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All About Eve

All About Eve  

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  1. 1. Does "All About Eve" belong on the AFI List?

    • Yes
      11
    • No
      1

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  • Poll closed on 03/01/19 at 08:00 AM

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8 hours ago, DanEngler said:

Assorted footnotes:

  • Like Paul, I also assumed Addison DeWitt was gay from the outset, and I realized it was due to how much he reminded me of a young Stephen Fry.
  • Did anyone else notice the really odd use of rear-projection when Eve and DeWitt were "walking" to Eve's apartment? Why?
  • I've said this before but You Must Remember This is a true work of art and I hope Karina is a frequent return guest!

P.S. Facebook users are the balcony monsters of Unspooled listenership.

Re: the rear projection

I noticed it too, but I figured it was so they could pass beneath the marquee with her name on it. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just do it without the rear projection, though. Was it still difficult to mic people outdoors in those days? 

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1 hour ago, CameronH said:

Re: the rear projection

I noticed it too, but I figured it was so they could pass beneath the marquee with her name on it. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just do it without the rear projection, though. Was it still difficult to mic people outdoors in those days? 

The rear projection is probably the worst thing in the movie.

My original thought was they filmed it in LA and wanted to have a real theater in New Haven in the background. 

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38 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

The rear projection is probably the worst thing in the movie

Agreed. It was so jarring it actually kind of makes me mad because now I legit can't remember what they were talking about during that scene because I was focusing on that the whole time.

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Slight spoiler warning: Double Indemnity has a slight less jarring but still not so great rear projection scene at the Hollywood Bowl.

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I watched All About Eve with the commentary last night, and strangely they didn't explain the rear projection at all. 

A few interesting things I learned is that Joe Mankiewicz hated that because of All About Eve, an actual Sarah Siddons Award was created.  Celeste Holm, the actress who played Karen, actually received the award one year, which rankled Joe.

One of the commentators was Ken Geist, who wrote a Mankiewicz biography.  I wanted to find out more about Geist, and in my Googling, I found out that Geist said Eve Harrington was originally conceived as a lesbian.  

Joe Mankiewicz's son, Tom Mankiewicz, was another commentator and his insights about his parents were fascinating.  He said he saw his father in Bill and his mother in Margo.  His mother was Rose Stradner, mostly known as a theater actress in Austria.  When she married Joe Mankiewicz, she came to Hollywood and became a homemaker. It was her understudy who ended up with a successful career in Hollywood - sound familiar?  Tom said his father had many affairs (for example, Joe had an affair with Judy Garland during his marriage with Rose) and Tom said he saw his parents during the fight scene between Bill and Margo on the bed on stage.

Lastly (most importantly), the third commentator was Celest Holm.  While she shared very little, my favorite trivia came from her.  She said that she painted the eggplant herself!  She was bored waiting around set sometimes, so in between takes, she actually painted that still life of bananas and eggplant.  She sounded really proud of the painting LOL.

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On 8/14/2018 at 7:03 AM, tomspanks said:

Maybe I'm misinterpreting the posts here, but I don't think Margo plans to give up acting when she gets married.  In the Cub Room, where she announces her upcoming wedding, she declares "no more make believe, off stage or on" and describes her plans to play "grown up women" in future plays.  

Speak of "modern interpretations," I see Margo as a kind of Liz Lemon.  Successful career, husband and kids, and delicious sandwiches from NJ.

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That's true. I've been looking at Margo's speech kind of in a vacuum, but with full context it's probably best read this way.

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5 hours ago, CameronH said:

Re: the rear projection

I noticed it too, but I figured it was so they could pass beneath the marquee with her name on it. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just do it without the rear projection, though. Was it still difficult to mic people outdoors in those days? 

Agreed, totally bizarre. I feel like I must have seen other movies from this period that had no issue with shooting dialogue scenes outside.

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48 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

That's true. I've been looking at Margo's speech kind of in a vacuum, but with full context it's probably best read this way.

Yeah because I certainly wasn't talking about context of the character throughout the whole movie that entire time...

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20 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

Yeah because I certainly wasn't talking about context of the character throughout the whole movie that entire time...

I seem to have offended, so I offer my apologies. Sometimes I can get on a track of arguing a point just to argue it. Taking a day or so to reevaluate the full context helped.

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54 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I seem to have offended, so I offer my apologies. Sometimes I can get on a track of arguing a point just to argue it. Taking a day or so to reevaluate the full context helped.

I appreciate that. It became frustrating that it took someone else saying the exact same thing I was trying to say for you to say that it was a good point, albeit recognizably worded differently, that I was kinda throwing my hands up in the air in confusion lol.

