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All About Eve

Title: All About Eve
Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Written by:
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Year: 1950

Since I still try to watch films from the IMDB top list, I come a cross a lot of old productions. Almost without exception, these have all been brilliant in some way (e.g. Citizen Kane, Casablanca and Dr. Strangelove), but each time it takes a while to understand why they are so great. The good thing is that I’ve never been severely disappointed, and so it was that I started watching All About Eve with confidence.

True enough, the film was a bit slow in the beginning and really only managed to gather momentum towards the end, but it still worked up to quite a high level eventually. The story is about young and ambitious Eve who, seemingly with pure luck, achieves her goal of getting to know the great actress Margot, the focus of her ambitions. The film then captures her gradual ascent to celebrity (which comes as no surprise, since the film’s first scene is of a price ceremony and the rest is background to that), her interactions with other people connected to the theatre and so forth.

There are mainly two things which make All About Eve really worthwhile. First and foremost, the acting and the characters are extremely good. Second, the story contains a few twists and turns that were far from obvious and kept me hooked as a watcher. This film is well-made and carefully thought-out, no doubt about it. The setting and the plot itself limits the scope somewhat (meaning that the actual content of the film doesn’t suit me very well), but I’m still prepared to grant it four snails.