I really liked this movie–especially in comparison to the other winning films surrounding 1950. It is one that has resurfaced in my mind since watching it, and I think I’d like to see it again. The script is really what carried it above some other films. Very witty.
Bette Davis plays the part of an aging actress who is very sensitive about her fading career–which apparently jibed pretty closely with reality for Ms. Davis. The story was told in memories relived by three characters’ interactions with Eve (Anne Baxter), as Eve approached the head table in a room full of people to accept a theatre award. The story telling was very creative, something we had not yet seen in our quest. We see the disgusted looks on two women’s faces, as journalist Addison DeWitt begins the trek back in time, describing how all the characters came to this time and place.
I don’t want to ruin the story because I recommend seeing this film. And there are many twists and turns that would take longer to write than to watch.
A highlight for me was the choice of actor George Sanders’ for Addison DeWitt. Anyone who has seen Disney’s 1967 The Jungle Book will instantly recognize Sanders’ voice as that of Shere Khan the tiger. You might even recognize his prominent chin, which was also borrowed for the animated king of the jungle. In 1956, he hosted a two-episode “The George Sanders Mystery Theatre” that I’m sure would have been wonderful with his voice–perfect for narrating mysteries. From 1934 to 1972 (the year he died), Russian-born George Sanders performed in 136 films. Busy guy.
There is much more to All About Eve than just the presence of George Sanders. Bette Davis is a riot, and Celeste Holm (who we saw in Gentleman’s Agreement) is the conscience that tries to balance everyone out–and she did so without becoming otherworldly; she still made human mistakes, which I appreciate. Go see this one.