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deserving of the hype
An absolutely wonderful movie, with witty dialogue that keeps the film moving and great performances from every member of the ensemble. I can see why this is such an enduring classic – what’s not to love about women being witty and bitchy to each other? It holds up remarkably for a film that’s almost seven decades old.
|Bette Davis||Margo Channing|
|Anne Baxter||Eve Harrington|
|George Sanders||Addison DeWitt|
|Celeste Holm||Karen Richards|
|Gary Merrill||Bill Sampson|
|Marilyn Monroe||Miss Caswell|
|Hugh Marlowe||Lloyd Richards|
|Gregory Ratoff||Max Fabian|
|Thelma Ritter||Birdie Coonan|
|Walter Hampden||Aged Actor|
|Craig Hill||Leading Man|
|Barbara White||Autograph Seeker|
|Edith Head||Costume Design|
|Darryl F. Zanuck||Producer|
|Alfred Newman||Original Music Composer|
|Walter M. Scott||Set Decoration|
|Joseph L. Mankiewicz||Director|
|Milton R. Krasner||Director of Photography|
|George W. Davis||Art Direction|
|W.D. Flick||Sound Designer|
|Joseph L. Mankiewicz||Writer|
|Mary Orr||Story Contributor|
"It's all about women...and their men!"
"It's all about women---and their men!"
At an awards dinner, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) — the newest and brightest star on Broadway — is being presented the Sarah Siddons Award for her breakout performance as Cora in Footsteps on the Ceiling. Theatre critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders) observes the proceedings and, in a sardonic voiceover, recalls how Eve's star rose as quickly as it did.The film flashes back a year. Margo Channing (Bette Davis) is one of the biggest stars on Broadway, but despite her success she is bemoaning her age, having just turned forty and knowing what that will mean for her career. After a performance one night, Margo's close friend Karen Richards (Celeste Holm), wife of the play's author Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), meets besotted fan Eve Harrington in the cold alley outside the stage door. Recognizing her from having passed her many times in the alley (as Eve claims to have seen every performance of Margo's current play, Aged in Wood), Karen takes her backstage to meet Margo. Eve tells the group gathered in Margo's dressing room — Karen and Lloyd, Margo's boyfriend Bill Sampson (Gary Merrill), a director who is eight years her junior, and Margo's maid Birdie (Thelma Ritter) — that she followed Margo's last theatrical tour to New York after seeing her in a play in San Francisco. She tells a moving and involving story of a difficult life, including losing her young husband in the recent war. She is becomingly humble and flattering in her idolization of Margo. In response, Margo quickly befriends Eve, moves her into her home, and takes her on as her assistant, leaving Birdie, who instinctively dislikes Eve, feeling put out.
Theatrical : 1950-11-09 : United States of America
DVD : 1999-10-05