Saturday, August 28, 2010

All About Eve (1950) (4th time?)

An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. [imdb]

Nominated for 14 Oscars:

Best Picture (WINNER)
Best Director: Joseph L. Mankievicz (WINNER)
Best Actress: Anne Baxter
Best Actress: Bette Davis
Best Supporting Actor: George Sanders (WINNER)
Best Supporting Actress: Celeste Holm
Best Supporting Actress: Thelma Ritter
Best Writing, Screenplay (WINNER)
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
Best Editing
Best Art Direction, Black-and-White
Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (WINNER)
Best Sound (WINNER)

Many things can be said about this all time classic. It has got to be one of the best known Best Picture winners, especially here, among bloggers. The film also holds the record for most Oscar nominations: 14, a distinction shared with Titanic (1997). It's a movie about actors and actresses, it's also the only film I ever bought on VHS, which makes it even more personal. I don't remember what made me choose it, but boy was I pleased and the film itself influenced my existance, my way of thinking, because I was at such a delicate age (12? 13?).
Bette Davis gives my favorite performance ever, the screenplay is one of the best Hollywood has ever seen. You need to pay attention to fully understand the dialogue and although it's not a perfect film, All About Eve is a story so well told and very interesting for anyone who loves actors. It all fits so perfectly in the end and it was so influential and very responsible for all the back-stabbing movies from then on.
It's hard to explain why I love it, I just know I'm always fully into it. It should've had more major Oscars in its bag: for my darling Bette of course, but also, I think, for Celeste Holm who was just as fabulous in my opinion (better than her Oscar-winning performance in Gentlemen's Agreement). Thelma Ritter is as fun as always and the direction is subtle, but terrific.
My rating for the film: 9.5/10. It's probably a 9 for someone who doesn't have this much history with the film as I have. More on this when I'll talk Bette's performance on the other blog.


  1. Well, Bette will take it easily, since you said she's your favorite performance ever. Why didn't you mention Baxter?

  2. Why didn't you mention Ann? :)

    I do love Celeste here, the camera really does love her face.

  3. No mention about Baxter?

    Not that it's my favorite, but her nomination is interesting, and I'd like to know whether you'd place her as leading or supporting.

  4. I think he didn't mention Ann for a reason, FRANKLY, she is the ONLY imperfection in this film. i can't wait to read his blog on the performance. But for me, there was something missing in it. If you want to know ask me.

  5. well, these reviews are meant to be short, and Anne is just not the first to pop-up in my mind when thinking about the film. No worries, I'm not a hater. :)

    yes, the camera loves Celeste, but that's because Celeste knows exactly where the camera is. I can't believe Oscar didn't fall for it and didn't give her a second win. It was a much more complicated performance than in Gentleman's Agreement.

    I wasn't sure, but now after seeing it again I think Anne is also leading. The last 20-30 minutes are all about her.