Movie: All About Eve
In the film All About Eve, (directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and released in
1950), Eve Harrison (Anne Baxter) was a young woman with evil running through
her veins. She wanted to be “somebody” and chose to get there through Margo
Channing (Betty Davis) who was a famous stage star. Eve would do whatever it
took to get where she wanted to be, including hurt the ones that trusted her and
took her in as a “lost lamb”. Though Eve was already evil within and throughout,
the people around her made it even easier to acomplish her goals.
Margo was one of the most popular stage actresses and put herself high on a
pedastel, and looked at someone like Eve as being below her, a poor soul that
could be of no threat to anyone, especially Margo Channing. Eve played the meek
and shy girl that idolized Margo. She claimed to attend all the preformaces of
the play that week due to the fact that she adored Margo and she would have
nowhere else to go anyway. Doing this allowed Eve to get her foot in the door.
If it wasn’t for Margo’s conceitedness, Eve would have had to work a little bit
harder to get this. Margo took her into her home.
Margo’s secretary-aid, Birdie (Thelma Ritter), was the first to sense
something was strange about Eve, but her position made it not her place to speak
her mind. Eve knew this and also knew it would be easy to take control of her
position because of this. It would only seem to Margo that she enjoyed doing
things for her.
Eve charmed Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill), director and Margo’s lover, with her
feminine qualities that Margo lacked. Eve just seemed to be overly interested
in everything Bill had to say about the theater. She used to keep him admiring
her and at the same time, drove Margo crazy with jealousy to tear their
relationship apart. Little did she realize, Bill had no romantic feelings
towards Eve at all, so she blew her cover when she made a pass at him.
Karen Richards (Celeste Holm), Margo’s best friend, was the one that found
and introduced Eve to Margo. She was the type of person that would anything for
anyone, sort of niave and trusted Eve from day one. Karen was amazed by Eve’s
devotion towards her idol. After getting into Margo’s home, she used Karen’s
kindness to subtly suggest that she would love to replace Margo’s pregnant
understudy. Once again she got her way.
After Eve’s first reading, she completely won over Karen’s husband, Lloyd
Richards (Hugh Marlowe), a playwright. Eve gave him his dream: to have an
actress play the part of a character with the same age, eliminating the
“comprimises” that he normally had to work through with Margo (Margo was much
older). Eve was fabulous (from studying Margo “like a blueprint”) . Margo
threw a jealousy fit because everyone raved so about her preformance.Now this
brought Lloyd to the conclusion that Margo was well overdue for a boot.
Karen’s kindness comes back again when Karen sets it up so Margo would miss
her show so Eve can have her big momentthinking that she was doing good for all
concerned. After the play was when things began to fall apart. She received
great reviews for the preformance and set up an interview with Addison De Witt
(George Sanders), well known for degrating people in his column. She knew she
could say whatever she wanted and blame it on De Witt, claiming he changed her
words around, and noone would have trouble believing it.
She pleaded for Lloyd’s forgiveness, stating that she could not face Margo or
the others. During this vindication, she once again worked her magic giving him
the idea that she would be perfect for his new play, which was created for Margo.
She got him to believe, like everyone else, that he came up with the idea
instead of her. Already tired of Margo’s pushyness and temper tantrums, aside
from the fact that Eve was the perfect age, it wasn’t tough for Lloyd to think
she was best. But, he told her, Karen had to agree.
By this time most have figured out her evil ways so she knew she had to get
outright nasty to get this part. She blackmailed Karen announcing that De Witt
said she best agree to her