Aug 17, 2010

Summer Movie Blogathon: All About Eve (1950)


 I first became obsessed with classic movies at the age of thirteen, when I saw Dark Victory (1939) on broadcast TV. Bette Davis caught my eye—and that was it, I was hooked. I soon had a nice collection of classic flicks on VHS—all recorded from TV.

I must have watched them all several times, but the one I remember best is All About Eve (1950). For a while, I think I must have watched that movie once a week. It was irresistible to me. I’ve never been able to figure out exactly what it was about those impeccably dressed theater people that reached me. My best guess is that this was one of the first times that I recognized I was watching a well-made movie. Rather than being drawn to separate elements, like the star or the plot, on some level I realized I was seeing something that was more than the sum of the parts.

And so on lovely summer days, when I was on vacation from school, I watched Eve many times. Sure I’d hang out with my friends, and there were family vacations—but once I had all that free time, I chose to spend a great deal of it with this clever group of martini-sipping New Yorkers.

With the exception of a high school friend who would watch anything, and my dad—who liked to watch classic flicks while ironing his shirts—I didn’t know anyone else who liked these movies. I don’t recall being bothered by that, but on some level I must have wished I knew more people who enjoyed Eve as I did.

Years later, my boyfriend took me to an outdoor screening of All About Eve. I couldn’t believe it. In a series that usually screened Grease, Raiders of the Lost Ark and other crowd pleasers, they were showing this dialogue-driven flick  in a parking lot on a warm summer night!

As I watched Eve for the first time with a crowd, I could have recited every line. That was nothing new. The thing that excited me was that I could see there were other people in the crowd who seemed to know the movie as well as I did. And it was a big crowd. The parking lot was full. There had to have been a couple of hundred people there. It was a marvelous night.


  1. Awesome post KC. All About is my favorite Bette Davis ever. And that was cool that you got to see it on the big screen with other people. That had to be a wonderful experience.

  2. Such a great post! All About Eve is one of those films that can make anybody love classic films. It's great that you have such a passion for it. It truly is a wonderful film (that lends itself to multiple viewings). I got to see the movie in a packed repertory theater. That was a great experience!

  3. I'd love to see All About Eve on the big screen. It's without a doubt my favorite film, not to mention Bette's superb performance. Great post!

  4. Monty--Thank you. It was a wonderful experience to see Eve on the big screen. I hope you have the opportunity to do so some day.

    Raquelle--I'm glad you liked the post! I agree that this is the sort of film that could get you hooked on classic Hollywood. If I would have seen Eve before Dark Victory, I'm sure I would be just as hooked as I am today.

    Whitney--If I were forced to pick a favorite movie, I might go with Eve too. I don't know if I could be forced to pick though--too hard! Anyway, I hope you get a chance to see it on the big screen; it is so much fun to hear the audience reaction to that witty script.