Thursday 14th June 7.30pm
ALL ABOUT EVE
Drama — (1950) — 133 mins — Cert U
Contains very mild sex references
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Cast includes Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe, Gregory Ratoff, Barbara Bates, Marilyn Monroe, Thelma Ritter, Walter Hampden, Randy Stuart, Craig Hill, Leland Harris, Barbara White, Ed Fisher, William Pullen, Claude Stroud, Eugene Borden, Helen Mowery
Based on the story The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr, All About Eve is an elegantly bitchy backstage story revolving around aspiring actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Eve is waiting backstage to meet her idol, ageing Broadway star Margo Channing (Bette Davis). It seems innocent enough as Eve explains that she has seen Margo in EVERY performance of her current play. Only playwright/critic DeWitt (George Sanders) sees through Eve’s evil plan, which is to take her parts and her fiancé, Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill). When the fiancé shows no interest, she tries for playwright Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), but DeWitt stops her. After she accepts her award, she decides to skip the after-party and goes to her room, where a young woman named Phoebe has sneaked into her room and fallen asleep. This is where the “Circle of Life” now comes to fruition as Eve will get played like she played Margo.
All About Eve received 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Bette Davis fell in love with her co-star Gary Merrill during the shoot of this movie, and the two married in July 1950, a few weeks after filming was completed. They adopted a baby girl, whom they named Margot.
Zsa Zsa Gabor kept arriving on the set because she was jealous of her husband George Sanders in his scenes with the young blonde ingénue Marilyn Monroe.
Bette Davis’ marriage to William Grant Sherry was in the throes of breaking up while she was making the film. Her raspy voice in the film is largely due to the fact that she burst a blood vessel in her throat from screaming at her soon-to-be-ex-husband during one of their many rows. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz liked the croaky quality so he didn’t have Davis try to work around it.
Bette Davis filmed all of her scenes in 16 days.
Margo Channing’s famous cocktail dress was an Edith Head creation. To Head’s horror, just as they were about to go film the cocktail party, she found that the dress didn’t quite fit Bette Davis in the shoulders. There was no time to fix the dress but fortunately Davis hit on the bright idea of simply slipping the dress off her shoulders.
The character played by Marilyn Monroe is called Miss Casswell; Caswell was the middle name of Mary Orr, the uncredited author of the short story the movie was based on.
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