Thursday, 19 October 2017

Classic Movies Revisited - All About Eve

Its says a lot about Joseph L. Mankiewicz's All About Eve that 67 years after it's initial release it still holds up as one of the finest examples comic dramas ever shown on screen. It is a film that can be viewed as the rule book for aspiring screenwriters, the swift notes for student actors and a timely lesson to all film fans that a well told parable, with a smart dialogue and talented cast wins hands down over any CGI effects, camera tricks or show stopping stunts that technology can muster up.
Based on the story The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr, All About Eve is an elegantly bitchy backstage story revolving around aspiring actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway mega-star Margo Channing (Bette Davis), weaving a melancholy life story to Margo and her friends. Taking pity on the girl, Margo takes Eve as her personal assistant. Before long, it becomes apparent that naive Eve is a Machiavellian conniver who cold-bloodily uses Margo, her director Bill Sampson (Gary Merill), Lloyd's wife Karen (Celeste Holm), and waspish critic Addison De Witt (George Sanders) to rise to the top of the theatrical heap.
Thematically multi-layered, this sharp and witty written film  won 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and a Best Supporting Actor for the magnificent George Sanders.
In fact it has the unique honour of seeing two actresses and two actors nominated in the Best Actor/Best Actress category at the Academy Awards - a feat that has not been repeated since.
Unsullied by the demands and technology of modern cinema, this classic Hollywood tale is a wonderful insight to the backstabbing backstage of Broadway as the heavy weight bout between these two divas comes fuelled with poisonous yet witty dialogue in a timely reminder that as the cliche goes "the don't make em like they used to"!
All About Eve is currently available on Netflix.

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