Tuesday, October 14, 2008

All playwrights should be dead for 300 years...

I want to use my first post to take a closer look at my favorite film, All About Eve. In particular, there's one ten-minute section of the movie that I consider to be possibly the greatest thing ever captured on film. I was lucky enough to find those exact scenes in one YouTube video, and I'll get to that in a second, but first, some background information. Spoilers below.

All About Eve is considered by many to be among the best movies of all time. The American Film Institute ranked it #28 on their list of the 100 greatest films ever made. Of course, the opinions of critics would mean very little if the film couldn't still find an audience. Why are modern filmgoers still drawn to a movie that was made over half a century ago? I think the answer lies not in the overall plotline, but in the small touches that writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz and his all-star cast put into each scene. Not a frame of this movie is wasted; I think you'll see what I mean after watching the following clip.

Eve Harrington is an adoring fan that aging Broadway star Margo Channing has taken in. By this point in the movie, Eve has been far too attentive for Margo's liking, especially where Margo's director-fiancé Bill is concerned. She tried to pawn the girl off on her producer, Max Fabian, but Margo's close friend Karen took pity on Eve and arranged through her husband, playwright Lloyd, for Eve to assume the role of Margo's understudy at the theater. Margo is completely unaware of this until she shows up late for a reading, which was to be an audition for Miss Casswell (a small part played by then-unknown Marilyn Monroe), and the manipulative critic Addison DeWitt informs her that Eve read in her place.

Follow me to my next post, where I'll take a (very) detailed look at this section of the movie.

(1990-2008). All About Eve (1950). Retrieved October 14, 2008, from International Movie Data Base Web site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042192/

(1998-2008). All About Eve movie reviews, pictures - Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 14, 2008, from Rotten Tomatoes Web site: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1000626-all_about_eve/?critic...

Mankiewicz, J. L.(Writer/Director). (1950 October 13). ['Movie']. All About Eve. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation.

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