From the moment she glimpses her idol at the stage door, Eve Harrington (Ann Baxter) is determined to take the reins of power away from the great actress Margo Channing (Bette Davis
). Eve maneuvers her way into Margo's Broadway role, becomes a sensation and even causes turmoil in the lives of Margo's director boyfriend (Gary Merrill), her playwright (Hugh Marlowe) and his wife (Celeste Holm).
For the film's Hollywood premiere at the Grauman's Chinese Theater, the neighboring Hotel Roosevelt blanked out most of its neon letters to simply spell out EVE.
Darryl F. Zanuck changed the working title "Best Performance" to "All About Eve" after reading one of Addison DeWitt's lines in the opening narration of the script.
As a result of Marilyn
's performance in “The Asphalt Jungle
”, Johnny Hyde persuaded director Joseph Mankiewicz to cast her in a small but significant role in All About Eve.
Celeste Holm spoke about her experience with Bette Davis on the first day of shooting: "I walked onto the set . . . on the first day and said, 'Good morning,' and do you know her reply? She said, 'Oh shit, good manners.' I never spoke to her again – ever."
Celeste Holm was initially irritated by Marilyn’s habitual lateness in showing up on the set but this did not cloud the opinion of Russian character actor Gregory Ratoff. Holm recalled, “About the third day, Mr. Ratoff said, ‘That girl is going to be beeg star! I said, ‘Why, because she keeps everyone waiting?’ And he said, ‘No, she has a quality’. Well, I saw this soft vulnerable quality, but I didn’t know how much will was behind it, I didn’t know how much drive”.
Claudette Colbert was originally cast as Margo Channing, but suffered a ruptured disc during filming on Three Came Home and had to withdraw. Bette Davis
stepped into the role, even though 20th Century-Fox studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck and Davis couldn't stand each other, going back to when Davis walked out from her post as president of the Motion Picture Academy in 1941.
Bette Davis filmed all of her scenes in 16 days.
Bette Davis' marriage to William Grant Sherry was in the throes of breaking up while she was making the film. Her raspy voice in the film is largely due to the fact that she burst a blood vessel in her throat from screaming at her soon-to-be-ex-husband during one of their many rows. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz liked the croaky quality so he didn't have Davis change it.
Bette Davis admitted later on that Joseph L. Mankiewicz's casting her in this movie saved her career from oblivion after a series of unsuccessful movies. She said in a 1983 interview, "He resurrected me from the dead."
Bette Davis fell in love with her co-star Gary Merrill during the shoot of this movie and the two married in July 1950 a few weeks after filming was completed. They adopted a baby girl, whom they named Margot.
and Marilyn reportedly had an affair during the making of the picture, though he was married to Zsa Zsa Gabor, the second of his four wives.
Zsa Zsa Gabor kept arriving on the set because she was jealous of her husband George Sanders in his scenes with the young blonde ingénue Marilyn Monroe.
Although he received screen credit, actor Eddie Fisher's scene was cut before the film's release.
All About Eve holds the record for the film with the greatest number of female acting Oscar nominations.
20th-Century Fox paid Mary Orr $5,000 for all rights to "The Wisdom of Eve".
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 8, 1951 with Bette Davis, Anne Baxter and George Sanders reprising their film roles.
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 1, 1951 with Bette Davis and Gary Merrill reprising their film roles.
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