ALL ABOUT EVE (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)
Museum of the Moving Image
35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria
Sunday, June 24, $15 (includes museum admission), 2:30
Nominated for fourteen Academy Awards and winner of six, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, All About Eve is one of Hollywood’s all-time greatest movies, a searing depiction of naked ambition set on the Great White Way. Based on Mary Orr’s 1946 short story “The Wisdom of Eve,” writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s flawless drama stars Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington, who is not exactly the mousy wallflower she at first appears to be. She quickly worms her way into an inner circle of Broadway vets populated by superstar Margo Channing (Bette Davis), her younger lover, Bill Sampson (Gary Merrill), playwright and director Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), and Richards’s wife, Karen (Celeste Holm), who takes Eve under her wing. Joining in on all the fun is powerful theater critic Addison DeWitt (Oscar winner George Sanders), who marvels at all the manipulation and backstage drama, much of which he wickedly orchestrates himself.
“There never was, and there never will be, another like you,” DeWitt tells Eve in one of the film’s most poignant moments. All About Eve is filled with classic quotes, including the iconic “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night,” boldly proclaimed by Davis. In a movie about acting and the theater, Mankiewicz never shows anyone onstage; instead, he focuses on the characters and the intrigue with a sly flair that is deliciously entertaining. All About Eve is screening June 24 at 2:30 in the Museum of the Moving Image series “All About Evil: All About Eve and Showgirls,” bringing together Mankiewicz’s fab film and Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls, which does show women onstage; the pairing came about because Verhoeven referred to his 1995 flop, often considered one of the worst movies ever made, as “All About Evil.” Adam Nayman, author of It Doesn’t Suck: Showgirls, will be signing copies of his book at 5:00, then introduce the 6:00 Showgirls screening.