“All About Eve” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 14
“Have you no human consideration? Show me a human, and I might have!”
Oh, man! Where to start on this one…
This one’s all about the script. It’s water-tight. Quips galore. Clever detours. Wonderful characters.
Then Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, and George Sanders equally steal the show. Between Davis’s incredible stroke of luck casting as the aging star, to Baxter’s perfect mix of demure and bitch, to Sanders’s embodiment of the higher-than-though theater critic, there isn’t a bad scene from any in the bunch. Bonus: a quite young and becoming Marilyn Monroe!
I smiled, and smiled often throughout this picture. The setup works, the story pulls you along, and everyone’s got a smart arc from start to finish. It doesn’t hurt that the whole thing’s beautifully lit and has excellent shot composition framing the ping-pong of banter between the players.
This was even more fun and well-performed than His Girl Friday from earlier in my challenge. Where that film relied on its wordplay to push the pace to its breaking point, All About Eve manages to captivate with it and squeeze out emotions from the entirety of its cast in ways most films of its era fail miserably at.
I can totally see why it won Best Picture, and I’m more than pleased to have crossed it off my list.
All About Eve was at the time of this review at #46 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #128 among the best movies of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
All About Eve vs. The Princess and the Frog
I’m fairly smitten with The Princess and the Frog, and lament the indifference it seemed to receive. That being said, I will still give it to All About Eve.
All About Eve vs. Monster House
Dan Harmon (of TV show Community fame) co-wrote Monster House, so it’s cleverly constructed. It’s a notable and scary kid’s film, but it pales in comparison to All About Eve.
All About Eve vs. Scrooged
Scrooged returns yet again to hold the gate of entry to the films near the top of my chart. Sorry, Eve. Not quite good enough.
All About Eve vs. Midnight in Paris
It’s Woody Allen. It’s time travel-ish. It’s heartwarming. It’s still not as good as All About Eve.
All About Eve vs. Mrs. Doubtfire
I’m sure you’re already rolling your eyes at me, but Mrs. Doubtfire totally works for me. It has a lot of sap, but somehow it rings true rather than artificial. I’m a big fan, and it’ll win over All About Eve.
All About Eve vs. Shutter Island
I like Scorsese and DiCaprio, but something about Shutter Island is missing. I’m not sure if it’s the twist, or the tone, or what, but it falls short of greatness. It’s like it attempted a triple Axel and only landed a single. Eve wins.
All About Eve vs. Skyfall
Let me say this: Skyfall is utterly, spectacularly gorgeous. It’s one of the best looking movies – period. The story itself isn’t top shelf, though (it wavers and meanders a bit too much), so Eve will take the matchup.
All About Eve vs. Ocean’s Eleven
Terribly, terribly fun. One of these days I’ll sit down and try the Ocean’s sequels, because I sure had a ball with the first one. Ocean’s Eleven wins.
All About Eve vs. Catfish
You got Catfished! It’s part of the lexicon now. It’s also an eye-opening, “is it or isn’t it” documentary. In any event, it’s great storytelling. All About Eve is still better.
All About Eve vs. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Ok, it’s Two Towers. It blew me away in the theater. I don’t think it’s going to lose here. One ring to rule them all.
All About Eve is now ranked #225 out of 1394 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
My next trio of films are The Butterfly Effect, He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not, and Swingers. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.