AFI Movie Club: ALL ABOUT EVE – American Film Institute

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AFI Movie Club: ALL ABOUT EVE

ALL ABOUT EVE is #28 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies – 10th Anniversary Edition list, and Eve Harrington’s scheming ingénue graces AFI’s list of the most diabolical movie villains! The film’s iconic quote – “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night” – is ranked #9 for the greatest movie quotes of all time. 

 

Watch Sharon Stone announce the film:

 

Movie Trivia about ALL ABOUT EVE

DID YOU KNOW the film’s original title was BEST PERFORMANCE? Producer Darryl Zanuck was inspired to change it to ALL ABOUT EVE after reading Addison DeWitt’s opening monologue in the script! 

DID YOU KNOW the original story was inspired by the real-life experience of Polish-born actress Elisabeth Bergner, who had once befriended an unscrupulous young actress? Mary Orr, who wrote the short story “The Wisdom of Eve” on which the film is based, received no onscreen or official credit for her story. 

DID YOU KNOW screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz disclosed that the archetype for the character Margo Channing was 18th century English actress Peg Woffington? He added that she represented “every woman for whom acting was identical with existence.” 

DID YOU KNOW Claudette Colbert was originally cast in the role of Margo Channing but was forced to withdraw from the production when she injured her back? Bette Davis was then offered the role, which revitalized her career. 

DID YOU KNOW Zsa Zsa Gabor was newly married to George Sanders (Addison DeWitt) and kept dropping by set because she was worried about the young blonde ingénue acting opposite him? It was none other than Marilyn Monroe. 

DID YOU KNOW Bette Davis and co-star Gary Merrill became romantically involved during filming? They married in July 1950 and adopted a baby girl, whom they aptly named Margot. 

DID YOU KNOW for the film’s Hollywood premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, publicist Julian Myers convinced the neighboring Roosevelt Hotel to black out most of its neon letters to spell “Eve”? 

DID YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT EVE received 14 Academy Award® nominations—a record that remained unbroken until 1998, when it was tied by TITANIC (and later LA LA LAND)? 

DID YOU KNOW Bette Davis and Anne Baxter were both nominated for Best Actress, marking the first time two actresses were nominated for starring roles in the same film? They both lost to Judy Holliday in BORN YESTERDAY.

-DID YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT EVE is the only film ever to receive four female acting Academy Award® nominations Bette Davis and Anne Baxter were nominated for Best Actress, while Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter were nominated for Best Supporting Actress?

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.

 

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions 

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below. 

-How does screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz use a revolving door of narrators throughout the film? What effect does it have in terms of perspective? 

-Mankiewicz’s Academy Award®-winning script is known for its razor sharp wit and biting humor. What is your favorite line? 

-How is Eve Harrington an unconventional antagonist? 

-How does Margo characterize being a woman aging in Hollywood, and what is her internal conflict that she struggles with throughout the film? 

-ALL ABOUT EVE is still the only film to ever be Oscar®-nominated for four female performances. Which is your favorite and why? 

-What other movies about show business, and Broadway in particular, do you love? 

-How would you rate ALL ABOUT EVE? 

 

Watch this exclusive AFI Archive clip of Bette Davis and costume designer Edith Head talking about working on ALL ABOUT EVE:

 

New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

In this time when we are reminded “There’s no place like home,” AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.

 

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