“Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Ah, the immortal words of the immortal Margo Channing. Bette Davis’ career-defining role deserves to be mentioned as one of the best performances of any female… ever. Her portrayal as the veteran broadway actress just past her prime is every bit as intricate as you’d expect. She’s egotistical but rarely condescending. She has an abrasive personality but is just as sentimental as anyone else. To top it off, she is given top-notch dialogue. “…I wouldn’t worry so much about your heart. You can always put your award where your heart ought to be.” She is a true joy to watch.
In case Bette Davis herself isn’t enough reason to see the film, the title character should be. The film is, as you can probably guess, about Eve, an unassuming young widow eager to help out Margo, her idol. Suffice it to say that she ruffles Margo’s feathers early on in the film. And while Bette Davis scored a nomination (only a nomination?!?) for playing Margo, Anne Baxter also (deservedly) gets a nomination for Best Actress. There’s only one other film that I can think to have two nominees for lead in the same category (‘Going My Way’). Add into that a few memorable supporting performances and some of the sharpest dialogue I’ve ever seen and you’ve made yourself an immortal film. Yeah, I know I throw the word ‘immortal’ around a lot but trust me you would too if you’ve seen it.+4