#100: All About Eve (1950)

When and how did I watch this?

September 19th and 20th, 2016, on Amazon Instant Video.

Had I seen this film already?

Nope.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

I checked out the cast briefly beforehand and discovered Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe were in it.  Otherwise, not much.

What do I know about it now?

This is another smart, character-driven story involving an established stage actress and her conniving understudy, Eve, who gradually undermines Margo’s reputation and relationships to wriggle her way into stardom.  The cynical undertone of the film, established in the beginning, really carries the whole thing, and ends with an equally sarcastic feel. What’s great fun for the viewer is how Eve’s ulterior motive is concealed for a good length of the film, although we seem to have a hint earlier on but, like her peers, we refuse to believe.  When the turn finally happens, we’re not wholly shocked, but for the others, it’s already too late: Margo’s fate is sealed, and Eve is in the spotlight.  Davis is the obvious start of this film.  I’d never seen her in action before. She’s a pro’s pro — animated, expressive, punchy, and dramatic. I enjoyed the subtle cinematography — the director clearly took care of the camera.  One particular scene near the end effectively made my hair stand up.

What are some themes in the film?

Pride, age, the role of women

Did this affect me personally?

Not really. I certainly enjoyed it, but nothing about it was especially heavy.

Why is this ranked #100?

I think fans of Bette Davis like it.  The film touches on some controversial social topics. It has a whodunit feel to it.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She did, and seemed to enjoy it.

Would I watch it again?

Probably. There’s nothing unseemly about a repeat viewing, and it might be better the second time around.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Yes.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Sure.  The acting is superb, the plot is interesting, and it has that classic turnaround that most of the greats have. It’s not a particularly rattling film, but it doesn’t have to make your heart quiver to be a quality film.  “The Apartment” shared a lot of its attributes — smooth, clever, and well-executed in every way.

Leave a Reply