Saturday, 13 June 2015

All About Eve - review

I have to say, up front, that All About Eve is my favourite movie of all time.

So "review" may be a misnomer.

The titular character, Eve Harrington, (Anne Baxter) is a wide-eyed young woman, following her big dreams of acting to the big city, and straight into the life of acclaimed theatre actor, Margot Channing (Bette Davis).

Margot is 40, and is starting to feel the creeping dread of not being number one anymore, and Eve is the stark reminder that Margot will never see 20 again.

As Eve digs further into Margot's life and the life of her friends, it appears that nothing is really as it seems...

The true genius of All About Eve - apart from the balls-to-the-wall performance by Ms Davis of course - is the snappy dialogue. Some if it is so very sharp, that you could cut yourself on it.

The most famous line of course, is "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night," but pretty much all of the dialogue in the film shines and sparkles and shows it's very sharp teeth:

(Quotes from

Margo Channing: Lloyd, honey, be a playwright with guts. Write me one about a nice normal woman who just shoots her husband.

This gem, from a very young Marilyn Monroe, with her ahem, mentor, Addison deWitt (George Sanders)

Miss Claudia Caswell: Oh, waiter!
Addison DeWitt: That is not a waiter, my dear, that is a butler.
Miss Claudia Caswell: Well, I can't yell "Oh butler!" can I? Maybe somebody's name is Butler.
Addison DeWitt: You have a point. An idiotic one, but a point.
Miss Claudia Caswell: I don't want to make trouble. All I want is a drink.
Max Fabian: Leave it to me. I'll get you one.
Miss Claudia Caswell: Thank you, Mr. Fabian.
Addison DeWitt: Well done! I can see your career rise in the east like the sun.

If they're not scheming in this movie, they're drinking. And if they're not drinking, they're fighting. And if they're not fighting ... well, you get the point.

And, of course, there's the costumes. I have a weakness for the wonderful dresses and gowns in 1950s-era movies anyway, but the way these dresses swish, and drape and fall - it's like they have their own dialogue. 

*Sunday night, I have decided, is Maree's Movie Night. I'm either going to watch old faves, movies I've never seen, something that interests me - basically, anything goes. And then, obviously, write about it. :-)


  1. fun! I read the short story that the film is based on and I think I also saw the movie but wow it feels like a long time ago.

  2. I've never read the short story, I keep meaning to track it down. It's such a great movie, I love it!

  3. I've never read the short story, I keep meaning to track it down. It's such a great movie, I love it!

  4. All About Eve is my favorite movie too, I love the snappy dialogue and backstabbing that goes on behind stage and Bette Davis is just brillant! I've never read the story it was based on but hope to one day. Great review!

  5. Whitney: Somehow your comment ended up in moderation, sorry!!! I'd love to read the original story one day too :)

    Thank you! :D