Movie: All About EveEnglish 30Spring “97” In the film All About Eve, (directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and released in1950), Eve Harrison (Anne Baxter) was a young woman with evil running throughher veins. She wanted to be “somebody” and chose to get there through MargoChanning (Betty Davis) who was a famous stage star. Eve would do whatever ittook to get where she wanted to be, including hurt the ones that trusted her andtook 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 apedastel, and looked at someone like Eve as being below her, a poor soul thatcould be of no threat to anyone, especially Margo Channing.
Eve played the meekand shy girl that idolized Margo. She claimed to attend all the preformaces ofthe play that week due to the fact that she adored Margo and she would havenowhere 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 bitharder to get this. Margo took her into her home.
Margo’s secretary-aid, Birdie (Thelma Ritter), was the first to sensesomething was strange about Eve, but her position made it not her place to speakher mind. Eve knew this and also knew it would be easy to take control of herposition because of this. It would only seem to Margo that she enjoyed doingthings for her. Eve charmed Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill), director and Margo’s lover, with herfeminine qualities that Margo lacked.
Eve just seemed to be overly interestedin everything Bill had to say about the theater. She used to keep him admiringher and at the same time, drove Margo crazy with jealousy to tear theirrelationship apart. Little did she realize, Bill had no romantic feelingstowards 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 foundand introduced Eve to Margo. She was the type of person that would anything foranyone, sort of niave and trusted Eve from day one. Karen was amazed by Eve’sdevotion towards her idol. After getting into Margo’s home, she used Karen’skindness to subtly suggest that she would love to replace Margo’s pregnantunderstudy. Once again she got her way.
After Eve’s first reading, she completely won over Karen’s husband, LloydRichards (Hugh Marlowe), a playwright. Eve gave him his dream: to have anactress play the part of a character with the same age, eliminating the”comprimises” that he normally had to work through with Margo (Margo was mucholder). Eve was fabulous (from studying Margo “like a blueprint”) . Margothrew a jealousy fit because everyone raved so about her preformance.Now thisbrought 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 missher show so Eve can have her big momentthinking that she was doing good for allconcerned.
After the play was when things began to fall apart. She receivedgreat 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 shecould say whatever she wanted and blame it on De Witt, claiming he changed herwords around, and noone would have trouble believing it.She pleaded for Lloyd’s forgiveness, stating that she could not face Margo orthe others.
During this vindication, she once again worked her magic giving himthe 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 ideainstead of her. Already tired of Margo’s pushyness and temper tantrums, asidefrom the fact that Eve was the perfect age, it wasn’t tough for Lloyd to thinkshe 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 getoutright nasty to get this part. She blackmailed Karen announcing that De Wittsaid she best agree to her