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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

All About Eve (1950)



Reviews and Comments

"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."

Writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's All About Eve is a masterpiece of filmmaking and a frightfully brutal jab at show business. It's magnificently acted with finely drawn characters. Bette Davis and Anne Baxter both earned Academy Award nominations for their performances, and George Sanders won one for Best Supporting Actor. While I'm on the subject of awards, it also won Best Picture over Sunset Boulevard, another great unmasking of show business. It holds the record for most Oscar nominations with 14. It wasn't until 1997's Titanic that the record was ever tied, and so far it has not been exceeded.

The script is sharp and insightful. It's not hard to make a script appear insightful. It's quite another for it to be insightful. Mankiewicz's script is not only insightful but insightful throughout -- and it even has something to say about its insight.

The conclusion is particularly ingenious. The introduction of a new character in the last scene tells us all we need to know about the future of another. What does All About Eve have to say about the stage? Its basic point is not subtle, but there are so many intricacies in the way it backs its point up that the movie is endless fodder for thought and debate. And successive viewings can be as entertaining and eye-opening as the first. One of the best films of all time, All About Eve is not one to miss.