|Twentieth Century Fox | Release Date: October 27, 1950||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
The movie's strength and weakness is Anne Baxter, whose Eve lacks the presence to be a plausible rival to Margo, but is convincing as the scheming fan. When Eve understudies for Margo and gets great reviews, Mankiewicz wisely never shows us her performance; better to imagine it, and focus on the girl whose look is a little too intense, whose eyes a little too focused, whose modesty is somehow suspect. Read full review
If you're not interested in all the backstage tittle-tattle, just settle back and enjoy a film whose script is studded with barbed and quotable bons mots, the finest ever part by suave cad George Sanders and a memorable cameo by Marilyn Monroe as an aspiring starlet (practically everyone was playing variations of themselves). Read full review
Ersatz art of a very high grade, and one of the most enjoyable movies ever made.
All About Eve is probably Hollywood's closest original approach to the bite, sheen and wisdom of high comedy. It crackles with smart, smarting dialogue. Sometimes at too earnest length, but mostly with wit and always with insight, it jabs at the quirks and follies of show business and its "concentrated gatherings of neurotics, egomaniacs, emotional misfits and precocious children." It matches some penetrating characterizations with top-drawer acting. With all these merits, plus a full-blooded story, the picture is absorbing enough to ride over an occasional lag, satisfying enough to redeem a contrived epilogue. Read full review
The dialogue is sharp and justly famous, though writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz has trouble putting it into the mouths of his actors: nothing sounds remotely natural, and the film is pervaded by the out-of-sync sense of staircase wit—this is a movie about what people wished they'd said. The hoped-for tone of Restoration comedy never quite materializes, perhaps because Mankiewicz's cynicism is only skin-deep, but the film's tinny brilliance still pleases. Read full review
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