Saturday, October 13, 2007

All About Eve (1950): Shira's Take

Gotta love a good sociopathic bitch movie. I love how the narration reads like fiction. Bette Davis's Margo Channing is the ultimate in actress with a good heart obscured by her jaded sense of modern Theatre. George Sanders's Addison DeWitt is a perfectly sadistic scandal-seeking tabloid-style critic. Aside from Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), these were the two fully developed characters, and they really made the movie. What's interesting about Eve, though, is that while I was never fooled by her sweet and innocent act, I was also never fooled by Anne Baxter's evil and malicious act. Anne Baxter is just not convincing as evil. Still, apart from some bad bluescreening (why couldn't they film Addison and Eve walking down a real city street instead of putting them in previously filmed footage of a city street?), All About Eve had everything that movie nerds love about filmmaking--awesome shots and such. In general, it was an imperfect movie, but its flaws were few and far between. The last 15 minutes or so were like Return of the King (is it ending now? How about now? Now?).

I have to note Marilyn Monroe's cameo as Miss Caswell, a very blonde (and all the things that go along with being blonde) wannabe-actress and arm candy to Addison DeWitt. She plays the same role she always plays, essentially, but she brings a silly light to the movie, reminding the viewer to be entertained by it.

Notes to myself: Is it just me or does Anne Baxter kind of look like young Stockard Channing? While watching All About Eve, I refused to let myself acknowledge that it beat Sunset Boulevard for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Now, though, I can reflect on how it was a great movie, but it was no Sunset Boulevard. 9/10


thevofl said...

I love All About Eve and Sunset Blvd. Strangely, I look at them as one movie. I could see Eve Harrington morphing into Norma Desmond, having a brilliant career and then fading into obscurity. I could see Norma Desmond begining her career by manipulating others to get what she wants.

Notice how both Eve and Norma use the anonymous phone call at the end of their respective films. Both have mentors that look after them, although Addison is more self serving.

Age Eve thirty years and you would have Norma.