Sunday, April 03, 2011

Movie: All About Eve

Ian's travelling tomorrow morning for a couple of days and had to go into work to get ready. While he was gone I ended up watching All About Eve, a classic Bette Davis movie.

Davis plays Margo Channing, an aging theatre star, and Anne Baxter plays Eve Harrington. At first she seems to be a sweet, shy young lady who admires Margo Channing. She admires her so much, in fact, that she waits outside the theatre to watch Margo enter and leave the theatre and then watches the play every night. She tells a sob story of how she was poor and left by her husband and found a kind of redemption in watching Margo.

Margo may seem to be jaded but her heart softens for this girl and she hires her as a kind of secretary. Slowly but surely, Eve manages to replace Margo and to find her own fame. While Eve has a sweet face and apparently humble disposition, she's revealed to be a manipulative monster who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

One thing I love about the story is that although there are men present, the story is really about how the women interact with each other. There are quite a few contrasts shown and played off of each other throughout the move: goodness and evil, deliberate and accidental bad behaviour, youth and age, and superficial meanness and meanness to the bone.

Not everything about this movie is great, of course. There are a few parts of the story  that aren't quite believable. For example, why would Margo just bring this woman off the street into her own home? Even so, it's easy to overlook these details because the story is so well told by all of the actors and the dialog is superb.  This movie is a joy to watch.

And of course the clothes are amazing to look at even though the film is in black and white. People dressed differently back then (at least in movies) and I love seeing how and when these clothes were worn. There's even a joke about a girdle being too tight :)

All About Eve is definitely a movie worth watching. Make time for this one.

No comments: