150 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2003
I managed to find this a few days before its official release date and am happy to report that it finally gives this classic film the treatment it deserves. The video and audio have been restored from orignal source material with noticeable improvements over the previous DVD transfer. The picture has none of the scratches and dust that were present on the earlier version, and there is a Dolby stereo option as well as the original mono. The stereo soundtrack offers greater clarity and depth and there's no low-level hum or hiss.
Besides offering a major improvement in the quality of the image and sound, the new DVD also includes a good selection of extras. There's a 25 minute "Backstory" from AMC that is very informative and entertaining. There are two separate commentary tracks, one with Celeste Holm, Christopher Mankiewicz (Joseph's son), and Kenneth Geist, the other with Sam Staggs, author of "All About 'All About Eve'". There are
promotional interviews with Davis and Baxter, four newsreels, a trailer, and a restoration comparison.
The restoration comparison is one of the strangest that I've seen. Instead of an audio track explaining the problems and processes involved in the transfer, there's a series of screens with text printed on them. There then follows a series of comparisons from various versions of the film. There's nothing really wrong with any of this, but considering the huge amount of time and effort that goes into a restoration of this magnitude, I expected something a bit more dynamic.
For any "All About Eve" fan, old or new, this is the DVD we have been waiting for, and at five dollars less than the original DVD, a real bargain.
159 of 174 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 1999
Bette Davis made this movie in 1950 when her career was faltering;her last film was the insipid "Beyond the Forest" (now considered a minor camp classic by some.) "All About Eve" is relished by many who hail it as Davis's all-time greatest performance(which is,in all fairness, arguable) as the forty year old magnetic actress Margo Channing.Many also feel Davis never looked better than she does here (her costume designer for this was the legendary Edith Head).The acting is genuinely excellent and the screenplay is music to the ears;as a consolation for not winning the AA,(it went to Judy Holliday)Davis received the coveted New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress.George Sanders is peerless as the poison pen critic Addison De Witt;( he won the academy award for best supporting actor.) Thelma Ritter is hilarious as the wise old companion of Margo's who's seen it all happen before. Celeste Holm gives an absolutely sparkling performance as Karen Richards(she tells Eve "I'm the lowest form of celebrity" she being the wife of playwright Lloyd Richards(Hugh Marlowe,whose wooden personality suits the role he plays.)Gregory Ratoff's timing in the "bicarbonate of soda" scene is amazing and Gary Merrill is right on as the cynical Bill whose age (32) creates insecurity for Margo; she fears she'll lose him to some young "babe".The film holds up extremely well,considering it will be 50 years old next year.Marilyn Monroe has an amusing bit as a "Graduate of the Copacabana School of Dramatic Arts" Finally we come to the gal who played the "little worm" of the title: Anne Baxter.She is astonishingly straightforward and realistic in her interpretation of the louse;if she seems to be a bit on the drab side, it's only because she's underplaying to the "Queen Mother", studying and using her idol as a stepping stone in order to get her name in electric lights and reign supreme as a Lady of the Theatre; in other words, she's diabolical as HELL! If you've never seen this movie, you're in for a treat. If you have'nt seen the DVD version do so;the print is crystal clear and adds immensely to the film's viewing pleasure.This is Mankiewicz's masterpiece and it won the Oscar for the Best Picture of 1950.
48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2002
All about Eve is (along with Sunset Blvd.) my favourite film of that year. What makes it so great? Everything! This is the story of how greedy people get ahead in showbiz: using other people and manipulating their lives.
But there's more than meets the eye. The screenplay really shows how the characters revolving around Eve get affected by her actions. All of them play important parts in her raise and ultimate fall.
And more... The ending is one of the best endings ever written on movie history. This is a film that trully shows you the circle of life and how the evil that you do returns to you in the end.
Bette Davis, Celeste Holm, Anne Baxter, Thelma Ritter (and even Marilyn Monroe)... This is also a film dominated by women. It is their antagonism between them that moves the film. What they want and what they do. Every scene in this film is capital.
An american gem: a solid script, a strong cast, a beautiful music score, great production values, a great cinematography and on top of it all, a great director in peak form.
This DVD edition is ok. I think this film deserved a better edition with some commentary or a brief documentary, production notes or something like that. Here, all you get is the trailer. Anyway, with or without extras, this film is a must!
