Sunday, December 13, 2009

All About Eve (1950)

I've been talking a lot about the ages of various actors and actresses in my last few posts and discussing the viability of their careers after they were deemed Over the Hill. It reminded me to re-watch the movie All About Eve, which is at its heart about the struggles of a 40-year-old actress, Margot Channing (played by 42 year old Bette Davis) to hang onto her career, her 30 Something boyfriend and her sanity in the face of a young, ambitious and insidiously manipulative rival, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Davis used all kinds of personal tics and charming idiosyncrasies to put a part of her soul up on that screen. That is great acting, as opposed to merely competent acting which allows us to imagine a person is someone else. In one scene, Davis reveals her real age to her playwright friend and says, "I feel as if I'd just taken off all my clothes." My reaction watching that was that I've seen into a person's real, secret pain. She might as well have taken off all her clothes.

Maybe I'm so age obsessed lately because I'm just days away from the big 4-0 myself. These kinds of milestones are bound to bring out the erratic behavior. Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill), Margot's lover is dismissive of her fears, calling them childish, which they may be, in at least the way she has a tendency to bring them forth in tantrums, but they are reasonable concerns, nonetheless. Whenever I watch a movie like this it just makes me wanna take up arms against...I don't know what. Like seeing Emma Thomspon cheated on in Love Actually, is actually physically painful because I think, "damn if it could happen to Emma with all her looks, talent and brains, then the rest of us mortals are all totally screwed." This is the essence of what a "Women's Picture" is all about. It is a theme which resonates with women and more than a half century later, All About Eve is just as potent a cocktail as the day it was made.

Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewitz, All About Eve has one of the best script's ever put before a camera. The opening monologue alone, delivered in a tone of perfect derision by theater critic, Addison DeWitt (George Sanders) is probably one of the all-time ten best opening sequences. Sanders is the picture of wickedness and yet he's so dang funny you just can't hate him. He is the devil, but you find yourself wanting to hang out with him anyway. Other supporting players shine, like Thelma Ritter who literally makes me say aloud "I love you, Thelma" during every scene in which she appears. Even Miss Casswell (Marilyn Monroe), DeWitt's ditsy like a fox escort to Margot's disastrous party, is memorable and not just because she's Marilyn Monroe. She's just perfect--conveying the same menacing ambition as Eve, but without the dishonest facade of naivete which Eve uses to worm her way to the top. Miss Casswell plans on sleeping her way to the top, with stops in the middle range couch of a theatrical critic. There's a sort of crude honesty about the way in which DeWitt points her in the direction of a bigger fish at the party, presumably having been paid in kind for his services as pimp. It's not exactly admirable, but at least it is straight-forward. The same can not be said for Eve.

Watching Eve slowly rise at the expense of others is a bit like watching a horror movie. You shout, "don't go there, stupid!!" at the screen every time one of Margot or her friends cuts her a break. The worst part is that Eve is probably talented enough that she could make it without all the backstabbing. At a certain point Margot just wants to retire and get married, in which case she would have been happy to see her protege rise, I think. By the way, I'm not sure I buy that whole premise much anyway. Can't Margot be married and continue to work? It's how you know you're watching a Women's Picture, I guess. That and at any point after 1950 people would have spotted Eve's behavior as pathological right from the get go.

The ending is sort of hokey, and perhaps the only weakness of the film. Eve is stalked by a very young Eve-y type stalker, which is all just a bit too pat for my taste. I would rather the film end with Eve accepting her Major Award and getting away with all her crimes. At least we get to see DeWitt one more time and he has a great moment of recognition when he meets Eve's young fan. The look on Sander's face is pretty priceless and takes the sting out of the unsatisfactory conclusion.

8 comments:

Sarah said...

Wonderful post and wonderful reference to Emma Thompson (she's a modern fav of mine) with Love Actually! Her face when she realizes that the gift of jewelry is not coming her way really resonated with me. I will never forget that scene.
All About Eve is the movie that made me fall in love with Sanders, it is a wonderfully written film, and I am glad that DeWitt gets his claws into Eve making her triumph not a wholly wonderful one.

monty said...

Great post Jenny. I love this movie. One of the best acting performances ever captured on film with Bette just owning the screen. And you right about Monroe's character too. She was very straight-forward. Maybe that's why I liked her so much in this film. Thanks for posting such a great write up.

SteveQ said...

Remember, 40's only a number. Pier Angeli should've had someone like Bette to remind her of that.

AbbyNormal said...

I love, love, love this movie. This is a great post. I really can't say more than this is a great, great movie.

I will; however, add that I love your references to other holiday movies I enjoy - "Love Actually" and "Major Award" - don't think I didn't get that reference. :-)

Last, but not least, happy birthday coming up, gee, just a few weeks away now!

Jennythenipper said...

Oh, Abbey, I'm so glad someone got the reference! We're coming up on Christmas Story watching season, so I had to throw that in there.

Steve, I had to google Pier Angeli, to get what you meant. Obscure reference is obscure. I like it!

Monty, hello and welcome to the madness!

Sarah, I'm not sure being the puppet of Addison DeWitt is such a bad thing. He's wonderful in a loathsome sort of way.

