All About Eve (1950) has routinely appeared on ‘Best Movies of All Time’ lists, ever since these lists began. It’s right up there with Citizen Kane (1941), The Godfather (1972), Casablanca (1942), Shawshank Redemption (1994) and the likes. And rightfully so. 65 years later, it’s still as fresh and poignant as it’s always been. The wonderful Anne Baxter plays the title character, an aspiring actress and devoted fan who befriends Broadway legend Margo Channing, played the always fantastic Bette Davis, and works her way to the top by imposing herself in Margo’s life. Told in flashback by Margo’s best friend Karen (Celeste Holm), All about Eve takes us on a journey filled with obsession, backstabbing, champagne and a whole lot of one-liners!
Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve is certainly one of the best movies about show-business ever made. In fact, it went up against another great movie about showbiz, Sunset Blvd (1950), at the Oscars. Eve eventually won Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Director, Sound, Costume Design and Supporting Actor for George Sanders, who plays the deliciously mean Addison DeWitt. Bette Davis and Anne Baxter were nominated for Best Actress, but they, along with Blvd’s Gloria Swanson and Eleanor Parker (in Caged), all lost to Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday. To this day, the 1950/51 Academy Awards are still controversial, since most people think either Bette Davis or Gloria Swanson should have won the Oscar, but regardless of this, All About Eve’s reputation as a classic remains intact. So, if you haven’t seen it, get your hands on it. Oh, and look out for a very early appearance by would-be legend Marilyn Monroe !