Although I highly enjoy all the films of the month that we feature on this site, none has excited me as much as our film for September 2008. All About Eve is perhaps Hollywood's greatest story of an aging actress who finds herself scrambling to defend her career against a conniving, backstabbing diva. Bette Davis plays the aging Margo Channing, whose star is on the decline. Anne Baxter is Eve Harrington, the ambitious and driven young woman who uses her feminine charms to manipulate her way to the top. Both women deliver stellar performances and the film is loaded with issues that will resonate with women everywhere.
Year: 1950 (Not Rated)
Written and Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Gary Merrill, Celeste Holm.
Setting: New York City, 1950's.
Fourteen Oscar nominations (rivaled only by 1997's Titanic) and six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Content warning: No objectionable content observed.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
1. The use of God-given feminine charms in an evil manner for the sole purpose of self-service. Watch as Eve displays many of the celebrated qualities of the Proverbs 31 woman in an effort to manipulate the people around her.
2. Aging as a threat to society's standards of physical beauty. Women struggle to both feel and appear desirable as they age.
3. The interesting dynamic when an older woman is romantically linked with a younger man.
4. Physical beauty is negated entirely, if not completely defiled, by ugly character. Lying to get what one wants is particularly unattractive.
5. The natural desire toward marriage and motherhood, in the end, eventually overrules even the greatest career ambitions.
This film is loosely based on a true story surrounding the life of Elisabeth Bergner, a stage actress in the 1940's whose kindness toward a fan turned sour when the fan began to undermine her.
Does Anne Baxter look familiar to you? That's most likely because you recognize her as the sensuous Queen Nefretiri in Cecil B. DeMille's epic The Ten Commandments, starring Charleton Heston.
The film contains one of Marilyn Monroe's earliest screen appearances as Claudia Caswell, an aspiring starlet.