My two favourite lines: Bette Davis' "fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night!" and "I wish someone would tell me about me." ohh, but there are many... George Sanders' introduction is beautiful as is his "killer to killer" final talk with Eve.
Buy it now!
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
The new Blu-Ray edition of All About Eve has a new fabulous, super clear flawless print, and incredible stereophonic sound. (There is no information on the disk or booklet on how this was done or where the improved soundtracks came from or were processed.) The movie itself is a classic, one of the ten best movies ever made, with Bette Davis giving a once-in-a lifetime performance. The new print is much clearer than any earlier versions and the sound has been improved over the years from extremely muffled (VHS) to this incredibly clear and excellent sounding transfer. There is also a separate audio-only track where Alfred Newman's music can be heard to even greater effect. I think most of the extras have been included in earlier DVD versions. It's worth replaceing your earlier DVD with this very much improved Blu-Ray version. I hope Fox can do the same magic on the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The brand-new Special Edition of ALL ABOUT EVE offers a fantastic insight into one of the most influential and refreshing films to have emerged from Hollywood in the 1950s. Still as potent and as darkly hilarious now as when it was first released, ALL ABOUT EVE tells the story of a seemingly-innocuous young woman called Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), who worms her way into the life of her idol, stage star Margo Channing (Bette Davis). Eve soon makes herself indispensable in Margo's circle of friends and eventually becomes her understudy on stage as well as in life. But manipulative Eve will only settle for the ultimate goal...to eclipse Margo as the greatest star on Broadway.
Anne Baxter and Bette Davis delivers consummate performances as Eve and Margo. Baxter is so convincing as the down-on-her-luck Eve in the first scenes that, just like Margo and her friends, she pulls me in every time. She is simply that good. Bette Davis, who had recently ended her long-standing Warner Brothers contract, revived her career with her performance of Margo Channing, the imperious but ultimately flawed and very human stage diva. Celeste Holm (riding high following her Oscar win for "Gentleman's Agreement") is a delight as Margo's best friend Karen Richards. Thelma Ritter scored an Oscar nomination for her role as Margo's wisecracking assistant Birdie Coonan. George Sanders plays the acid-tongued theater columnist Addison DeWitt with all the relish of a python going in for the kill. A very young Marilyn Monroe, on the cusp of her fame at Twentieth Century-Fox, plays eager young starlet Miss Caswell in the film's signature party scene. Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlowe are fine as the men in the lives of Margo and Karen.
ALL ABOUT EVE was nominated for a record 14 Academy Awards (a record that it still holds alongside "Titanic"). It won six trophies including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (George Sanders), Best Screenplay and Best Director (Joseph L. Mankiewicz). Both Anne Baxter and Bette Davis were nominated in the 'Best Actress' category, though they lost to Judy Holliday for "Born Yesterday". Baxter was supposed to have been nominated in the 'Best Supporting Actress' category, but insisted she be put into the 'Best Actress' competition, feeling her role in the film of equal importance to Bette Davis'. In later years, Baxter conceded that she should have kept her original nomination, as she would most certainly have won, and Bette Davis might have walked away with 'Best Actress'.
The wonderful new 2-disc Special Edition DVD from Fox comes with a fine assortment of bonus material including audio commentary with Celeste Holm, Kenneth Geist and Christopher Mankiewicz; and a second commentary track with "Eve" expert Sam Staggs. There is also the informative AMC "Backstory" episode on the making of the film (featuring wonderful interviews, filmed in 1983, with Anne Baxter and Bette Davis). There are also several publicity featurettes and MovieTone newsreels from the period.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Good evening, darlings. Addison DeWitt here. By now you know all about "All About Eve," the film by that nappy rabbit Joseph L. Mankiewicz, which Hollywood blithely showered with Oscars, including one for that dreadful poseur George Sanders. (You yourselves may consider Sanders a paragon of sublime, serpentine wit; but I assure you, my dears, he is not a patch on the original--that original, of course, being myself.) Bette Davis outdid herself as Margo Channing (much to Margo's eternal, green-eyed envy) and her failure to win an Oscar for that performance is considered one of the greatest injustices ever wrought by the so-called Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Full disclosure, darlings: I myself voted for Judy Holliday, a gorgeous vessel of joy and mirth as Billie Dawn in "Born Yesterday.") But although "All About Eve" cannot begin to approach the storied magnificence of "The Iceman Cometh" or any other true work of theater, it is what passes in the cinema for a masterpiece, and it is demonstrably better than 99.9999 percent of all the films that have followed it. Its enthralling backstage melodrama, couched in epigrams that sound like Oscar Wilde on benzedrine, has kept audiences riveted for the past 55 years. The performances in general are as superb as acting ever gets in the cinema--not only Davis but also Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, Thelma Ritter, Gary Merrill, Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Bates, Gregory Ratoff and even that impostor Sanders. (Hugh Marlowe may be a cut below the rest, but no matter.) Multiple viewings, of course, unveil certain lapses of logic in the plot that the first, entranced encounter cannot reveal. For example, why would Karen--Margo's truest friend and normally a keenly observant woman--ever in her right mind think that Margo would be amused by her ruse to allow Eve to go on stage in Margo's place? But again, a trifle. "All About Eve" is sui generis in the American cinema, filled with the sort of adult wit that supposedly sophisticated characters in other cinematic show-biz satires--i.e. Griffin Mill in "The Player"--could not even begin to understand. (Indeed, immediately upon becoming head of the studio, Griffin Mill had the lot of them sacked--Margo, Eve, Lloyd, Bill, Max, Karen--at the behest of his new amour, Phoebe. He made sure that none of them ever worked again, on stage OR screen. I'm sure you heard of Eve's sordid suicide in her squalid fifth-floor West Hollywood walkup, a couple of years after Mill blackballed her. As a humble critic, I, however, was beyond his reach.) "All About Eve" has sown no cinematic seed; it has had absolutely no successors, and it is absolutely essential.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
"All About Eve" is the story of an actress named Margo Channing, who has a jealous, envying fan named Eve, who maneuvers her way into Margo`s life, eventually becoming a famous actress herself. It's a flawless, brilliant film that was honored with 6 academy awards and was declared number 16 of all time on the American Film Institute's top 100 American movies list.
"All About Eve" stars Bette Davis as the delightfully sour Margo Channing and Anne Baxter as the jealous, envying Eve Harrington. Both women are perfect in their roles, as is most of the cast.
The film is a knockout. The script is sheer brilliance from start to finish and is among the greatest scripts ever written. The characters are great, the direction is outstanding and the movie maintains interest the entire time.
The movie begins with four of the main characters seated at an award night as Eve is presented with her award. We see Margo and her companions with sour looks on their faces as an old actor is making his speech. Then, we're taken back to the night where it all began. One of Margo`s closest friends Karen Richards (Celeste Holm) is walking to the back of the theatre when Eve introduces herself, explaining she is a fan of Margo`s. After they have met and heard Eve's sad story, Margo takes pity on Eve and asks her to move in with her. Then, Eve begins to maneuver her way into Margo`s life, working her way up to fame.
"All About Eve" is an outstanding movie, an excellent character study and is certainly a memorable experience with an ending that is just perfect. "All About Eve" is definitely a film worth seeing.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This film brought Davis' career back from the brink and set up a very productive second act in her career. Margo (Bette Davis) plays an insecure aging star who helps a very poisonous young ingenue, Eve, (Anne Baxter) get started. As Margo, Davis throws some of the best tantrums of her career. Just when you think there is nobody more evil than Anne Baxter's Eve Harrington, along comes George Sander's Addison DeWitt and kicks her to the curb in that category.
