Friday Night at the Cinema: All About Eve

We watched All About Eve, a 1950 movie with Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, and Hugh Marlowe. Brown Bear Daughter said it was “the creepiest movie ever, except for Signs and The Village.” Anne Baxter plays what we nowadays would call a stalker; she idolizes actress Margo Channing (Bette Davis). Ms. Channing is a great actress, but has her own insecurities and character flaws, to say the least. Eve (Anne Baxter) plays off those insecurities masterfully and acts as diabolically as any backroom politician or criminal mastermind.

If you’re in the mood for wickedly entertaining, I’d recommend All About Eve. As a study in idolatry, it’s superb.

According to Internet Movie Database:

In real life, Bette Davis had just turned 42 as she undertook the role of Margo Channing, and Anne Baxter, still an up-and-comer, not only wowed audiences with her performance, but successfully pressured the powers that be to get her nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category rather than Best Supporting Actress. This is thought to have split the vote between herself and Davis. The winner for the 1950 Best Actress was Judy Holliday for her noticeable turn in Born Yesterday (1950), so Baxter’s actions in effect blocked Davis’ chances for the win.

The dialog in the movie is remarkable, like a play since it’s from a different era and it takes place in the world of the New York theatre. Here are some quotes. And here’s my favorite scene:

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