All About Eve
This movie consistently makes the Top 100 lists, and is often in the Top 10. It was nominated for 14 Oscars, a total never beaten and only matched by Titanic, 47 years later. It won six, probably would have won seven if the two female leads hadn’t split the vote. It is wonderfully written, and very well acted by Bette Davis and Ann Baxter. It is one of Lee’s favorites. For myself, I have tremendous respect for this movie, but little affection.
Eve is a sort of female Uriah Heep, a self-effacing, modest, ‘umble exterior concealing a poisonous snake. She will do just about anything to get her name in lights. I watch her, and I think … so? It’s not like that’s a rarity in show business. Not many people make it to the top on sheer niceness. Then I look at Margo Channing, and it seems obvious to me that, back in her day, she probably made Eve look like Julie Andrews. This is pointed up by the ending, where the third generation of back-stabbing wannabes arrives and attaches herself to the newly-successful Eve like a tick.
The real piece of work here is the George Sanders character, the narrator, Mr. Addison DeWitt. He sets out to “own” Eve for no better reason than that it amuses him to do so. I’d much prefer the fiery passion of Eve or Margo to the cold, degenerate games played by DeWitt, who is in that most parasitic of all professions: a critic.