A fine film, but fell short in my expectations.
I read considerably well about this film, before watching it. Also, this film had some similarities to another film "Sunset Boulevard" which was released in the same year. While the latter was terrific in writing and wonderful in acting. This film, All About Eve is different in terms of writing and involves 4 principal women who have their friendships, their careers at stake.
Eve Harrington played by Anne Baxter seems to be an extremely determined woman who goes to any length to get what she wants. From creating a false story to coldly intimidating her friend for a role in play, she is cold blooded and yet adorable. Anna Baxter played the role superbly and credit goes to the writing and her lines, more than half her job was done by the good writing itself.
The next most important character, I saw was of Margo Channing played superbly by Bette Davis. She is generous and yet very possessive and has a humane nature under the embellishments of fame. She is indeed the true gem of the film and takes the script and writing to a high by her portrayal of the character. "Tonight I forgive all, I forgive Eve" can't be said in much more cold way than how Bette said. Great acting by a superb actress.
Even the other women, like Celeste Holm who played Karen Richards or the final character that is "Phoebe" played by Barabara Bates or even Birdie played by Thelma Ritter are well written and played well. This is essentially a film about women more than men.
The production design is superb and the music adds to the drama. I wish, the editing could have been better and the dialogues were crisp. Especially the long climax between Karen and Eve could have been cut short. Also, many moments would have been done away with reducing the time and also easing out the pace. Perhaps, the director Joseph Mankiewicz had been persistent to give detailing to every scene and thus made it the way it stand today. It's fine though but I wish it could have been greater than being just good, as per me.
A 3/5 for this, I liked it nevertheless, yet did not fall in love with it. I loved "Sunset Boulevard" though. I expected this film to be better and maybe that is the flaw, it's just good by all means.