All About Eve

USA | 1950 | black and white | 138 minutes

CREDITS

Directors Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Notable cast Bettie Davis, Anne Baxter

Production company 20th Century Fox

The film  All About Eve presents a meaningful look at mentorship, particularly in our growing culture of celebrity worship. Bettie Davis stuns as the distant by kind Margo Channing, an actress whose stardom is on the decline, while Anne Baxter brings a subtleness to her portal of the fanatical Eve Harrington. In the film, Eve’s aims for fame bring her falling to great lengths as she plots, ploys, and schemes her way to the top using Margo’s pedestal as her platform. The film examines the boundary between admiration and obsession, asking viewers what the costs are for crossing that sacred line.

IMDB

Watch the Trailer

note: classic movie trailers are either ridiculously dramatic, painstakingly slow, or completely unrelated to the actual story of the films themselves.

 


Commentary: 

All About Eve has some of the best dialogue I’ve ever heard in a film.  The characters are sharp, smart, and full of wit, and the actors play it off with a mixture of charm, sass, and sincerity that sparks on the screen. While the film doesn’t address (and notably so) the role race plays in its gender and class critique, Eve Harrington is for all intents and purposes, the embodiment of white womanhood in play. With her “good” intentions and quiet ambitions, Eve strikes her way to the top, weaponizing her vulnerable position in society in order to participate in the system (the male dominated film/theater industry in this case) that so shut her out. Eve’s act may have won her fame and accolades, but it’s the audience and Margo Channing that’s left standing once her curtain falls.

 classic film fur bette davis cheap all about eve GIF

Side note: Marylin Monroe is in this film. If you’ve seen her performance in this film, then you’ve pretty much seen 75% of her movies. The girl has no range, but at least in this film, she’s at her best.

Similar Films:

 

Working Girl (1988)

Image result for working girl film

Working Girl follows Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) a receptionist looking to advance her career as she navigates the realm of office politics under her boss Katherine Parker (Sigourney Weaver). When Tess’ idea is stolen by Katherine, she becomes determined to build her own road to success, one that exists  outside of the sterile pathways of the office. Dawning Katherine’s position and prestige, she initiates a major deal with an investment broker (Harrison Ford) that has Tess falling in more ways than one.

Spin.gif

I’ll be honest, the first time I saw Working Girl was exactly three days before I wrote this. I caught a glimpse of it on TV, and I managed to record and watch it on the next showing. After watching the film, I kind of have to say that I’m obsessed. I pretty much loved it, except for that awkward and entirely uncomfortable scene where Tess wakes up in Harrison Ford’s bed unsure of what happened to her the night before. (I’m still not sure what happened there…). Tess’ initial admiration for Katherine as her boss and as a woman, and the disillusionment that occurs after she’s betrayed, addresses an interesting element about mentorship that many of the movies avoid: What happens when the person you admire disappoints you? How do you react, how do you move forward, and most of all, how do you come to terms with relying on yourself?

working girl.gif

Working Girl is funny, cute, but above all sharp in the way the film is structured. In the beginning of the film viewers are discontent with the quiet knowledge that Katherine really isn’t a mentor for Tess, but by the end, they can feel a sense of pride knowing that Tess will be the mentor she always needed, for herself and others.

 

Chicago (2002)

Image result for chicago film

Roxie Hart is a “STAR”, or at least, she dreams of becoming one. When she’s arrested and charged for the murder of her lover, Roxie finds herself on death row along with stars like Velma Kelly, a Jazz performer who Roxie once worshiped. In Chicago, stars don’t shine as bright behind bars, and the line between fame and infamy is blurred as Roxie and Velma dance and sing circles around the chopping block.

