Best Picture Winners Part 23 (of 87): All About Eve

Title: All About Eve
Year: 1950
Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
Director: Joseph Mankiewicz
Runtime: 2 hrs 18 mins

Is It Any Good?: Dammit it’s good! It’s funny, and the jokes and gags still hit over 60 year’s later. Joseph Mankiewicz won the Oscar for Best Directing and it’s not a wonder why with this funny, biting societal farce. It looks at fame and how it affects the aging stage star Margo Channing (Davis) as she wonders where her place is now that she’s the big 4-0. What sparks that neurosis is the introduction of the much younger Eve Harrington into Margo’s life. The young Miss Harrington is honored to meet Margo, but it turns out that all isn’t what it seems and that this young lady may have ulterior motives and those motives may be more sinister then she believes.

Memorable Quote: Margo Channing: Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!

Competition: Super Stiff!! When looking up and down this list it’s easy to how good this years competition was. First you had Born Yesterday Judy Holliday’s Oscar-winning turn as the energetic Billie Dawn in a great George Cukor directed Broadway adaptation that continued to skirt it’s censorship limitations. Next we had a great comedy in Father of the Bride which features Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor gliding through quippy dialogue in Vincent Minelli’s (Yes, Liza’s dad!) which saw a hilarious Tracy as the titular patriarch. Allen Quatermain’s second (there’d be two more) venture into the cinematic proves a beautifully shot, and wondrous big screen adventure. Lastly we have possibly the only film that could have dethroned All About Eve and that’s Billy Wilder’s awesome Hollywood story of screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) who wrote a screenplay for an aging silent star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). Mr. Demille would be proud of this look into the transition from silent films to “talkies”. Swanson chews each scene with the starving ferocity of an individual on the brink of insanity.

Unbelievable year this one and we’re just getting started with the 1950’s, really looking forward to whatever is next. So I hope you’ll join us in 1951 and be sure to check out all of our previous years on our previous years HERE

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