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1 hour ago, taylorannephoto said:

I appreciate that. It became frustrating that it took someone else saying the exact same thing I was trying to say for you to say that it was a good point, albeit recognizably worded differently, that I was kinda throwing my hands up in the air in confusion lol.

Didn't mean it to come off that way, I just quoted the last post in the discussion. I'll make clear, though, that it was re-reading the whole thread (your posts included) that made me realize I wasn't in disagreement as much as I thought.

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20 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Didn't mean it to come off that way, I just quoted the last post in the discussion. I'll make clear, though, that it was re-reading the whole thread (your posts included) that made me realize I wasn't in disagreement as much as I thought.

Fair enough! And I wanted to again make it clear that I completely understand what you had been saying in your own argument.

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I was glad to hear Amy mention the terrific Thelma Ritter (who steals Rear Window in her few scenes).  It's partly Ritter who makes me sure Paul is wrong about Ritter's character having once been like Betty Davis's character.  Ritter was vaudeville, not a serious dramatic actress.  Also Ritter shows Paul is wrong about Eve not being a total baddie.  Ritter is the audience's stand in -- Ritter is the first one to know Eve is no good and we can trust Ritter on that. 

As for the rear projection, that's only part of the issue.  I love the movie like crazy, but I saw it in a theater a year or so ago and I was distracted by being able to see the textures on the fabric of the clothes everyone was wearing.  With black and white movies, clothing can take on a beautiful, unreal quality.  But up close on the screen you can see that maybe it looks good but it's not a great fabric for real.  

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I didn't rewatch, but all I can remember from AAE is all the smoking that Bette Davis did.  The big tobacco companies should use clips from this film to show that cigarette smoking is fine, Bette lived until 81 while smoking like a lunatic.

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2 hours ago, Hashtag Film said:

I didn't rewatch, but all I can remember from AAE is all the smoking that Bette Davis did.  The big tobacco companies should use clips from this film to show that cigarette smoking is fine, Bette lived until 81 while smoking like a lunatic.

Totally. AAE made me consider smoking. It looked so cool. 

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4 hours ago, Hashtag Film said:

I didn't rewatch, but all I can remember from AAE is all the smoking that Bette Davis did.  The big tobacco companies should use clips from this film to show that cigarette smoking is fine, Bette lived until 81 while smoking like a lunatic.

My mom was a smoker and she used to watch old movies with me.  She would always point out how cool the smoking looked and say that's why she started.  I think it's Bette Davis in Now Voyager where the guy lights two cigarettes in his mouth then hands her one of them?  

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19 hours ago, tomspanks said:

One of the commentators was Ken Geist, who wrote a Mankiewicz biography.  I wanted to find out more about Geist, and in my Googling, I found out that Geist said Eve Harrington was originally conceived as a lesbian.  

I could definitely see this!  While I don't think the film needs any changes, it almost would have made Eve's character more sympathetic in my mind. 

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14 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

I could definitely see this!  While I don't think the film needs any changes, it almost would have made Eve's character more sympathetic in my mind. 

I don’t know. I feel like - especially back then - her being a lesbian would have only been seen as a part of her overall psychosis. Back in those days, in many places, it was still illegal to be gay and people were institutionalized for being homosexual.

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1 hour ago, CameronH said:

I don’t know. I feel like - especially back then - her being a lesbian would have only been seen as a part of her overall psychosis. Back in those days, in many places, it was still illegal to be gay and people were institutionalized for being homosexual.

I was about to say that same thing. It would have been totally used as anti-LGBT propaganda.

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3 hours ago, CameronH said:

I don’t know. I feel like - especially back then - her being a lesbian would have only been seen as a part of her overall psychosis. Back in those days, in many places, it was still illegal to be gay and people were institutionalized for being homosexual.

 

2 hours ago, taylorannephoto said:

I was about to say that same thing. It would have been totally used as anti-LGBT propaganda.

Both true. It's easy to want to forget that was ever the case. 

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24 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

Speaking of LGBTQ in this era, did anyone read Amy's article?  

I did! It was fantastic!

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57 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

Speaking of LGBTQ in this era, did anyone read Amy's article?  

"...and a three-way with Ava Gardner and Lana Turner"

God damn am I jealous.

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Also, the Hepburn-Tracy relationship was platonic? That changes so many things...

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6 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

Also, the Hepburn-Tracy relationship was platonic? That changes so many things...

RIGHT!? That actually blew my mind! Also then how do they explain Katharine's relationship with Howard Hughes? Didn't they have a long affair? Was that all for the press too!?

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