 chicago musical murder broadway renee zellweger GIF

Chicago is witty, it’s funny, and the musical numbers are a blast. Queen Latifah stuns as Mama, the corrupt prison warden whose kind gestures come at a price, and Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones shine as Roxie and Velma, their snarky banter always keeping viewers on their toes. The film portrays greed, backstabbing, and the antics of the most conniving in society,  in a way that cleverly skirts the line between glamorization and condemnation. The cast is exceptional, and while I could have gone with less Richard Gere and more of Lucy Lu (like really, only a small cameo? How you gonna play Lucy Lu like that Chicago?), the film starts and stops with a bang.

 chicago musical murder broadway renee zellweger GIF

 

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Image result for strangers on a train film

Trading murders sounds like a good idea, until it doesn’t. At least, that’s what tennis player Guy Haines (Farley Granger) realizes when the proposition somehow comes up (like really, when does this happen?) during a conversation with a stranger on a train. When Bruno, the stranger with sinister intentions, actually goes through with the murder plot, Guy finds himself being blackmailed to fulfill his side of the deal.

 movies art thegoodfilms alfred hitchcock strangers on a train GIF

Strangers on a Train is chilling. I remembered being entirely engrossed when I first saw the movie way back when. Now, I’m finding myself looking back to the film, questioning the role women played in it as props to men’s ambitions. I don’t know if the film tackled these questions (knowing Hitchcock, I doubt it), but notwithstanding these uncertainties, there is an excitement to Strangers on a Train that never dies down. The film poses the question of whether a crime begins at the conception of the thought and takes it to interesting (if not fully realized) lengths.

Mariah Carey’s Obsessed: not exactly a movie, but I’d consider it the theme songs of all these movies

 mariah carey obsessed thisisnotmyfairytaleendingg GIF

For my next post, I’ll look at Beyond the Lights, but if you want to read about Creed, Kitty, and the other films featured in my mentorship series, click the links below!

Creed

Kitty

Mentorship at the Movies Overview

All About Eve

USA | 1950 | black and white | 138 minutes

CREDITS

Directors Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Notable cast Bettie Davis, Anne Baxter

Production company 20th Century Fox

The film  All About Eve presents a meaningful look at mentorship, particularly in our growing culture of celebrity worship. Bettie Davis stuns as the distant by kind Margo Channing, an actress whose stardom is on the decline, while Anne Baxter brings a subtleness to her portal of the fanatical Eve Harrington. In the film, Eve’s aims for fame bring her falling to great lengths as she plots, ploys, and schemes her way to the top using Margo’s pedestal as her platform. The film examines the boundary between admiration and obsession, asking viewers what the costs are for crossing that sacred line.

IMDB

Watch the Trailer

note: classic movie trailers are either ridiculously dramatic, painstakingly slow, or completely unrelated to the actual story of the films themselves.

 


Commentary: 

All About Eve has some of the best dialogue I’ve ever heard in a film.  The characters are sharp, smart, and full of wit, and the actors play it off with a mixture of charm, sass, and sincerity that sparks on the screen. While the film doesn’t address (and notably so) the role race plays in its gender and class critique, Eve Harrington is for all intents and purposes, the embodiment of white womanhood in play. With her “good” intentions and quiet ambitions, Eve strikes her way to the top, weaponizing her vulnerable position in society in order to participate in the system (the male dominated film/theater industry in this case) that so shut her out. Eve’s act may have won her fame and accolades, but it’s the audience and Margo Channing that’s left standing once her curtain falls.

 classic film fur bette davis cheap all about eve GIF

Side note: Marylin Monroe is in this film. If you’ve seen her performance in this film, then you’ve pretty much seen 75% of her movies. The girl has no range, but at least in this film, she’s at her best.

Similar Films:

 

Working Girl (1988)

Image result for working girl film

Working Girl follows Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) a receptionist looking to advance her career as she navigates the realm of office politics under her boss Katherine Parker (Sigourney Weaver). When Tess’ idea is stolen by Katherine, she becomes determined to build her own road to success, one that exists  outside of the sterile pathways of the office. Dawning Katherine’s position and prestige, she initiates a major deal with an investment broker (Harrison Ford) that has Tess falling in more ways then one.

