Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
Director: Joseph L Mankiewicz
Margo Channing (Davis) is a famous stage star, who one night is introduced to one of her fans, a shy, innocent girl called Eve (Baxter). She takes the girl under her wing, but soon finds that Eve has bigger plans than her shy demeanor would suggest.
Baxter is wonderful as Eve, she looks as though butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, and skewers the notion of women of the time were kittens that needed protection and help, as she manipulates her way to the top. Margo and her friends are all taken in, but the strain of being manipulated out of her roles by a younger woman take a toll of Margo, who feels her age and whose boyfriend Eve is clearly out to steal, though no one will believe her. Eve appears so innocent and has everyone wrapped around her little finger, at least at first.
It’s A Must See Because: it really cleverly skewers notions of female innocence and sweetness that were so often prevalent in the cinema of the time. It shows another, less palatable side of female relationships, of how some women are manipulative and cruel when they feel competitive. It’s not a pretty sight, but it makes for fascinating viewing.
It’s also quite funny in he insightful and cynical way in which it shows the behind the scenes aspect and scheming of the acting business, of the way in which playwrights, directors and actors can be manipulated and how they all use each other too.
It’s also an amazing script, with excellent, snappy dialogue and fast paced drama. And a little cameo from the lovely Marilyn Monroe.
See It If: you’d like to watch a vintage Mean Girls movie or if you love stories from Old Hollywood.