This biting backstage comedy-drama about a fading actress, played by Bette Davis, brims generously with entertainment values: a witty screenplay, top performances by a marvellous cast, and no-nonsense direction.
Davis gives a memorable bitchy performance as Margo Channing, the ageing Broadway star who is menaced by her overreaching younger protégé Eve Harrington (played by Anne Baxter).
Gary Merrill co-starred as the husband who stays loyal to Margo. Hugh Marlowe played the playwright taken in by Eve, and Celeste Holm was wonderful as the playwright’s forgiving wife who is Margo’s best friend.
Thelma Ritter is perfect as Margo’s acid-tongued dresser. So is George Sanders as Addison Dewitt, the elegant critic who outsmarts the calculating Eve.
With lines like Margo’s “Fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be a bumpy night”, All About Eve was one of the best films ever made about the legitimate theatre. The story was taken from a 1946 Cosmopolitan magazine short story called The Wisdom of Eve, which was also made into a radio production.
The movie won six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Sanders), Best Director and Screenplay.
Joseph L Mankiweicz