Spin.gif

I’ll be honest, the first time I saw working girl was exactly three days before I wrote this. I caught a glimpse of it on TV, and I managed to record and watch it on the next showing. After watching the film, I kind of have to say that I’m obsessed. I pretty much loved it, except for that awkward and entirely uncomfortable scene where Tess wakes up in Harrison Ford’s bed unsure of what happened to her the night before. (I’m still not sure what happened there…). Tess’ initial admiration for Katherine as her boss and as a woman, and the disillusionment that occurs after she’s betrayed, addresses a an interesting element about mentorship that many of the movies avoid: What happens when the person you admire disappoints you? How do you react, how do you move forward, and most of all, how do you come to terms with relying on yourself?

working girl.gif

Working Girl is funny, cute, but above all sharp in the way the film it’s structured. In the beginning of the film viewers are discontent with the quiet knowledge that Katherine really isn’t a mentor for Tess, but by the end, they can feel a sense of pride knowing that Tess will be the mentor she always needed, for herself and others.

 

Chicago (2002)

Image result for chicago film

Roxie Hart is a “STAR”, or at least, she dreams of becoming one. When she’s arrested and charged for the murder of her lover, Roxie finds herself on death row along with stars like Velma Kelly, a Jazz performer who Roxie once worshiped. In Chicago, stars don’t shine as bright as they do behind bars, and the line between fame and infamy is blurred as Roxie and Velma dance and sing circles around the chopping block.

 chicago musical murder broadway renee zellweger GIF

Chicago is witty, it’s funny, and the musical numbers are a blast. Queen Latifah stuns as Moma, the corrupt prison warden whose kind gestures come at a price, and Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones shine as Roxie and Velma, their snarky banter always keeping viewers on their toes. The film portrays greed, backstabbing, and the antics of the most conniving in society,  in a way that cleverly skirts the line between glamorization and condemnation. The cast is exceptional, and while I could have gone with less Richard Gere and more of Lucy Lu (like really, only a small cameo? How you gonna play Lucy Lu like that Chicago?), the film starts and stops with a bang.

 chicago musical murder broadway renee zellweger GIF

 

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Image result for strangers on a train film

Trading murders sounds like a good idea, until it doesn’t. At least, that’s what Tennis player Guy Haines (Farley Granger) realizes when the proposition somehow comes up (like really, when does this happen?) during a conversation with a stranger on a train. When Bruno, the stranger with sinister intentions, actually goes through with the murder plot, Guy finds himself being blackmailed to fulfill his side of the deal.

 movies art thegoodfilms alfred hitchcock strangers on a train GIF

Strangers on a Train is chilling. I remembered being entirely engrossed when I first saw the movie way back when. Now, I’m finding myself looking back to the film, questioning the role women played in it as props to men’s ambitions. I don’t know if the film tackled the questions (knowing Hitchcock, I doubt it), but notwithstanding these uncertainties, there is an excitement to Strangers on a Train that never dies down. The film poses the question of whether a crime begins at the conception of the thought and takes it to interesting (if not fully realized) lengths.

Mariah Carey’s Obsessed: not exactly a movie, but I’d consider it the theme songs of all these movies

 mariah carey obsessed thisisnotmyfairytaleendingg GIF

For my next post, I’ll look at Beyond the Lights, but if you want to read about Creed, Kitty, and the other films featured in my mentorship series, click the links below!

Creed

Kitty

Mentorship at the Movies Overview

In which I discuss the Fault in our Stars (the film) sort of…

So I just came back from watching the film, The Fault in our Stars, which incidentally pushed me into finally making a blog. I’m not going to explain what the movie is about, you can read that here, I just wanted to talk about my thoughts about the film overall. This is not so much a review, though I loved the film, but more of what I took away from it.  Actually, I was inspired to write this post because while on the drive back from the theater, my sister and brother said a couple of interesting things about the movie and what they got from it.

“Movies can be important”.

