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All you need to know about ‘All About Eve’

Image: 20th Century Fox

Even now, 67 years after its release, All About Eve is still a staple of American cinema. The story about the cutthroat nature of show business and the value held on women's youth still feels timeless. When the film was released, it set a number of records, like the most Oscar nominations for one movie. It was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and held that record until 1997 when Titanic was nominated for 14 as well. All About Eve was also the first movie with two nominees for Best Actress.

Do you think you know all there is to know about the acclaimed film? Read on to find out!

1

Bette Davis wasn’t the first choice for the role of Margo

Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz went through a few choices before deciding on Davis for the famed role. Tallulah Bankhead and Susan Hayward were contenders, as well as Ingrid Bergman. Bergman had just started dating Roberto Rossellini though, and didn’t want to leave Italy for filming. Claudette Colbert ended up being cast, but had to drop out after getting a ruptured disc filming Three Came Home.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

2

It turned out to be a great move for her, though

According to Classic Movie Hub, Davis has been quoted as saying that Mankiewicz resurrected her career by casting her in All About Eve. It was the film that got her recognized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also married costar Gary Merrill a few weeks after filming wrapped up and the two adopted a daughter they named Margot. Awwwww.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

3

There was draaaama offscreen

It shouldn’t be a surprise that there was drama on the set of one of the most dramatic films. In addition to Bette Davis being in the midst of a divorce and arriving to the set with a broken blood vessel in her throat from yelling at William Grant Sherry, Zsa Zsa Gabor hung around the set a lot too. This is because she was worried about her husband George Sanders’ wandering eye around Marilyn Monroe.

Image: AP Photo

4

The movie wasn’t based on Tallulah Bankhead

The fact that Davis used a husky voice throughout the film about a fading star had people buzzing that the screenplay was actually written with Bankhead as the inspiration for Margo. The screenplay was actually an adaptation of a short story by Mary Orr, published in Cosmopolitan in 1946.

As mentioned before, Davis ruptured a blood vessel in her throat, affecting her voice for the first day of shooting. Rather than having her re-shoot the scenes when her voice came back, she was told to just keep speaking in a low register - like Bankhead’s. She accused Davis of emulating her and said, “After all the nice things I’ve said about that hag. When I get hold of her, I’ll tear out every hair of her mustache!”

Image: Wikimedia Commons

5

Celeste Holm and Davis didn’t get along

Classic Movie Hub also quoted Davis as saying, “Filming All About Eve was a very happy experience. The only bitch in the cast was Celeste Holm.” This is funny, because Holm, who played Margo's best friend Karen, was quoted years earlier as saying, “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.”

Image: 20th Century Fox

6

The National Fire Protection Association wasn’t happy about it

A member of the Fire Prevention Committee of Evansville, Indiana, wrote the NFPA a letter after seeng All About Eve, saying, “We have preached and preached not to smoke in bed, yet I viewed a movie last night where movie actors, under the influence of spirits, smoked in bed. This in my opinion encourages smoking in bed, as the public are quick to act on what they see done. I believe it is time we asked the cooperation of studios not to show actors smoking in bed. It is adult delinquency.”

Image: 20th Century Fox

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