Tuesday, October 16, 2018

1951: All About Eve

You would think that I would be inclined to want to like a movie more that has a Civil War joke 11 minutes in. But there are some things that bug me about it. I really want to dislike All About Eve. But it's a really good movie.

So what don't I like? All About Eve is more about Broadway in 1951, but can be said about Hollywood today. They really love themselves. Just a few minutes into the movie, a room of about 50 people in the industry give a three minute long standing ovation to a young actress for previous accomplishments. It's just weird, and why I don't enjoy watching awards shows. I just don't like the entertainer circle jerk.

We're also in the height of overacting. I've seen the slow transition from silent movies up to here. Previous Oscar winners had a lot of that radio voice style of acting. They've been slowly building up to this melodramatic style. Every single line everyone says is said as if it's the line that explains the title. And with a movie about acting, All About Eve punches you in the face with it.

Funny note - this is what I wrote about it when I first saw it many years ago: "Is an extremely well acted movie which should be obvious to just that anybody that watches it, even a fool like me." I was a fool. Overacting bugs me.

And finally, the theme. The first four notes are basically Tara's theme from Gone With the Wind.

What's good? Everything else. It's a great script. The best line, I think, is Marilyn Monroe's line right after the "Fasten your seat belts" line:

"You won't bore him, honey. You won't even get a chance to talk."

NEXT WEEK: 1952 - An American in Paris

Oscar Project Rankings:

  1. Casablanca (1944)
  2. It Happened One Night (1935)
  3. Gentleman's Agreement (1948)
  4. The Best Years of Our Lives (1947)
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front (1931)
  6. Rebecca (1941) 
  7. All About Eve (1951)
  8. Mutiny on the Bounty (1936)
  9. You Can't Take It With You (1939) 
  10. Gone With the Wind (1940) 
  11. Hamlet (1949)
  12. The Life of Emile Zola (1938)
  13. All the King's Men (1950)
  14. Grand Hotel (1933)
  15. Cimarron (1932)
  16. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
  17. Broadway Melody (1930)
  18. The Lost Weekend (1946)
  19. Going My Way (1945)
  20. How Green Was My Valley (1942)
  21. Wings (1929)
  22. Mrs. Miniver (1943)
  23. Cavalcade (1934)