A shrewd tale of comeuppance and manipulation present in the hectic world of Hollywood and theater starlets, All About Eve is an excellently made film in every way. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, a well-known writer/director and brother of Herman J. Mankiewicz, the writer of Citizen Kane, this is a film that has so much going for it that I don’t even know where to begin.
Everything here, from the script to the direction to the acting is nothing short of perfect, but it’s the acting itself that is the real showcase. If there’s one actress I’ve discovered to be one of my favorites thanks to my journey through this list, it’s Bette Davis. Miss Davis is always a headlining character, and she delivers a strong and able performance worthy of her reputation. However, the real star here is Anne Baxter, who plays the titular Eve Harrington with a cold ruthlessness, connivingly clever and calculated fervor likening to that of a chess grandmaster. Her twisted plotting and masterful playacting makes for one of the most memorable screen villains ever, and it is so easy to overlook her as just another bad person. Truly she is a great villainess, and the best villains are always the ones that seem and appear most human.
The film is so perfectly made I can’t help but watch it over and over and note all the little touches of perfection I missed the last times through. This film is infinitely rewatchable, a hallmark of a truly great film for me. This is an absolute must see in every way, and deserves its place among the great films of all time.
Arbitrary Rating: 10/10