All About Eve

Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Marilyn Monroe Synopsis: A story of an aging Broadway star named Margo Channing who takes in an ardent fan only to discover she's an aspiring actress with designs on Margo's stardom, roles, friends and life. On the surface, it appears to be a fairly typical story of insatiable ambition in the theatre, and even as such a typical story, it's a good movie. But EVE's brilliant dialogue and well-developed characters brought to life by a host of talented actors separate this film from other familiar backstage plotlines: ALL ABOUT EVE is a woman's picture, though not in the weepy or melodramatic sense usually associated with the term. It is a woman's picture because three leading characters struggle with themselves in an eternal female contest: personal fulfillment through career achievement or through relationships. (Although men too struggle with this issue on some levels, it has never been the same, because society never asks men to chose between career and family, only to find the right balance; whereas women are forced to chose between marriage and a career, the conventional wisdom - then and now - being that successful participation in both at the same time is impossible.) What distinguishes ALL ABOUT EVE from other women's films however, is the fact that the surface story of treachery and ambition is sufficiently entertaining in itself for the rest of the audience, thanks to the superior writing and acting with which this film is blessed. Although some in the audience might miss the greater significance of the film (which transports it from the "good" to "great" category), they won't be bored; while those who do see the meaning will be as impressed with its insight as with its other more obvious aesthetic qualities.