Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night

All About Eve is one of those movies you always see the cover art for, or know who acted in it, or maybe even know a few lines but have no familiarity with the actual movie. Is that just me? Seems like a lot of classics are that way. To remedy that, I scroll through my TV schedule on the channels that air classic movies and copiously click my "record" button.

Because of past "assignments" for Classic Movie Monday I've taken to keeping a sheet of paper next to me when I watch them so I can write down the lines that amuse me most. This wasn't one of those assignments but it never hurts to be prepared. ;)

I don't know what I expected this movie to be about but it wasn't this.

I seem to say that a lot about the classics.

The movie actually starts at the end, narrated by "Addison DeWitt" (played by George Sanders. Or if you're a perpetual child like myself, the guy who did the voice of Shere Khan in The Jungle Book).

 Meet Addison DeWitt. Snark and creep extraordinaire.

 We're in the middle of an awards show and he tells us "Minor awards are for such as writer and director since their function is merely to construct a tower so that the world can applaud a light which flashes from the top."


We see this woman receiving an award while several audience members look...uncomfortable or smug depending on who they were.

Don't I look so benevolent?

That would be Eve. Then we have to backtrack to how we got here in the first place.

Eve, a rabid fan of Margo (Bette Davis) goes to every showing of her play and finally plots a way to meet her. She's so sweet and tells such a sad tale Margo and entourage are quite taken in and they wrangle her a job with Margo. It isn't long before her obsequious ways get on Margo's nerves and she lashes out, not wanting her around. Of course everything thinks Margo is being a horrible person, but it turns out....


Eve has been scheming the entire time to become Margo - replace her and become famous herself. Her sob story? Lies. But by this time there's little for Margo to do - she's an aging actress and here's the new version taking over her life. Creeptastic. Also Addison DeWitt has a schemey sort of hand in this and you really hate him. However, the end - oh ho ho. Loved.

End spoilers.

There are a lot of great lines in this movie. Or maybe new movies are just such tripe that everything from a classic sounds amazing. Either way...
"I'll admit I may have seen better days but I'm still not to be had for the price of a a salted peanut."

Marilyn Monroe has a bit part in this movie and she plays a (surprise!) vapid glamor hound.

She did have one of my favorite lines though. A woman walks by this stairway group with a sable wrap. Marilyn's character says, "Now there's something a girl could make sacrifices for...sable."
Deaf man with cigarette says, "Sable? Did she say sable or Gable?"
Marilyn (I should learn her character's name) retorts, "Either one."

Even Marilyn loves me.

Despite the witty snark and glamorous actress lifestyle I found this movie to be a little depressing. I'm also wondering why - what seems somewhat early to me in the history of film - so many actresses were deemed "old" and  phased out (see also my post on Sunset Blvd.).

I doubt I'll be watching it again, but it was absolutely worth watching once.


Alisa Noble said...

Okay, first off, you are totally not alone!
(It seems the only time I watch old films is when I can't sleep or when I'm sick... and both hardly ever happen.)

And secondly, I love that you record and watch these. (do you pick randomly from the guide?) I'm going to have to start doing this too and make sure I see this one.
Thanks for inspiring me!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I don't think I've seen that movie but we watch a lot of old movies. When we get here to NC we are close to a library that has a wonderful selection. We went this morning and got more! We get in an Alfred Hitchcock kick sometimes and watch a bunch of those! ♥

Hair Romance said...

All about Eve is one of my favourite movies. I grew up watching old movies with my Dad and I love the classics. Every performance in All about Eve is amazing and such a clever script. I still think it's so modern today.