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randyishere

Margo Channing - All About Eve

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Do you think the casting people got it right with Bette Davis as Margo Channing?? Or would you have rather another actress play Margo and if so, who?? Would you have preferred another actress to play Eve over Anne Baxter?

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Few films can come close to being considered perfect, but "Eve" is one of those films. Part of that reason is the casting. Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders et. al. were all born to play the characters in this film as they did. A true masterpiece, one of my all-time favorite films, and a movie that every cinemaphile should see.

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I had just been disussing "Three Faces of Eve" versus "All About Eve" when this came on, so of course I had to watch it (I'd heard the famous "bumpy ride" line a million times, but never seen the movie). Good creepy manipulative female movie (nothing creepier that destroying while looking like you're nurturing; women know that women can do this passive-aggressive thing without men ever seeing the light), I guess later ripped off as "Single White Female." Bette Davis was perfect as the aging actress seeing not only her sexual power but entire life evaporate before her eyes; great cast overall. Didn't life look fun back when people dressed to the nines and hung out with a group of friends vs. sitting in front of the computer or TV alone??? I watch TCM as much to see how much our culture has changed in just a few short decades as anything else... Excellent...

 

Always seemed to me BD is one actress who really changed dramatically as she aged; from a sweet young thing with cow eyes when young to a frankly not terribly attractive middle-aged woman with a harsh demeanor in middle-age to a real character in old age. Didn't age well???

 

You can see this transformation beginning in this movie.

 

An interesting aside: the man playing Bill (Margo's love interest) was BD's real life husband; she lived with him just a few miles from us near Cape Elizabeth ME at one time. No, never saw her.

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I just watched it this week - saw it long ago and couldn't remember the details. Loved the way it ended! But going back to your question.... Bette Davis and Anne Baxter do seem right for the parts. I think when you see 2 good stars in a good movie they pretty much seal it and it's hard to imagine anyone else capturing their roles. But it would be interesting to come up with fantasy ideas of substitutes. Like maybe Joan Crawford or Barbara Stanwyck for Margo and Elizabeth Taylor or Joan Fontaine for Eve.

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The earliest drafts had Susan Hayward pencilled in for Margot, but it was then realized that she had to be considerably older. Bette made it her own, although the original choice was Claudette Colbert, who hurt her back. Anne Baxter had been chosen, after Jeanne Crain bowed out due to another pregnancy, because of her resemblance to Claudette. This (Anne and Claudette) would have brought another dimension to the movie.

 

A different dynamic might have been unleashed if Mankiewicz paramour (and my all-time favorite) Linda Darnell had been cast as Eve. She had already played similar types of roles. More beautiful and alluring than either Jeanne or Anne, she would have been a more obvious threat to Celeste Holm and Bette Davis (and their men), instead of just to Thelma Ritter. Maybe that's why she wasn't selected...comments like "mousy one" and "lost lamb" would have been hard to justify, as would have been Linda's beauty and sexuality to hide. Plus hard to cast your lover in three movies practically back to back, even to Zanuck.

 

Message was edited by: Arturo

 

Message was edited by: Arturo

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I love "All About Eve", the dialogue just crackles!! One of my fav Bette Davis films!

 

Best Lines:

 

Margo Channing: Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!

 

Margo Channing: Bill's thirty-two. He looks thirty-two. He looked it five years ago, he'll look it twenty years from now. I hate men.

 

201925~All-About-Eve-Posters.jpg

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There might've been a different Eve beside Baxter though I can't envision one. As for anyone else as the lead. No. Bette Davis as Margo Channing... untouchable.

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Joan Fontaine could have been phenomenal as Eve Harrington. After I've watched her in ''Born to Be Bad'' I have no doubt.

 

Arturo, Linda was too conspicuously beautiful for the Eve role. Eve was supposed to have nothing going on for her, but her hidden clutches and the hellhole from under she crawled out. And she couldn't harm a fly. And we were supposed to live with that illusion.

 

CineMaven, you're 100% right. There's only ONE Margot. And that's Bette Davis.

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Fontaine was way too genteel to play Eve, and way too old. Take a look at her in IVANHOE sometime. The film was made only two years after ALL ABOUT EVE, and she appears positively matronly.

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Visual Feast...Miss Betty, you BOTH give really good candidates for the Eve Harrington role. Both could be mousy: (Lansbury and Fontaine) and play down their looks. I'm not so sure about Fontaine, but boy when it was time for Eve's claws to show ("Jungle Red!!") I think Lansbury would be the one to give Bette Davis (and George Sanders) a run for their money.

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Margo is a great role for a great actress----Bette Davis--- but it was originally cast with Claudette Colbert, who dropped out after a back injury.... Bette Davis is superb.

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Great suggestions for the role of Eve, guys. It would have been great to see about six versions of All About Eve with Angela, Joan F., Linda, Elizabeth, Eleanor Parker, and Anne Baxter as Eve. Bette is flawless as usual. James Woods is right.

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