1003 All About Eve

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Murdoch
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#26 Post by Murdoch » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:21 pm

I finally saw this and regarding the ending I think that Phoebe comes so early in Eve's career because Mankiewicz is saying the days of the great actresses like Margo are gone, she's been replaced by the scheming Eves and Phoebes of the world. Mankiewicz is lamenting the death of the classic stage actress as Hollywood, which always seems lurking in the background of the film like some evil specter ready to snatch up the next big Broadway star, has created a new species of actress driven not by their love of the craft, but by an insatiable desire for celebrity and stardom. The ending makes me think that Phoebe's comeuppance will come even sooner in her career than Eve's with the next up-and-comer ready to dig her nails into her within minutes after her first role.

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hearthesilence
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#27 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:11 pm

Bette Davis is one of my favorite actresses, but I wonder if All About Eve is actually her only "great" film. From what I've seen, I would say it's her best with The Little Foxes in a distant second...I like watching her in Of Human Bondage more than anything else, but the rest of the picture can be awful. Any great Davis films that I'm missing?

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#28 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:12 pm

I'm a big fan of The Petrified Forest, though I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it 'great'

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knives
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#29 Post by knives » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:21 pm

There's of course her films with Aldrich and a small role pre-fame in Waterloo Bridge. I also have a fondness for It's Love I'm After and The Nanny which my be my second favorite of her films after this one.

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swo17
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#30 Post by swo17 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:31 pm

I also love It's Love I'm After. Coincidentally, it will be airing this Tuesday on TCM along with several other Bette Davis films.

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hearthesilence
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#31 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:34 pm

Which ones with Aldrich? [edit: never mind, I just realized it's the later ones...I'll have to check them out again. It's been a while since I saw them.]

FWIW, this idea of a great Hollywood legends never or rarely making great films, the two biggest factors seem to be:

1) How their respective studios package their star vehicles. Nothing new about studios putting a star like Bette Davis in what's perceived as a "Bette Davis" role, but Davis complained that the studio rarely paired her with other heavyweights because they figured she'd draw enough viewers on her own. (i.e. why spend the money?) Also, the kind of films Davis did may have been hampered by the conventions they had going for them and the talent available to them. (For example, film noir productions seemed to have more freedom than other genres, and John Wayne certainly benefitted with John Ford as a go-to Western director, which brings me to the second factor...

2) Some legends had memorable relationships with celebrated auteurs, others didn't. Bogart: Hawks, Huston. Grant: Hitchcock, Hawks, McCarey. Stewart: Hitchcock, Capra, Mann. They were very fortunate. But Garbo or Davis? They had their favorite directors, but no one in the same league.
Last edited by hearthesilence on Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hearthesilence
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#32 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:35 pm

swo17 wrote:I also love It's Love I'm After. Coincidentally, it will be airing this Tuesday on TCM along with several other Bette Davis films.
Nice! I barely know anything about that picture, I'll have to check it out.

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knives
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#33 Post by knives » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:40 pm

It's very funny and has the bonus of Leslie Howard as her co-lead. Also while the movies are his weakest Davis did work with Wyler a whole lot of times and I'd rank him as an equal to some bigger name directors like Hawks.

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domino harvey
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#34 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:47 pm

I'm not as big a Davis fan as most but one of her little-discussed gems is John Huston's delirious melodrama In This Our Life, a film that still raises eyebrows thanks to the incestuous relationship between Charles Coburn and the riotously bratty Davis

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hearthesilence
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#35 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:56 pm

knives wrote:It's very funny and has the bonus of Leslie Howard as her co-lead. Also while the movies are his weakest Davis did work with Wyler a whole lot of times and I'd rank him as an equal to some bigger name directors like Hawks.
I keep going back and forth on Wyler. A lot of people like Bazin would definitely put him in league with those guys. I don't think I've seen enough of his films though, or at least the right ones to make the case. The Best Years of Our Lives is easily the best I've seen, and again The Little Foxes would probably be a distant second. (I do like it though, a very good picture with an excellent cast. Teresa Wright's performance seems out of place - I had a professor who was less kind about it - but the rest including Davis are wonderful.) Otherwise, not a fan of Ben-Hur or Wyler's Wuthering Heights. Jezebel isn't bad, it's a fine movie, but despite the talent involved (Davis and Henry Fonda), I don't think it's anyone's best work.

Anyway, Mankiewicz is more revered as a writer than a director, but FWIW, All About Eve may be his best work for the screenplay alone.

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knives
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#36 Post by knives » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:01 pm

Oh I think most of the films you've mentioned are down right horrible, but if you look at a lot of his contemporary set films like The Desperate Hours or The Good Fairy your tune might change. His westerns are pretty stellar too.

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Matt
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#37 Post by Matt » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:40 pm

Are you looking for great films or great Davis performances, because they don't often coincide. A couple of the best of the latter are Now, Voyager and Mr. Skeffington. The general paucity of the former should not be held against her. Jack Warner consistently underestimated her and kept assigning her to bad movies to keep Davis from thinking too highly of herself. She had to leave the studio to make films worthy of her talent. She made Eve and then, well, got a big head and made a bunch more garbage.

