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All About Eve (DVD, 1999, Studio Classics)

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Movie synopsis
Given that she throws tantrums, gets intoxicated, and pushes people away when she needs them the most, it's a wonder New York theater star Margo Channing has any true friends. But when Eve Harrington, Margo's young and innocent-seeming prot�g�e, schemes to gain both the affection of Margo's friends and a starring role originally written for Margo, the actress discovers just who is in her corner--and who is not. Released in 1950, ALL ABOUT EVE's power radiates undimmed through the years. The role of aging stage star Margo Channing is considered by many to be the best of Bette Davis's career, as Davis reveals and conceals Margo's vulnerabilities with a skill seldom seen onscreen. Anne Baxter is also marvelous as the subtle Eve, whose glowing enthusiasm masks a cold, calculated ambition. Both actresses garnered Best Actress Oscar nominations, and the film in its entirety took 14 nominations, winning seven of them, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. George Sanders was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his biting portrayal of potent, nasty theater critic Addison DeWitt. Consistently listed among the best films of all time, director-writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz's ALL ABOUT EVE shouldn't be missed; the acting, writing, and directing are unequivocally brilliant.

Product Details
  • Edition: Studio Classics
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 086162126215

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Display Format:Studio Classics

eBay Product ID: EPID3051524
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Editorial reviews

"...One of Hollywood's ultimate valentines to the Great White Way --...a valentine laced with poison..." -- Rating: A
Entertainment Weekly - Glenn Kenny (05/12/1995)

"...Davis was a character, an icon with a grand style..."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (01/19/2001)

"...Line for quotable line, quite simply the best-written Hollywood movie ever..."
Entertainment Weekly - Mark Harris (01/24/2003)

"This acid-tongued grande dame of the theatah gave us our first glimpse of malignant narcissism and neediness run amok..."
Premiere - Premiere Staff (04/01/2004)

"It's hard to think of a more celebrated backstage drama in Hollywood history, and the script bristles with acerbic wit."
Sight and Sound - Matthew Leyland (04/01/2006)

5 stars out of 5 -- "Rousing and endlessly amusing....Acutely relevant in these days of transient celebrity."
Empire - David Parkinson (12/01/2007)

"It's witty, literate, cruel, devastating."
Uncut - Chris Roberts (05/01/2005)

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Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 32 user reviews


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Created: 05/30/07

14 Oscar Nominations: Bette Davis & J.Mankiewicz Satire

This 1950 classic Best Picture of the year, holds the Oscar record for most nominations: 14. Ambitious actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) maneuvers her way into the lives of the temperamental Broadway star Margo Channing (Bette Davis) & her close friend, Karen Richards (Celeste Holm), playwright Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), Channing's lover & director Bill Sampson (Gary Merrill) & producer Max Fabian (Gregory Ratoff).

The classic story (& 1950's winner of 6 Oscars, including Best Motion Picture, with both Davis & Baxter nominated for Best Leading Actress) of ambition & betrayal is famous American folklore. Bette Davis claimed to have based her character on the persona of Tallulah Bankhead. Watching Bankhead's films now it's easy to recognize how well Davis did that. But, Davis' fans believe she was mocking the movie star who believed herself to be Davis' rival, Joan Crawford. Of course, that rivalary was one sided and has since been proven to be nothing more than a myth to sell movies.

Davis' legendary one liner is: "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night." Written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the script is a brilliant & brazen satire on the Hollywood jet set.

As the story line goes, everyone but the cynical critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders) believes that Eve (Baxter) is a sweet, naive, humble & obsessive admirer of Channing (Davis). However, Eve is anyone but! She'e more of an actress in their social encounters than Channing's friends realize. Eve manipulates them in order to achieve her acting career aspirations.

This motion picture is considered to date one of the finest ever made. It consistently ranks in the top 80 of all time great films, even competing with new films. Davis & Merrill sharing the lead & supporting roles is simply scrumptious since it marks the beginning of their romance~

92 of 92 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 03/20/07

Ann Baxter and Bette Davis Battle It Out

Bette Davis plays the classic Margo Channing, a Broadway actress at the top of her game, who befriends a shy, sympathetic Eve Harrington, played by Ann Baxter, who supposedly just lost her husband in World War II. Eve lives to see Margo perform in her latest play. And isn't it convenient that she has memorized all the lines! Unknowingly, Margo hires Eve as her assistant. And soon, she becomes her understudy. This is a classic case of deception, where a little kindness backfires into a complete nuclear bomb.

There are other characters to watch for. Gary Merrill plays Bill Sampson, her director in the plays, and plays her boyfriend in the movie. (Gary eventually married Bette in real life, and they had a tumultuous marriage.) Watch out! Eve steals him too. George Sanders plays New York critic Addison De Witt, who also falls for Eve but is wise to her deception. Even Margo's best friend Ann Richards played by Celeste Holm is deceived as well as Lloyd Richards, the author of many of the plays that Margo is in.

Only Thelma Ritter, who plays Margo's maid, is onto her.

Look for a debutante Marilyn Monroe in one of her first films. She does not have a big role but is Addison De Witt's escort at a cast party.

A famous quote also comes from this movie: "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night!"

This movie saw Bette Davis and Ann Baxter both get nominated for Best Actress. There was a lot of controversy about the nominations because Bette felt that Ann Baxter should have been a Supporting Actress nominee. It seems that there was a real life feud as well as the one in the movie. But somehow, they both were put in the Best Actress category. Neither one won.

