I am ashamed to say that I bought 'All About Eve' years ago and it's been sitting on my shelf unopened, untouched all this time. The Blind Spot Series, which all started with Ryan McNeil, have a read of his brilliant website, The Matinee, was an excellent excuse and reason for me to finally watch the film.
About Eve has been one of the classics that I've put off, not out of
laziness but out of the worry it will be an anti climax. I felt this way
when I saw The Graduate and when I aw Vertigo. At first there was guilt
that I should be honouring such films then there was shame when I read
more about the films and still disliked them I tried watching them
another time, to given them a chance, but alas, they weren't for me.
But, All About Eve, thankfully was NOT one of these films. All About Eve
was and is a brilliant film, with two of the most fantastic roles for
women I have seen in recent years. It's odd saying that as the film was
made in 1950.
for 14 Oscars, winning 6 including Best Picture and praised by critics.
Pedro Almodovar' All About My Mother was even inspired by the film. For
me, it has stood the test of time.
Harrington is an ambitious, star struck admirer of the great Broadway
actress, Margo Channing. After 'accidentally' bumping into Margo's best
friend outside the theatre where her latest play is on, Eve meets her
idol and from there worms her way into Margo's and her friends' trust.
Claiming all innocence and acting incredibly modest, she starts to rouse
Margo's suspicions and question her motives. Soon Eve is on the fast
track to becoming the star of Broadway, and she will stop at nothing to
get what she wants.
I was shouting at the screen for
most of the film, when Eve was in a scene of course. Having the
advantage of knowing what the story was about, I could see right through
Eve's game. Having encountered people in real life that reminded me of
her didn't help. Personal emotions aside, this story about a younger
woman taking over and climbing up the career ladder, stopping at nothing
through lies was pitch perfect in every line.
were two themes running throughout the film that I couldn't ignore and
another that barely registered with me. First being this was about
women. The three main women, Margo, Eve and Karen all represent a
different 'type' of woman. Margo, of course is the outspoken, unmarried,
sensation. She doesn't depend on any man, but is conflicted as she is
deeply in love with Bill and can't ignore their age gap of 8 years. At
first we're on Bill's side, he doesn't care, why should she, but Margo
says, that Bill looks his age and will always look his age where as she
won't, she will visibly age. She is strong and wants to be independent
but needs emotional support. Karen, the housewife, is happy with her
life and at first, has no doubt about her marriage. As soon as it feels
threatened, she feels helpless and wishes she could do something other
than 'just' support. Eve, is of course, the villain of the film. She is
ultimately fake, pretending to be modest, sweet and charming, always
putting herself down so others will build her. She may be clever but she
is calculating and she becomes a woman who cannot fool other women,
other theme, that is quite prominent, is the normalcy of being in a
couple. The films pictures those who are in a pair or works in a pair
are stronger. Margo fights against the conventional marriage throughout
only to break down, apologise to everyone (except Eve) and marries Bill.
Margo mocks her friend Karen 'the happy little housewife' only to
decide do become one herself. The film shows that she is only happy now
that she has 'settled down'. Where as Eve, is depicted in a negative
light, not only because she has lied, blackmailed and tried to destroy
happy relationships, but because ultimately, she is alone. This is
against what is seen as normal and therefore unacceptable. This last
theme ties in with what I've read about, going deeper in the meaning of
the characters and their actions. It's hinted that not only is Eve
shunned for her deeds but for apparently being a lesbian.
didn't pick up on this as Eve was said to have an affair with her boss
and his wife had her followed and she did try to seduce Bill but failed.
It is also suggested that Addison, the slimy critic played by George
Sanders who is always delightfully mean, is meant to be gay and uses all
these 'young women' as a means of power. This may well be true as he
shows no desire for them or anyone sexually. Eve too, may be explained
with this suggestion as being more than skin deep as she lives alone,
and throughout has always seen as career driven over anything else.
Later in the film, she claims that she loves Lloyd but only so that he
can write her the best plays. Nothing else really. But this whole idea
may seem far fetched. I think with a second viewing, this may come to
light more. I mean, I was completey wrong about Miller's Crossing. Once
you realise that all the men are actually lovers or in love with each
other, it makes SO much more sense.
film and one hell of a screenplay that I hope to get my hands on. Margo
Channing is now one of my fictional heroes, she did have the best