Angelina Brown said...


Indian sexy Sunny Leone Getting Fucked
@
@
Desi Indian aunties pussy photo gellary
$
$
Sexy Sunny Leone sexy hot xxx videos latest 2014
!
!
Sunny Leone latest hot topless photo shoot
@
@
Indian girls aunties boobs pussy photo gallery
@
@
Desi womans nudu photos, sexy indian actors nudu
!
!
**Village Girl Show Boobs Pussy In Jungle**
!
!
sexy Pakistani & indian school Girls nudu photos














--- --- ---
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
----! !---- ---! !---- ----! !----
--- --- --- --- --- ---
-- -- -- -- -- --
- - - - - -
- - - - - -
- - -
CLICK ANY LINK OF BELOW TO SEE MORE HOT & SEXY PHOTO



**Sunny Leone's Reaped Pussy In Her Bedroom**
*
*
**Fucking Pussy of Katrina Kaif in Night Club**
!
!
**Newly Married Indian Wife Naked In Hotel Room**
#
#
**Cute And Sexy Wet Indian College Girl In Swimming Pool**
!
!
**Indian Bhabhi Self Nude Boobs Pussy Photo**
#
#
**Nude Bengali Actress Subhashree Ganguly Boobs And Pussy Pics-**
#
#
**Desi Nude Aunty Caught on Hidden Cam**
!
!
**How to Lose Your Virginity Without Pain (Girls)**










………… /´¯/) click any link For Hot Photo
……….,/¯../ /
………/…./ /
…./´¯/’…’/´¯¯.`•¸
/’/…/…./…..:^.¨¯\
(‘(…´…´…. ¯_/’…’/
\……………..’…../
..\’…\………. _.•´
…\…………..(
….\…………..\.

Lota Sorma said...



Indian sexy Village School Girl Getting Fucked
!!
!!
Desi Indian aunties pussy photo gellary
^^
^^
Sexy Village School Girl sexy hot xxx videos latest 2014
!!
!!
Sunny Leone latest hot topless photo shoot
^^
^^
Indian girls aunties boobs pussy photo gallery
!!
!!
Desi womans nudu photos, sexy indian actors nudu
!
!
***Village Girl Show Boobs Pussy In Jungle***
^^
^^
sexy Pakistani & indian school Girls nudu photos




::click any link For New Hot Photo::

………… /´¯/)
……….,/¯../ /
………/…./ /
…./´¯/’…’/´¯¯.`•¸
/’/…/…./…..:^.¨¯\
(‘(…´…´…. ¯_/’…’/
\……………..’…../
..\’…\………. _.•´
…\…………..(
….\…………..\.

















::^^^:: ::^^^:: ::^^^::


::CLICK ANY LINK OF BELOW TO SEE MORE HOT & SEXY PHOTO::



**Village School Girl's Reaped Pussy In Her Bedroom**
!!
^^
**Fucking Pussy of Katrina Kaif in Night Club**
!!
!!
***Newly Married Indian Wife Naked In Hotel Room***
^^
##
**Cute And Sexy Wet Indian College Girl In Swimming Pool**
!!
!!
**Indian Bhabhi Self Nude Boobs Pussy Photo**
!
!
**Nude Bengali Actress Subhashree Ganguly Boobs And Pussy Pics-**
!!
^^
**Desi Nude Aunty Caught on Hidden Cam**
!!
!!
**How to Lose Your Virginity Without Pain (Girls)**




::click any link For New Hot Photo::









Ayesha Magi said...



Desi Teen Girl Nude and Fucking pussy Pics


Tamil Horny Aunty Strips Her Clothes And Exposes Hairy Pussy


Cute Pakistani Girl Fucking With Her Colleague In Office


Rajkot Village Girl Ishita Removing Her Dress And Press Big Boobs


Indian Desi Village Aunty Big Tits And Pussy Photo


Indian Aunty Fucking His Nephew In Doggy Style


Hot North Indian Busty Aunty Fucking With Servant In BathRoom


Pakistani College Girl Getting Fucked By An Old Man


Gorgeous Amateur Pakistani Girl Fucked By Black Guy


Indonesian girl gets fucked in the ass By Pakistani


Cutest Pakistani College Babe Fucked Hard By Teacher


Indian Princess Hard Fucked By Arab Sheik In Dessert


Homemade Hotty Indian GF Fucked Hard


Indian Aunty gets Fucked Hard by Her Boss while at Work


Young Indian Boyfriend And Girlfriend Homemade Video


Indian Hindu Girl Getting Fucked By Pakistani Muslim Scholar


Muslim girls sucking uncut hindu boys dick


Muslim girl nisha khan fucking with Indian Hindu Boy


Irani woman fucked by hindu cock


Desi Girls drink Sperm from Tiny Uncut Desi Hindu Dicks


Indian Hindu girl sucking black african cock


Desi indian college students fucking recorded by hidden cam


Hidden Cam Sex Tape Of Desi Indian Teen Couple Leaked


Mallu Aunty Hot Wet Shower Bath full Skin Naked Scene