That’s what my sister said to me during the drive home from the theater. Movies can be important. It’s a strange thought really, one that never seems to cross my mind, or anyone’s really, as they consume all this visual media. I mean, when you think about it everything has a purpose, a function. We eat because we want to be full, we drink because we’re thirsty, we study–supposedly–because we want to learn and so on. Movies of course, have a purpose to, but just what that purpose  is can often be debated.

The difference between a film and a movie
Don’t be a movie. The world is full of movies, be a film.

I’ve always considered films to be a form of art, that aside from their entertainment value, they work to teach, to inform and to critique. Movies however, are different. I’ve always associated movies with those cheap, carnival attractions. They have no purpose other than to entertain, to draw eyes and dollars, to amuse and distract worried hearts and minds. Movies, are mere amusements we indulge in, in the effort to escape our bland everyday lives. To me, the Fault in our Stars wasn’t a movie, it was a film. I honestly left the film thinking, feeling a emotional weight about well just feeling, and living and being here, alive. I felt like I had when I’d just put down the book. I think that was the most successful aspects of the movie, not because it made me cry (I’m not much of a crier but it’s been known to happen before *I’m looking at you Pan’s Labyrinth!*) but because, like the book, it got me to think.

It had something to say and as I overheard the conversations between movie goers leaving the cinema, and between my family, it got people to think about their lives, and their loved ones; it got people to talk. And not just talk, but have meaningful conversations about things we often overlook or ignore in our lives and that’s why I loved the movie. I mean, for those just looking for a movie with romance in it, sure, it’s there and wonderfully so–Shailene and Ansel where adorable–but there is also so much more to it. It’s not just a romance movie, it’s a film with romance in it that talks about love and life and death and family. I think that’s why the book and the film seem to resonate with so many people.

“Not all questions have answers to them”

That’s what my fifteen year old brother said when describing the lesson  his favorite person in the film, drunken, malicious author Van Houten, taught him. The whole journey Augustus and Hazel take is to find out the answer to their questions: What happens after the book is over, what happens to the people that Anna loved and cared about. Most importantly, what happened to the hamster! Of course the most obvious answer, the one the film wishes to convey, is that they went on living. Through pain, through strife and joy, through it all life goes on. People have to suffer through pain, live with it, grow from it and so on. Everyday we do this, and when we  can’t, well then the world goes on without us. It’s a sad truth, but one that we all have to come to terms with. Yet what my brother got from Van Houten’s character, was that though Gus and Hazel go through all these lengths to find out the ending of the book, they never really got an answer. But really when you think about it, it wasn’t the answer that was compelling, it was Hazel and Gus’s journey to find their answers that made the film compelling. What’s more, even if there aren’t any answers it’s important to search for them, to have these questions. That’s why I feel that the Fault in our Stars is such a wonderful book adaptation and  film on its own right. Not simply because all the “characters” say what they’re supposed to say, act like how they should or look like they ought to, but because it captures the essence of what the book was trying to convey, what it was trying to do.

So…

Yeah, I loved the movie, I thought that the performances by the main cast, specifically Shanilee, Ansel, Laura Dern and I would say Nat Wolf even, brought these people–because John Green doesn’t write characters, he writes people– I loved  to life, because the screenplay was wonderful and the direction, though not stand out, was honest in its portrayal of their hardships. What I loved most about the film The Fault in Our Stars, is that it brought people to the conversation the fans of the book were introduced to, and the people suffering through illness were already having.

If you’ve seen the movie and read the book what did you take away–from either or from both–from it. Is it a good adaptation, a good film or or is it just another romance movie? I’ve always felt that Holes (the movie), was the best book to film adaptation I’ve ever seen. I think the Fault in Our Stars makes it on that short list. In a future post, I would say next but I’m not sure I when I’ll tackle it, I’d like to look at other YA adaptations and examine why I felt some of them, like TIFOS and Holes, were successful and some of them weren’t. What YA movies did you think were good adaptations?