CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Friday, April 1, 2011


I want to thank all you old fogeys for letting me in...what idiots you were.

Me and my friend and blogger Irene Palfy of And Then They Start To Sparkle will be doing a cross-over this month between our two blogs. The theme is women who, how shall I put this in a nice way, are kind of difficult to deal with. The kind of women that may are scheming, cynical, jealous, manipulative, and just all around pain in the neck to be around. The kind of woman you definitely would not want to cross. And I'm not slamming women. Anyone that follows my blog know that I love classic movie actresses with a passion. But me and Irene wanted to focus on some the best on screen women performances that make you shake your head and gasp at how ruthless and dangerous they can be. So we will each focus on a different film with our critique and photos and video and whatever else we can think of. I will be starting things off with one of my all time favorites All About Eve.
I have to tell you Margo, your hair is positively ridiculous

Anne Baxter was perfect as the scheming and conniving Eve Harrington, as an aspiring actress who worms her way into the life of veteran Broadway star Margo Channing (played in full diva mode by Bette Davis). Eve at first comes across as that quiet little girl who you think wouldn't harm a fly. She is anything but. She is like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Her manipulation of Margo's inner circle of friends including the playwright (Hugh Marlowe) and Margo's best friend Karen (played by Celeste Holm) are a sight to behold. This young little thing uses every means to her advantage. Plus she gets help from the sly Addison DeWitt (played by George Sanders) as a columnist who sits back and enjoys the show.
Uh, Addison why are you looking at me that way. I don't even know you.

The thing this film is that it is heavily female centric and all the women are solid in their performances. Some might say this is typical Bette Davis, and they would be right. But it is also a different Bette as she manages to be strong and overpowering in one scene to muted and quiet in the next. The great Thelma Ritter is excellent as Margo's helper Birdie, who is the only one who sees Eve as she truly is. Birdie manages a lot of the film's best one liners. And Celeste Holm is good as the valiant Karen, who manages not to be overlooked in this cast of larger than life characters.  Oh and lets not forget about Marilyn Monroe in a small but worthy role. She is a nice addition to this ensemble cast. But back to the main character..Eve. Anne Baxter was only 26 when she made this film, one of her first big roles and she nails it. Her standoff scenes with Bette are great as she always seems to keep her cool. But behind closed doors Eve is volatile and unpredictable, with a nasty mean streak. Anne's performance here is one of her best I think. It just that she manages to look so innocent and be so nice and understanding, then BLAM! out comes the devil. Check out this scene in which Eve manipulates Karen with ease in this simple echange of favors. Watch a master at work.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best or the worst depending on how you look at it.


And finally here are some choice quotes from the lady Eve herself:

When you're a secretary in a brewery, it's pretty hard to make-believe you're anything else. Everything is beer.

If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights.

I will regard this great honor not so much as an award for what I have achieved, but a standard to hold against what I have yet to accomplish.

Be sure to check out Dawn and Irene's blogs for their contributions to Beware These Women! this month as well.


Dawn said...

Monty, good choice for "Beware of These Woman" tribute, All About Eve, is an amazing movie about a star who was an incredible actress fighting passing of time. Which is a perfect part for Bette Davis. Although, Bette Davis, always seem to be in the perfect part. All About Eve, is my favorite Anne Baxter, performance.

I just added Bette Davis Vol.1 DVD Collection to my ever growing DVD collection.

Frl. Irene Palfy said...

I only can agree with Dawn: A great film - with an amazing cast! :")

Patti said...

Really love this movie...a definite 5 star. Fabulous cast...amazing performances.

I look back at 1950, and I can't believe the tough job the Academy had that year for Best Actress...Bette, Anne, Eleanor (for "Caged), Gloria, and Judy. What a year that was!!

To Dawn, I have Bette's Vol 1 and Vol. 3 collections. Still need to get the Volume 2. You can never watch too much Bette is my adage.


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