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All About Eve Film Analysis

1464 words - 6 pages

In the film All About Eve, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1950, Eve Harrison (Anne Baxter) was a young woman with evil running through her veins. She wanted to be "somebody" and chose to get there through Margo Channing (Betty Davis), who was a famous stage star. Eve would do whatever it took to get where she wanted to be, including hurting the ones that trusted her and took her in as a "lost lamb". Though Eve was already evil within and throughout, the naive people around her made it even easier to accomplish her goals. However, Birdie (Thelma Ritter), Margo’s assistant and confidant was the first to point out Eve’s conniving ways, which was confirmed with Eve’s sly grin. Furthermore, ...view middle of the document...

In particular, there are distinct shadows going directly across her throat in a diagonal direction. This is something the director did deliberately to imply how Eve uses her voice as a device to lie and ploy her next move to make it to the top. With her joker-like grin, downward brow, and fiery stare it all projects her evil intentions. Eve’s polished suit, flowery broach, and sophisticated hair and make up exemplify the mask she uses to trick people. Additionally, music comes in when Eve closes the door. The high frequencies of trumpets and the softness of the flutes mix together to give the audience the feeling that Eve is the antagonist of the film. Generally, this is the first scene Eve reveals she is conniving, which tells the audience that Eve has hidden intentions.
In one particular scene, Eve blackmails Karen into telling Lloyd, the producer, to give her the part of Cora, by threatening to tell Margo of Karen's role in Margo's missed performance. Karen, the wife of a famous screenwriter, was the one that found and introduced Eve to Margo. She was the type of person that would anything for anyone, very naive, and trusted Eve from day one. That quickly changed once Karen saw Eve’s true colors. Quickly, the audience learns Eve will stop at nothing to get what she wants; even prey on Karen’s kindness. This is exemplified when Karen gives a helping hand to Eve, once again. Eve grabs her hand with a firm grip and says, “There is something…” In this shot Karen’s mid section is composed to the left, while Eve fills up the negative space in a mid close up shot. Once again, there is a dark shadow going directly across Eve’s neck to insinuate her voice has been tainted. The shots cut back and forth between Karen and Eve. This next shot of Karen standing up is a mid shot; filmed with a subtle tilt. Karen’s realization that Karen wants to use her for selfish benefits is exemplified in her worried eyes, and stern mouth. The lighting on Karen is very interesting. The director also shows a slightly lighter shadow, but it still goes diagonally across her neck. Thus, this symbolizes how Karen’s act of manipulating has also made her voice tainted. However, Eve has a darker shadow going diagonally across her neck, which insinuates how far-gone Eve is and how lost she is in her lies. Karen’s pearl necklace and earrings imply her upper class, and how Eve desperately wants to be apart of the rich lifestyle. Once Eve has imposed Karen with her threat, the ending shot in this scene is of Eve hovering over Karen, sitting down. This medium shot has a round lamp in the top left corner, which is used for a prop and lighting. The lamp shines light on Karen’s face, which shows her look of fear. On the contrary, Eve has a light shadow casted across her face, along with the reoccurring dark shadow across her neck, giving her an evil depiction. Eve’s black dress is an example of Eve’s dark side, but is accented with a cute bow on her neckline to insinuate her “good...

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