Joseph L Mankiewicz’s bitchy backstage classic All About Eve, winner of six Oscars (out of 14 nominations, a record shared with Titanic) at the 1950 Academy Awards, has one of the most quotable scripts to come out of Hollywood’s golden age.
To mark the film’s release on Blu-ray, we’ve chosen a few of the choicest bon mots from Mankiewicz’s script, which relates how ageing Broadway actress, Bette Davis in her most iconic role, takes young fan Anne Baxter http://youtube.com/v/XypVcv77WBU (Bette Davis as Margo Channing)
“What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end.” (Thelma Ritter as Margo’s scornful dresser Birdie)
“I'll admit I may have seen better days, but I'm still not to be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut.” (Margo Channing)
“I detest cheap sentiment.” (Margo Channing)
“I'm not twenty-ish, I'm not thirty-ish. Three months ago I was forty years old. Forty. Four O. That slipped out. I hadn't quite made up my mind to admit it. Now I suddenly feel as if I've taken all my clothes off.” (Margo Channing)
“I'm Addison DeWitt. I'm nobody's fool, least of all yours.” (George Sanders as waspish theatre critic Addison DeWitt addressing Anne Baxter's conniving Eve Harrington)
“We all have abnormalities in common. We're a breed apart from the rest of humanity, we theatre folk. We are the original displaced personalities.” (Addison DeWitt)
“Miss Casswell is an actress, a graduate of the Copacabana School of the Dramatic Arts.” (Addison DeWitt introducing wannabe starlet Claudia Caswell, played by a then-unknown Marilyn Monroe)
Miss Claudia Caswell: “Tell me this, do they have auditions for television?” Addison DeWitt: “That's, uh, all television is, my dear, nothing but auditions.”
All About Eve is released on Blu-ray on 21 February.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.