The special features are:
Audio Commentaries -
1. Celeste Holm - Star; Joseph L. Mankiewicz - Director; Ken Geist - Author/Film Biographer; Christopher Mankiewicz - Director's Son
2. Sam Staggs - Author/Film Historian
Isolated Audio Track - Musical Score
Disc 2: ALL ABOUT EVE - Supplemental Material
Additional Release Material:
Additional Footage - "MovieTone News: 1951 Academy Awards Honor Best Film Achievements, 1951 Hollywood Attends Gala Premiere of "All About Eve," Holiday Magazine Awards, Look Magazine Awards"
Behind the Scenes -
1. "AMC Backstory: ALL ABOUT EVE"
Comparisons - Restoration Comparison
1. "Joseph L. Mankiewicz: A Personal Journey"
2. "The Real Eve"
1. "Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz"
2. "The Secret of Sarah Siddons"
Also included are some trailers and a stills gallery. This film is being released to DVD separately and as part of the Bette Davis Centenary Collection by Fox in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Bette Davis' birth.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2000
One reader recently said that this DVD of "All About Eve" is crystal clear. I agree! Never have I seen this film with such fine detail and super contrasts! Good sound too! But I was quite upset about the flurry of scratches visible more or less throughout the whole film! So I took out my most recent Laser Disc copy which claimed to be a remastered version. It still looked fine, but not as crisp as the DVD, and almost NO speckles at all! As an example, just try to examine those black seconds at the start of the movie, right before the Fox logo appears, and you'll find a little snowstorm on the DVD, while the Laser Disc is completely black. From that moment on it's hard to stop noticing those ever present little speckles. How could this happen? Why did Fox Video use a slightly worn print for mastering to DVD? And if this print had better detail (which is obvious), why not try to remove the scratches digitally, the way Criterion have done on dozens of their DVD-releases? I will surely always watch the DVD-version in the future, but I strongly feel that Fox could have done better.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
When I was a kid I would go to the second-run movie theater virtually every Saturday and watch three features, a cartoon and a newsreel indiscriminately. It was all wonderful to me (although I would hide bashfully behind the seat during the love scenes). I would come out of the theater several hours later (sometimes watching one of the features twice) amazed at what I'd seen and changed forever.
The first adult movie that ever really held my interest though was All About Eve. Such is the power of the all too human story and how directly and clearly it is told from a celebrated script and some sublime direction by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Bette Davis who was then, by Hollywood standards for actresses, an ancient 41-years-old but not yet halfway through a 58-year movie career, stars as Margo Channing, a New York stage actress feeling very heavily the loss of her splendid youth. Eve Harrington is played with a veiled duplicity by Anne Baxter in a breakout role. I sat with fascination, understanding perfectly how and why she had insinuated herself into Margo's life, and on the edge of my seat to find out what would become of her. Yes, a child may well know of such matters, and it is to the credit of Mankiewicz and everyone involved in the production that a movie could be made that would inform and fire the imagination of a ten-year-old boy while at the same time intrigue and entertain adults. Ah, if only they made "chick flicks" like this today!
Of course, All About Eve is more than a chick flick even though the men, Bill Sampson (Gary Merrill) as Margo's beau, and Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe) as a writer (and husband of Margo's best friend, Karen, played by Celest Holm) headed for Hollywood, take a back seat to the main action which is the playing out of the eternal power struggle between (take your pick: they all fit psychologically): youth and age, the daughter and the mother, the bride and the mother-in-law, the upstart and the established talent, the new and the old.
Bette Davis is excellent of course, and the role fits her like a glove. But what transfixed me as a child was the contrast between the wholesome good looks of Anne Baxter and her sneaky treachery. Could someone so pretty be so bad? I may have wondered who I would have preferred for a mother, Davis or Baxter, and perhaps have come away not knowing. For Bette Davis the luster had gone from those famous eyes, and so it was only natural that her character Margo feared the loss of love from men. Even that I understood as a child. And in Baxter, youth would be served and perhaps she could be forgiven the lies because time does not stand still for anyone, especially it does not stand still for a starlet.
Notable in supporting roles are Thelma Ritter and George Sanders, the former as Margo's maid and alter-ego Birdie, the latter as the cynical and barbed theater critic, Addison DeWitt (named perhaps with the 17th/18th century Brit wit and essayist Joseph Addison in mind), who escorts about town none other than a not-so-dumb blonde named Marilyn Monroe in an early role. The script, resplendent with some very sharp one-liners, was adapted from the story, "The Wisdom of Eve" (a bit of irony-on-the-square in the title perhaps) by Mary Orr and of course became the Broadway musical Applause (not yet a movie). Mankiewicz won Oscars for both his script and his direction, and Sanders won for Best Supporting Actor while the movie itself won for Best Picture over such fine films as Sunset Boulevard and Born Yesterday. Both Davis and Baxter were nominated for Best Actress but lost out to Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday.
Bottom line: one of the great stories of the theater, a classic Hollywood film not to be missed.