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dustybooks
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#38 Post by dustybooks » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:12 pm

hearthesilence wrote:I keep going back and forth on Wyler. A lot of people like Bazin would definitely put him in league with those guys. I don't think I've seen enough of his films though, or at least the right ones to make the case. The Best Years of Our Lives is easily the best I've seen,
Not to jump all over the place but in regard to Wyler, Dodsworth and Mrs. Miniver are for me two of the most emotionally resonant films of the studio era -- along with Best Years. If you haven't seen those two, I'd consider it worthy as they're big reasons I've come to revere him so much.
Anyway, Mankiewicz is more revered as a writer than a director, but FWIW, All About Eve may be his best work for the screenplay alone.
I agree with this -- after seeing and falling head over heels for Eve I went on a Mankiewicz binge and did enjoy some of his other work, but I've yet to find anything that seems to have lit him on fire like the subject matter of this script. (Haven't seen The Barefoot Contessa though; should really get on that.)

As for Bette Davis, I'd echo what's been said above and add that prior to seeing Eve I must admit I primarily associated her with really silly cheese like A Stolen Life -- not one but two Bette Davises! -- which I fondly remember watching with my parents.

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R0lf
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#39 Post by R0lf » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:10 am

dustybooks wrote:I must admit I primarily associated her with really silly cheese like A Stolen Life -- not one but two Bette Davises!
Oh goodness thanks for pointing this one out.

I keep saying regarding Dead Ringer that the perfect supporting actress for Bette Davis is Bette Davis and now I have a second movie with Bette Davis playing supporting actor to Bette Davis!

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tarpilot
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#40 Post by tarpilot » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:05 am

Sad to see Vidor's Beyond the Forest hasn't been mentioned. A loony delight that anticipates Twin Peaks in a number of too-odd-to-be-coincidental ways.

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Sloper
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#41 Post by Sloper » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:14 am

The Letter (1940) is one of Wyler's greatest films, and contains the best Bette Davis performance I've ever seen. It's a bit of a grower - I remember finding it stilted and alienating on a first viewing, but that's often the case with Wyler. Every time I watch it, it gets better.

Davis' tendency to ham it up is used to devastating effect here, as we (and the James Stephenson character, a brilliant counterpoint) watch her carefully constructed performances, and try to distinguish lies from truth: in this film, Davis herself is never really hamming it up at all, she's completely in control of every nuance in her gestures, her movements and her tone. She knows exactly when to feign intense emotion and when to just rip her own heart open - as she does at the end in an unforgettable exchange with her husband (played by Herbert Marshall).

Also, although the film's racial politics are problematic to say the least, Victor Sen Yung gives a brilliant performance as the obsequious blackmailer. For that matter, all the performances are wonderful; so is the photography; in fact the only things wrong with this film are Max Steiner's nightmarishly repetitive music and the silly Hollywood ending.

Kauno
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#42 Post by Kauno » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:52 am

Sloper, you said what I was thinking but way better.

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ando
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Re: All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

#43 Post by ando » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:12 pm

Image

Sad to hear Celeste Holmes passed three days ago. Class act.

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domino harvey
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Re: 1003-1004 All About Eve and Now, Voyager

#44 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:57 pm

Are there literally no new features for All About Eve?
EDIT One new extra about the costumes LOL

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swo17
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Re: 1003 All About Eve

#45 Post by swo17 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:03 pm


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The Narrator Returns
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Re: 1003-1004 All About Eve and Now, Voyager

#46 Post by The Narrator Returns » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:04 pm

I'm pretty sure all of these are new to the Criterion:
- All About Mankiewicz, a feature-length documentary from 1983 about the director
- Episodes of The Dick Cavett Show from 1969 and 1980 featuring actors Bette Davis and Gary Merrill
- New interview with costume historian Larry McQueen

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Big Ben
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Re: 1003-1004 All About Eve and Now, Voyager

#47 Post by Big Ben » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:04 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:57 pm
Are there literally no new features for All About Eve?
Yes:

New interview with costume historian Larry McQueen

Hope you like costumes!

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domino harvey
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Re: 1003 All About Eve

#48 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:06 pm

All About Mankiewicz was already released by MOC in No Way Out, but okay, that’s “new” to this particular release. Might as well just import that and get a whole other movie with it instead of double dipping on this though

Imagine going through the effort of licensing one of the greatest films ever made and just being like, fine, let’s just talk about the costumes I guess, whatever

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Matt
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Re: 1003 All About Eve

#49 Post by Matt » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:21 pm

I've lost count of how many different home video releases of this film I've owned. As "definitive" as this release is, I can't imagine owning another one unless they've pulled off some kind of miracle of a new transfer.

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Finch
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Re: 1003 All About Eve

#50 Post by Finch » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:41 pm

Was the last Fox Blu-Ray 4k?

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