Wednesday, April 1, 2015

All About Eve (1950)

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“Nothing is forever in the theater.”

            Have you ever thought what lengths you would go to meet your favorite actor/actress/celebrity? Hopefully you are not a creepy stalker who knows absolutely everything about them and follows them all over the place. I am a fan girl over several actors and actresses but I would never dream of going to extraordinary lengths to meet them. I have been to comic conventions (met Kristen Bell!) and book signings (met Tina Fey! And meeting Mamrie Hart in May!) and that is the only length I will go to. I will pay to go to signings and comic conventions or if the chance came about to get backstage passes for musicians if I have the cash.
            Many fans dream of meeting their favorite celebrities after a show or behind the scenes of a movie, becoming friends with them, and then somehow becoming famous through their celebrity friend. The 1950 film All About Eve takes that dream and gives it a good twist.
            The film begins at an award ceremony for the theater. Theater critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders) begins his narration by introducing the characters in the story that will be told. He is telling his story as an old stage actor goes on talking before introducing the star of the night Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter).
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            Eve’s assent into the New York theater elite the day she met Karen Richards (Celeste Holm) outside a theater after a show. Karen is friends with the show’s star Margot Channing (Bette Davis) whom Eve idolizes. Eve has been to every single performance and she likes the plays by the playwright Lloyd Richards, Karen’s husband. Margot puts on a fake act and is nothing but nice to her fan.  Margot asks Eve her life’s story. Eve tells them that she was from a poor farm out in Wisconsin, she moved to Milwaukee to work in a beer plant, she married a soldier who died, and she stayed out in San Diego where she had gone to see her husband before she knew he died.
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            Margot takes Eve on as a friend and assistant. She tells her boyfriend Bill that she feels protective of Eve. After a show one night Eve comes to take Margot’s costume to the costume master. Margot realizes that was not a good idea because the costume master would be upset, when she opens the door she sees Eve with the costume in her hand looking at herself in a mirror.
             Over time Eve begins to show her true colors. She is a conniving, scheming woman who wants nothing more than to be an actress on the stage. She climbed and scratched her over Margot, Karen, Bill, and Lloyd to get the leading role in Lloyd’s new play. She sided with Addison who is as greasy and conniving himself but he is the only who sees Eve for who she really is.
            In the end Eve gets a taste of her own medicine with a fan of hers waiting in her room to meet her.
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            The story made me think how Eve meeting Margot and becoming so close to her the way she did would most likely never happen today. I kept thinking if Eve were around today she would be that fan that sees Margot at all the conventions and signings and writes fan fiction based off her theater characters and people in her personal life. If Margot made films and was in TV shows Eve would be that one fan that has seen all of Margot’s filmography and make gif sets out of them. (I swear to you I am not a thirteen year old fan girl who makes gif sets and writes fan fiction… I am worse I am twenty-seven and fan girl over certain things like I am a thirteen year old! Tumblr is my best friend and I have recently become addicted to twitter [follow me: @cinethusiast].I do draw the absolute line at fan fiction, making gif sets, and feeling the need to know every detail about a celebrity. I fan girl over their final products such as films or music)

            All About Eve is a film I had been meaning to see for a while after hearing how it is one of the greatest films of all time and Bette Davis was great. I did not hype it up I have learned not to do so in my several years of being a film fanatic and writing this blog. Even though I did not hype All About Eve up I felt let down. I only felt let down by the acting I really did not like the acting at all. Davis was alright I like her but she just always seems to overact. George Sanders is usually plays interesting characters in his films and here as Addison DeWitt he was just alright because the character was dull. Ann Baxter was decent just not to the point where she should have been nominated for an Academy Award for the role. Celeste Holm I will say was great I have yet to see her in a bad role. Marilyn Monroe shows up for a time as a young woman who wants to become an actress. She was very good. As soon as she comes on screen she commands your attention among the older actors not just because of her looks there was just something there in her that made you pay attention. I can see why All About Eve is considered one of the greatest films ever made because Joseph L. Mankiewicz wrote an amazing screenplay and his direction is beautiful. Other than the writing and the direction I could not get into the film. Despite my feelings I will say that All About Eve is worth seeing at least once just to say you have seen it if you really like film.