(Or Forty-Six Thoughts I Had Whilst Watching My First Black and White Movie for Fun and Not My Education)
1. I’m so cultured to be watching this. Go me.
2. So, it starts with this awards ceremony, where a young, blonde actress called Eve is accepting an award, but it lowkey feels like every other person in the room hates her. There’s a male voiceover that tells us this is a snapshot into the future, and he’s going to tell us how Eve got here. He’s all sarcastic and cynical and I don’t like him already.
3. It seems sick burns were still going in the 50s. Golly this narrator is a bit pretentious.
4. Okay, so we’ve now gone back to the past, and Eve is just some randomer hanging around in the rain, having seen every single one of Margo Channing’s plays. Margo Channing is a famous actress (played by Better Davis). Karen, Margo’s friend, decides to take Eve under her wing and bring her in to introduce her to Margo.
5. “I’m sure you’ve got things to do in the bathroom’ is a very strange way of asking your friend to leave.
6. Did we sink to toilet humour at just 14 minutes in?
7. Well that was a thoroughly pointless pause.
8. Some man has just swooped in, proceeded to have a go at Margo and refer to her as ‘my wonderful junkyard’. Boy, does he know to be romantic.
9. Also, he switched from angry to being all lovey-dovey in like 2 seconds, what? Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Bill, the on/off boyfriend of Margo Channing who quite possibly has mood instability issues, as throughout the film he constantly switches from angry to happy to angry to super romantic to crying.
10. Word I’ve Never Heard Before Count: 1. Bushwah. I have subtitles on, too, and that’s how it was spelt!
11. Let’s give the servant a regional accent, that’ll show that she’s lower class.
12. So far, Eve is scheming to break up Bill and Margo, although I’m not entirely sure why. I think she thinks that if she has the boyfriend, she has Margo’s life because in the 50s men/life were interchangeable synonyms for each other. She’s created major tensions in their relationship however, and Margo is majorly paranoid that Bill fancies Eve, even though he’s never shown ANY interest in her. They’re now at a party and Margo is very drunk.
13. Hey, there’s a person called Fefe at this party! Maybe Trump was addressing someone when he tweeted about covfefe?!
14. “Everybody has a heart, except some people”. Okay then, drunk Margo.
15. Honestly Margo is just being a bitch now.
16. Maybe don’t throw around talk about mixing metaphors and then throw your girlfriend on the bed to have a go at her, Bill.
17. How on EARTH has he proposed to her and broken up with her within the space of three minutes?! All without her barely saying a word.
18. OMG the feels when Margo gets all sad in the taxi and says all females have the ‘career of being a woman’ and sooner or later ‘have to work at it’. Girl, yes, so sad but so true, even in this day and age, let alone the 50s!
19. Karen is a shit friend, who for some inane reason, schemes to let Eve be Margo’s understudy and then pretends that her car ‘breaks down’ with Margo in it just so that Eve can perform one night. Eve uses her successful performance to once again get Bill to kiss her but he once again completely rejects her, citing his love for Margo.
20. Who he dumped a few days prior. Which seems a bit stupid if he loves her that much to not get with a young, blonde (albeit evil) up-and-coming actress.
21. Yes, Eve, ripping a wig is the best way to vent stress…how would you even rip a wig?
22. It’s occurring to me that I’m very much rooting for Margo here. Even though I know she loses out to Eve and I know she’s a crazy melodramatic. Am I meant to like Margo? I don’t think I’m meant to like Eve.
23. They have great names in these old films, don’t they? ‘Margo Channing’. ‘Lorelei Lee’.
24. “We were having lunch, like girlfriends, with hats on’. OK Karen. Because nothing says friendship like both people wearing hats.
25. Why were so many black and white films about middle aged actresses obsessed with their age? Sunset Boulevard is another one that springs to mind here.
26. Sorry, can we just take a second to appreciate Margo’s outfit in this scene? It’s a simple black top with a pearl neckline and a large bow brooch – looks super elegant. Only time I’ve wished this film was in colour so I could appreciate that outfit fully!
*** BRIEF INTERLUDE in which this outfit and Look that Bette Davis/Margo Channing served up here is so awe-inspiring that I attempted to recreate it myself***
***AAAAND back to the commentary***
27. YAY Bill and Margo made up! Okay, I’m definitely Team Margo here.
28. I’ve had to pause for a few minutes to look up a French expression and a place. I don’t know what, ‘You’ve been this way since you left Radcliffe’ is meant to imply. I don’t think there’s been any previous mention of Karen going to a Radcliffe.
29. “De trop” means ‘unwelcome’ though. You’re welcome.
30. Why on earth do they have to have a blood test before getting married???
31. Wow, their ladies rooms (i.e. toilets) are super fancy! It’s like a sitting room!
32. With wallpaper. Like fancy wallpaper. And a sofa and table. In the loo.
33. Eve is evil.
34. “Eve evil.” See, Margo gets it.
35. So Margo and Bill are now engaged and couldn’t care less about Eve. Karen is being blackmailed by Eve, who knows she was the one who let Eve perform as the understudy, thus kick-starting her now successful career as an actress. Eve, meanwhile, is a pawn of the narrator from the very start of the film, who turns out to be Addison Dewitt, a famous theatre critic who nobody likes, but who seems to be at every party.
36. Karen and her husband sleep in different single beds in the same room? Is it me or is that weird? Like, have separate rooms if you want separate beds?
37. HAHAHA that is such a terrible green screen. Why could they not have filmed them outside? I can’t focus on anything they’re saying, this is so bad.
38. A seemingly random reference to the author of Little Women. Cool. Black and white films expect you to know an awful lot, don’t they? Especially because back then you couldn’t just Google everything you didn’t know. Do modern films treat us like we’re idiots or is it just the cultural shift that means we don’t understand all the references?
39. For example: Word I Don’t Know Count: 2. Skol.
40. Addison just got mega super creepy: ‘You belong to me’. Ew. Yay Eve for saying it sounds medieval.
41. HEY. BAD MAN. DON’T DO THAT.
42. LOL. Gertrude. Eve’s ‘real name’ is Gertrude.
43. Ooh yes let’s make her surname foreign as that will prove she’s bad. So wrong on so many levels. And definitely on purpose.
44. It also just occurred to me: Margo Channing, the original MC (lol geddit, it her initials)
45. Ugh all the amazing interior design in this film is killing me. The floor to ceiling net curtains in Eve’s apartment is A Lewk.
46. It’s kind of like Margo was Katherine of Aragon and so Eve is Anne Boleyn who’s lowkey shady and doomed to fail.
So that’s my two cents. And now it’s the end. I think that maybe dragged on 20 mins longer than it needed to. But it was great and now I need more black and white films to watch pronto. Give me recommendations in the comments below?? Have you seen All About Eve?
Hope you’re doing well. Let me know in the comments if you hated this or liked it and I hope I didn’t include toooo many spoilers as I really would recommend giving All About Eve a watch, as I thoroughly enjoyed it! I will leave you with one more photo of me trying my best to channel my inner Margo Channing…