ALL ABOUT EVE

(1950)
With Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Thelma Ritter, Marilyn Monroe
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

So.. who's for Pictionary?     The greatest catfight ever filmed, ALL ABOUT EVE was one of two masterpieces made in 1950 that, with achingly dry and bitchy wit, ruthlessly skewered the dark sides of show business.  The other, Billy Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD, was probably the better film, but nobody complains that EVE's best-picture Oscar was undeserved.  It's just an indication of what a great year for movies 1950 was.  It was also a great year for actresses, in that Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson delivered legendary performances in their respective films, with Margo Channing and Norma Desmond ranking high in the pantheon of great screen divas.  In the end, it was Judy Holliday who took home the Oscar for BORN YESTERDAY, which she would have deserved in any other year.  I normally don't use the Oscars as a barometer of anything.  It's just that they actually seemed to mean something back when Hollywood strived for quality. - JL

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