The movie, however, did win Best Picture, Best Costume Design, Best Director for Joseph Mankiewicz, Best Sound Recording, and Best Writing. Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress. George Sanders was nominated as Best Supporting Actor. Obviously, it is well worth viewing.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 08/22/10

The 1950 Triumphs of Joseph Maniewicz & Bette Davis

Fourteen Oscar Nominations were earned by participants in this film. Two were Joseph Mankiewicz'. It was the Best Picture of 1950. The leading lady was just about the only major participant who didn't win an Oscar. The AFI votes were divided between Davis & her co-lead junior, Anne Baxter. That's the reason Bette Davis didn't win the Oscar she deserved more than any other. Davis did receive every other coveted award, such as the NYFCC & Cannes awards (typically
considered more objective than AFI choices).

Davis, who'd been nominated for 11 Best Actress Oscars, 5 in a row, was coming into her 2nd acting prime: during middle age. While the bulk of her female peers of age were going by the way side, or were content to walk away from acting, Davis was bent upon maintaining her career intensity. This film was called her "come back." In actuality, Davis hadn't gone away! "Payment on Demand" was already made before "Eve;" but, there were hurdles to overcome before that film was released. It's 1 of Davis' mid-career great performances.

The beauty of Bette Davis' acting career was shaped by how much she valued it & being gifted for knowing a great script when she read it. Davis noticed Meryl
Streep before others did, who has 16 Oscar nominations now!). Davis was a keen show business woman like Lucille Ball. Neither of them used sleazy ways to do social climbing stunts via sex w/producers like many of their star-struck, or power-hungry, peers.

"All About Eve" has stood in for the Hollywood that Bette Davis helped to create as the 4th largest industry during the turbulent periods in the US. The film dares to turn its gaze back upon the flaws of that industry. Known as the 5th Warner Brother, Davis had already finished her contract with the Warners becoming a free agent to do the roles she wanted.

The role of Margo Channing, for which she'll likely always be most remembered, fell in her lap when Claudette Colbert injured herself out of the part. Davis lept at the opportunity.

Today, I could paint 100 of Davis' films on a globe, spin it & point my finger at any 1 of them, saying it's her best. That's true because the "Yankee Lady" went to work with a primary goal of making the best film possible. It didn't matter an iota when she sacrificed bits of her part for another performers' if it improved the film. Davis always wanted to be involved in making great films.

One such time came while making "Great Lie." Davis & Mary Astor were to play lead & supporting roles, respectively; when Davis took Astor aside to chat
about how the script stunk. Davis worked rewriting it. By so doing beefed up Astor's part to such a degree that she earned an Oscar for her supporting performance. Davis created the quality of the script which gave Astor the better part. Astor gave the performance & Davis the credit. It was perfect team work. That's why Davis' peers loved her & working with her. She brought out the best in them, the film & gave the utmost of herself.

Davis did this on the set of "All About Eve." With the leading role in her capable veteran hands, she & Joseph Mankiewicz collaborated so well with his script that they inspired the entire crew to earn a staggering 14 Oscar nominations & thereby made filmmaking history.

Among all the great filmmakers of the 1st 3/4ths of the 20th century, Bette Davis was chosen by her peers to become the 1st woman Oscar Life Achiever; 5th among men; like being known as the 5th Warner brother. A high 5!

43 of 43 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 08/05/09

All About Eve

"All About Eve" is recognized as one of the greatest and most sophisticated/witty films in cinema history. Bette Davis who was already a huge star at that time cemented her legacy as Margo Channing, an aging stage actress with a talent that matched her spitfire personality. Anne Baxter played the title role to perfection as the manipulative and deceitful Eve Harrington, a nobody who lies and backstabs her way to the top. George Sanders played such a notable performance that he won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. But if anyone should be given credit for the success of this film it should be Joseph L. Mankiewicz the writer and director. Nominated for 14 Oscars, the film won 6 including one for Best Picture. Highly recommend it!!!

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Created: 04/11/10

14 Oscar Nominations, 6 Wins & Countless Awards 4 Davis

Although Bette Davis didn't consider this film and role to be her best (her pick was "The Letter," directed by Wm. Wyler), this is the film that's always up in the top 100 films ever made. Davis' magnificent, multi-faceted performance has a great deal to do with that.

By 1949, when Davis walked onto this set, the lady known not only as "The Queen of Hollywood," but also as "The First Lady of American Cinema," made even the veteran actors perk up. First and only time director of her, Joseph Mankiewicz, was going to unleash her at long last. No more Warner Brother strings attached. And then she and Gary Merrill, one of the six main actors, fell head over heels in love. Talk about on screen chemistry between them....

This wasn't the young Lauren Bacall in her first film flirting mercilessly with the veteran actor, and her senior by 25 years, Humphrey Bogart. These were a middle aged pair revealing a very mature kind of romance.

Needless to write, wherever Bette Davis worked on a set, the Oscar nominations followed in droves. This film holds the record for being nominated in just about every aspect of filmmaking. Oddly, Davis, who could have waltzed away with Oscar number 10 or so, went home without a statuette. Judy Holliday had won the golden guy for a truly great comedic performance in "Born Yesterday" co-starring Wm. Holden. In retrospect, it was worth it because Holliday was finally recognized as a great comedic actress.

But to date, not a soul who knows their stuff about the Hollywood Golden Era great scripts will ever forget how Davis delivers the line, "Hang on to your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." That's a Mankiewicz line that Davis delivered on a golder platter.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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