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  • May 8, 2001
Rating:
+5
The brand-new Special Edition of ALL ABOUT EVE offers a fantastic insight into one of the most influential and refreshing films to have emerged from Hollywood in the 1950s. Still as potent and as darkly hilarious now as when it was first released, ALL ABOUT EVE tells the story of a seemingly-innocuous young woman called Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), who worms her way into the life of her idol, stage star Margo Channing (Bette Davis). Eve soon makes herself indispensable in Margo's circle of friends and eventually becomes her understudy on stage as well as in life. But manipulative Eve will only settle for the ultimate goal...to eclipse Margo as the greatest star on Broadway.

Anne Baxter and Bette Davis delivers consummate performances as Eve and Margo. Baxter is so convincing as the down-on-her-luck Eve in the first scenes that, just like Margo and her friends, she pulls me in every time. She is simply that good. Bette Davis, who had just been fired from Warner Brothers, revived her career with her performance of Margo Channing, the imperious but ultimately flawed and very human stage diva. Celeste Holm (riding high following her Oscar win for "Gentleman's Agreement") is a delight as Margo's best friend Karen Richards. Thelma Ritter scored an Oscar nomination for her role as Margo's wisecracking assistant Birdie Coonan. George Sanders plays the acid-tongued theater columnist Addison DeWitt with all the relish of a python going in for the kill. A very young Marilyn Monroe, on the cusp of her fame at Twentieth Century-Fox, plays eager young starlet Miss Caswell in the film's signature party scene. Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlowe are fine as the men in the lives of Margo and Karen.

ALL ABOUT EVE was nomimated for a record 14 Academy Awards (a record that it still holds alongside "Titanic"). It won six trophies including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (George Sanders), Best Screenplay and Best Director (Joseph L. Mankiewicz). Both Anne Baxter and Bette Davis were nominated in the `Best Actress' category, though they lost to Judy Holliday for "Born Yesterday". Baxter was supposed to have been nominated in the `Best Supporting Actress' category, but insisted she be put into the `Best Actress' competition, feeling her role in the film of equal importance to Bette Davis'. In later years, Baxter conceded that she should have kept her original nomination, as she would most certainly have won, and Bette Davis might have walked away with `Best Actress'.

The wonderful new DVD from Fox comes with a fine assortment of bonus material including audio commentary with Celeste Holm, Kenneth Geist and Christopher Mankiewicz; and a second commentary track with "Eve" expert Sam Staggs. There is also the informative "Backstory" episode on the making of the film (featuring wonderful interviews, filmed in 1983, with Anne Baxter and Bette Davis). There are also several publicity featurettes and MovieTone newsreels from the period.

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More All About Eve reviews
review by . February 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
The brand-new Special Edition of ALL ABOUT EVE offers a fantastic insight into one of the most influential and refreshing films to have emerged from Hollywood in the 1950s. Still as potent and as darkly hilarious now as when it was first released, ALL ABOUT EVE tells the story of a seemingly-innocuous young woman called Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), who worms her way into the life of her idol, stage star Margo Channing (Bette Davis). Eve soon makes herself indispensable in Margo's circle of friends …
review by . April 17, 2007
This film represents the end of a time when witty dialog  and insightful writing had a chance to make it to the big   screen. Even though there's an unmistakeable feeling of   watching a play on film, the crispness of the dialog and the  tight editing make you yearn for a return of intelligence to  the movies.    Bette Davis is superb as the magnificently self-absorbed star  of Broadway and Anne Baxter underplays the …
review by . July 16, 2003
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz¬† who received Academy Awards in 1950 for his work both as director and as author of the screenplay, All About Eve is also all about what can sometimes be cutthroat competition for fame more than fortune in the New York theatre world. Margo Channing (Davis) is among its brightest stars. The calculating Eve Harrington (Baxter) concludes that her single major barrier is Channing so she ingratiates herself with the fading but celebrated Broadway actress, obtaining a …
About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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Showered with Oscars, this wonderfully bitchy (and witty) comedy written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz concerns an aging theater star (Bette Davis) whose life is being supplanted by a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing ingenue (Anne Baxter) whom she helped. This is a film for a viewer to take in like a box of chocolates, packed with scene-for-scene delights that make the entire story even better than it really is. The film also gives deviously talented actors such as George Sanders and Thelma Ritter a chance to speak dazzling lines; Davis bites into her role and never lets go. A classic from Mankiewicz, a legendary screenwriter and the brilliant director ofA Letter to Three Wives,The Barefoot Contessa, andSleuth.--Tom Keogh
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