a wonderful overall appeal. Whether the machinations end in train-wrecks or successes is ever a mystery, and one we can indulge in from the safety of our side of the screen.
 
Margo has a carpet bombing approach to agression...
Margo has a carpet bombing approach to aggression...
 

Performance: 8 Cinematography: 7 Script: 9 Plot: 7 Mood: 7

Overall Rating: 76% (All About The Characters)
Aftertaste:

As a film fanatic and critic, I have a wonderful capacity, dare I say a wonderful callous, for tales outside of my chosen realm of cinema. All About Eve is one such story that is wonderfully acted and brilliantly written, but that overall didn't appeal to me 'much more than that'.

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Well your tastes are obvious now. Mindless Nazi-slaying gets a perfect 10 while this brilliantly written masterpiece gets a 7. And, praytell, what exactly is the difference between Scipt and Plot in your book?


Yep, I'm entirely that transparent. Masterpieces are bad.  Sorry, I didn't realize I had to have the same tastes as you. I'll do better next time so as not to offend.

Plot is the story itself, script is how it's written / conveyed.

P.S. I don't actually believe in a 'Perfect' 10. I've never given a film a 100% ever.

 

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