Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

“Honey, there are a lot of things you've never seen me do before. That's no sign I don't do 'em.”

            Mental illness used to be a touchy subject. I “used to” because nowadays so many people are suffering from something. Hell I am suffering from depression and anxiety I take medication for it and I talk to someone everyone week. It sucks a lot I hate feeling like crap more than I feel good but I want to get better I want to move forward and I am trying very hard to. The more I talk to people about what I am going through the more I find out just how many people are either going through the same thing themselves or know someone who is. Mental illness is no longer taboo to speak about. When films like The Snake Pit, The Dark Mirror, and The Three Faces of Eve were made in the late 1940s and 1950s mental illness was still hush hush but film makers were showing that it was something real and frightening for not only the people living with the mentally ill person but the person who is suffering with an illness.
            The Three Faces of Eve is about a woman with a case of multiple personality disorder. Eve White (Joanne Woodward) and her husband Ralph go to see a psychologist. Eve has been having bad headaches and blacking out for hours at a time and when she wakes up she cannot remember anything. For a whole year Eve has been seeing the psychiatrist Dr. Curtis Luther and has been getting better. She has not had as many headaches and has not been blacking out as much. One day Ralph comes home to find new dresses and shoes have been delivered to the house. He thinks his wife bought them and she thinks he bought them for her. Ralph is furious thinking Eve is lying to him about buying the clothes but she honestly does not remember buying them. He calls the store and the owner tells him that Eve did buy the clothes the other day. When the daughter comes into the house Eve tries to strangle the poor girl with the cord from the window shades.
            When they go to Dr. Luther some time later, Ralph tells him that Eve went to her sister’s house in Atlanta she did not want to come home when he came to get her and she cussed him out. Dr. Luther speaks to Eve alone. She tells him she has been hearing a voice for months it is a woman’s voice that tells her to do bad things. She is afraid of the voice and knows she is going crazy and begins to cry. All the sudden Eve snaps out of being upset. Eve White has no become her other personality Eve Black. This personality tells the doctor that whenever she wants to come out Eve White gets a headache. Black has been Eve White’s maiden name. This Eve is a more carefree young woman. She also knows everything about Eve White whole Eve White does not know anything about her. Eve Black just wants to stay out all the time. She wants to get rid of Ralph and his daughter Bonnie. Eve White then snaps back. Dr. Luther is astounded at what he has just seen. It is agreed by he, another doctor, Eve, and Ralph that she needs to go to a hospital to be looked after.
            While in the hospital Eve has not had an incident until Dr. Luther came by during the day. That night she becomes Eve Black. Dr. Luther comes back to speak to Eve Black. He tells her that Eve White has to come back because if Eve White does not get better than neither one of them will be let out of the hospital.
            The doctors allow Eve to leave the hospital just as long as her other personality does not harm anyone else. Ralph tells her he got a job down in Florida. Their daughter has been staying with her parents while she is going for treatment. Every night she has been going out as Eve Black and having a good time. Ralph comes back up after hearing what she has been up to. Eve White tells Ralph she does not want to go she needs to be in town to keep going to see Dr. Luther. Ralph gets angry with her. He tells her he went to two different doctors and they said someone is fooling them. She insists on not going and he tells her she will never be able to see Bonnie again. That night Eve Black goes to his hotel room.
            Ralph is able to get Eve Black to go down to Florida with him. They go out dancing and Eve Black is a little uncontrollable. Ralph slaps her and when she gets over the shock she is now Eve White. The couple eventually gets a divorce.
            Eve Black goes back to see Dr. Luther. She tells him Eve White tried to kill herself but she stopped her. She also says that now she is beginning to black out and not remember periods of time. Dr. Luther puts her under hypnosis. She now has a third personality. This personality does not have a name but she knows about the two Eves. She decides to be called Jane.
            Jane meets a nice guy named Earl. He really likes her and wants to marry her. She tells him about her disorder. He says he still loves her no matter she is going through. Eve White goes to the doctors. She is tired and tells him she believe that two of her personalities will die and hopes that Jane lives because her daughter likes Jane. Jane comes through and tells the doctor that when she was with Bonnie at her mother’s she went under the house and it kicked up a traumatic memory. Eve White cannot remember what happened. The doctor puts her under hypnosis to help her try to remember. She was beginning to remember she was close to a breakthrough when Eve Black comes out. Luckily Dr. Luther asks her to have Jane come through and they get to the bottom of the problem. When Eve White was little she was close to her grandmother. Her mother used to tell her when the grandmother left to say goodbye and give her a kiss so the parting would not be so bad. One day the grandmother died and her mother forced her to kiss her dead grandmother goodbye.
            After this breakthrough the two Eve’s are gone. She has now become Jane who hoped to stay. Jane marries Earl and gets Bonnie back.
            Joanna Woodward was incredibly amazing. Talk about a stretch of her acting ability! I have never seen Woodward in a film before I was so impressed with her acting from the moment she walks on the screen. I could not believe she was only twenty-seven years when she made this film and won an Academy Award for Best Actress. She completely deserved it. I am looking forward to seeing Woodward in more films.
            The Three Faces of Eve is a great film. I enjoyed this film from beginning to end. I felt so bad for Eve White and all of her personalities. I felt terrible seeing this poor person go through something so traumatic and then have to deal with this illness. I highly recommend seeing The Three Faces of Eve it is an all around excellently made film.