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 ingenu... more »e (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 of A Letter to Three Wives, The Barefoot Contessa, and Sleuth. --Tom Keogh« less
"Bette Davis made this movie in 1950 when her career was faltering;her last film was the insipid "Beyond the Forest" (now considered a minor camp classic by some.) "All About Eve" is relished by many who hail it as Davis's all-time greatest performance(which is,in all fairness, arguable) as the forty year old magnetic actress Margo Channing.Many also feel Davis never looked better than she does here (her costume designer for this was the legendary Edith Head).The acting is genuinely excellent and the screenplay is music to the ears;as a consolation for not winning the AA,(it went to Judy Holliday)Davis received the coveted New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress.George Sanders is peerless as the poison pen critic Addison De Witt;( he won the academy award for best supporting actor.) Thelma Ritter is hilarious as the wise old companion of Margo's who's seen it all happen before. Celeste Holm gives an absolutely sparkling performance as Karen Richards(she tells Eve "I'm the lowest form of celebrity" she being the wife of playwright Lloyd Richards(Hugh Marlowe,whose wooden personality suits the role he plays.)Gregory Ratoff's timing in the "bicarbonate of soda" scene is amazing and Gary Merrill is right on as the cynical Bill whose age (32) creates insecurity for Margo; she fears she'll lose him to some young "babe".The film holds up extremely well,considering it will be 50 years old next year.Marilyn Monroe has an amusing bit as a "Graduate of the Copacabana School of Dramatic Arts" Finally we come to the gal who played the "little worm" of the title: Anne Baxter.She is astonishingly straightforward and realistic in her interpretation of the louse;if she seems to be a bit on the drab side, it's only because she's underplaying to the "Queen Mother", studying and using her idol as a stepping stone in order to get her name in electric lights and reign supreme as a Lady of the Theatre; in other words, she's diabolical as HELL! If you've never seen this movie, you're in for a treat. If you have'nt seen the DVD version do so;the print is crystal clear and adds immensely to the film's viewing pleasure.This is Mankiewicz's masterpiece and it won the Oscar for the Best Picture of 1950."
New 2003 DVD transfer: Restored video and audio, plus extras
pm444 | Okemos, MI USA | 01/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I managed to find this a few days before its official release date and am happy to report that it finally gives this classic film the treatment it deserves. The video and audio have been restored from orignal source material with noticeable improvements over the previous DVD transfer. The picture has none of the scratches and dust that were present on the earlier version, and there is a Dolby stereo option as well as the original mono. The stereo soundtrack offers greater clarity and depth and there's no low-level hum or hiss.Besides offering a major improvement in the quality of the image and sound, the new DVD also includes a good selection of extras. There's a 25 minute "Backstory" from AMC that is very informative and entertaining. There are two separate commentary tracks, one with Celeste Holm, Christopher Mankiewicz (Joseph's son), and Kenneth Geist, the other with Sam Staggs, author of "All About 'All About Eve'". There are
promotional interviews with Davis and Baxter, four newsreels, a trailer, and a restoration comparison. The restoration comparison is one of the strangest that I've seen. Instead of an audio track explaining the problems and processes involved in the transfer, there's a series of screens with text printed on them. There then follows a series of comparisons from various versions of the film. There's nothing really wrong with any of this, but considering the huge amount of time and effort that goes into a restoration of this magnitude, I expected something a bit more dynamic.
For any "All About Eve" fan, old or new, this is the DVD we have been waiting for, and at five dollars less than the original DVD, a real bargain. Highly recommended!"
One of the best american films ever made. What? No extras??
Paulo Leite | Lisbon, Portugal | 01/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All about Eve is (along with Sunset Blvd.) my favourite film of that year. What makes it so great? Everything! This is the story of how greedy people get ahead in showbiz: using other people and manipulating their lives.But there's more than meets the eye. The screenplay really shows how the characters revolving around Eve get affected by her actions. All of them play important parts in her raise and ultimate fall.And more... The ending is one of the best endings ever written on movie history. This is a film that trully shows you the circle of life and how the evil that you do returns to you in the end.Bette Davis, Celeste Holm, Anne Baxter, Thelma Ritter (and even Marilyn Monroe)... This is also a film dominated by women. It is their antagonism between them that moves the film. What they want and what they do. Every scene in this film is capital.An american gem: a solid script, a strong cast, a beautiful music score, great production values, a great cinematography and on top of it all, a great director in peak form.This DVD edition is ok. I think this film deserved a better edition with some commentary or a brief documentary, production notes or something like that. Here, all you get is the trailer. Anyway, with or without extras, this film is a must!My two favourite lines: Bette Davis' "fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night!" and "I wish someone would tell me about me." ohh, but there are many... George Sanders' introduction is beautiful as is his "killer to killer" final talk with Eve.
Buy it now!"
Where did all the scratches come from?
Paulo Leite | 01/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One reader recently said that this DVD of "All About Eve" is crystal clear. I agree! Never have I seen this film with such fine detail and super contrasts! Good sound too! But I was quite upset about the flurry of scratches visible more or less throughout the whole film! So I took out my most recent Laser Disc copy which claimed to be a remastered version. It still looked fine, but not as crisp as the DVD, and almost NO speckles at all! As an example, just try to examine those black seconds at the start of the movie, right before the Fox logo appears, and you'll find a little snowstorm on the DVD, while the Laser Disc is completely black. From that moment on it's hard to stop noticing those ever present little speckles. How could this happen? Why did Fox Video use a slightly worn print for mastering to DVD? And if this print had better detail (which is obvious), why not try to remove the scratches digitally, the way Criterion have done on dozens of their DVD-releases? I will surely always watch the DVD-version in the future, but I strongly feel that Fox could have done better."
The ultimate in Hollywood classics just got better...
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 02/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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 recently ended her long-standing Warner Brothers contract, 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 nominated 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 2-disc Special Edition 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 AMC "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."