All About Eve (Blu-ray)
Eve Harrington is a lot of things; devoted fan, aspiring actress, smart, beautiful, the list goes on and on. By fluke or miracle Eve gets an audience with her favorite stage actress, Margo Channing and from there works her way into Margo’s circle of friends and sphere of influence. But when things seem too good to be true they generally are; an all too real fact Margo and her friends soon discover.
Before I jump head long in here, let me set the tone by saying that black and white flicks from the fifties aren’t really my thing and not because they lack substance or entertainment but simply because this just wasn’t my era when it comes to movies. Case in point, the only thing I knew about Bette Davis was that there was a song about her called “She’s got Bette Davis Eyes” and to show you just how out of my element I was here, I actually thought Bette Davis was Eve Harrington until the credits rolled (I know, I’m horrible). That said, I had a lot of fun with this provocative, witty, intellectual tale of ambition, betrayal, envy…well, pretty much all of the seven deadly sins at some point or another.
One thing that got my head pounding from Jump Street (and something that continues to carry throughout the film) is how trusting all these people were with strangers. This must have been before the term “stalker” was invented and/or defined with celebrities because they all just let Eve waltz right into their lives and set up shop. I mean, who does that? You meet someone for about a half hour and just invite her to move in and take care of all your personal errands around the house? Sure, she’s hot and seems nice and all but no more so than the devil does as he’s whispering sweet nothings into your ear. And how about near the end when Eve comes back to her hotel and some chick’s sitting there in the dark, what does Eve do? She invites her to have a drink. Had this been me, I don’t care what she was selling, doing or if she was holding the Holy Grail, I’d have kung fu kicked her butt out the window Charlie Murphy style no questions asked. I guess times have changed.
The other ironic detail I picked up on was how much people smoked back then and brother, they put your grandmother’s chain smoking best friend to shame I assure you. Seeing everyone smoking inside, wading through a haze of white reminded me of the old days when people smoked in bars and restaurants, which sucked (yes, I’m a non-smoker). But again, it’s funny as hell to see how times have changed and how films like this would not be seen in the same innocent light today.
ALL ABOUT EVE is not what I’d call a fantastic film visually but the smart writing, engaging character conversations and the fact that this film revolves around such a groundbreaking idea that may not seem so clever today but was certainly so back then, makes this story worthy of all its many accolades. I enjoyed the brooding web of intrigued these characters were spinning, Addison DeWitt specifically and it was also pretty cool to see Marilyn Monroe in there as well (black and white or no, she was smoking hot). This flick has that GONE WITH THE WIND/CASABLANCA vibe to it and if that’s your thing you’ll definitely want to pick this one up on Blu-ray.
Video: 1.33:1 Full Frame in 1080p HD with AVC codec. Again, it’s not sporting too much in the visuals department but for a flick from the fifties I can’t say there’s room for complaint as the transfer is golden.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese with the same subtitle options. Thankfully this wasn’t a musical; it would have taken a lot away from the film.
Commentary (2:18:00): There are two commentaries to choose from; one with actor Celeste Holm, Ken Geist and Christopher Mankiewicz which may have been cooler if they’d added Bette Davis and the other features author Sam Staggs. Neither is very noteworthy.
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (26:00): Here we’re told (by his son) the story of what brought Joseph to the life of directing.
The Real Eve (18:11): Here we get a real life story of three people involved in a situation that mirrors the film. I’m sure stuff like this happens a lot in Hollywood.
The Secret of Sarah Siddons (7:05): This is a brief explanation of this majestic award that no one really talks about. There’s not much said here that they don’t say in the film however.
AMC Backstory: All About Eve (24:20): This interesting piece goes behind the scenes of the film and gets juicy insight from the cast and crew.
Vintage Bette Davis Promotion (1:21): An old school Bette Davis commercial in character to promote the film. There’s also an Anne Baxter one to push in the opposite direction. Cool beans.
Fox Movietone News: This showcases varies award shows for the various awards this flick took home.
Previews: There’s a theatrical trailer for the film, an Isolated Score Track that plays the film to the sound of music only and the movie case just happens to be a twenty-four page collectible book.