Writer/Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
“Margo Channing is a star of the theater. She made her first stage appearance at the age of four in Midsummer Night’s Dream. She played a fairy and entered, quite unexpectedly, stark naked. She has been a star ever since. Margo is a great star, a true star. She never was or will be anything less or anything else.”–All About Eve
All About Eve won six Oscars. Best Picture, Joseph Mankiewicz won for Best Director and Best Screenplay and George Sanders won for Best Supporting Actor. The movie also features a brief appearance by a young starlet named Marilyn Monroe.
Bette Davis was 42 years old when she starred in All About Eve. Which make the story all the more interesting. Bette plays Margo Channing, a Broadway legend who is getting older and no longer able to play the younger roles. She is struggling to keep her successful career and her relationship with a younger man (Gary Merrill) who is also the plays director.
Along comes a devoted fan, Eve Harrington, who weasels her way into Margo’s life, in order to further her own acting career. Even though she has most of Margo’s friends fooled, Eve’s sweet act is soon seen through by the powerful theater critic Addison deWitt (George Sanders), who soon becomes her mentor. Eve isn’t about to let anyone get in the way of her goal of Broadway stardom. She uses every trick in the book to manipulate Margo and her friends to get what she wants.
After becoming Margo’s understudy, Eve manages to trick Karen, Margo’s best friend (Celeste Holme) and the wife of the playwriter into making Margo miss a performance. Of course, she goes on stage in Margo’s place and achieves fame a stardom.
What is so wonderful about All About Eve and what makes it essential viewing for Chick Flick lovers, is that it shows us a situation that most older women face. The younger, fresher, brighter, and sometimes more devious woman who is chomping at the bit to take what you have worked your whole life to achieve. Maybe its the way of the world that the old replace the young. Or maybe its survival of the fittest that causes this to happen.
Maybe all those years of experience are worth something. Or maybe…just maybe the older woman is just not ready to go yet!