138 minutes, U.S.A., 1950, Black and White, D-Cinema

This screening will be introduced by Alicia McGivern, IFI Head of Education.

Released the same year as Sunset Boulevard, the plot of which also hinged on the ordeals of an aging actress, All About Eve is based on Mary Orr’s 1946 short story, The Wisdom of Eve.

Opening at a ceremony where Anne Baxter’s scheming Eve Harrington is being honoured for achievement in the theatre, Bette Davis’ venerable broadway star Margot Channing looks on with disdain. As we learn in the subsequent flashback, Eve has only triumphed by making every effort to destroy Margot’s career.

Still the only film to receive four female acting nominations at the Oscars, All About Eve is, as Time Magazine described, “a needle sharp study of bitchery”, and an enduring classic. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

This event is part of Beyond the Bechdel Test, our season throughout July focusing on the work of directors who have explored the complex ties between women that are an integral aspect of the films’ narratives, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel who introduced the idea in her 1985 comic strip.

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