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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Castle's Avatar
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    Default All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard

    Two of the greatest Golden age Hollywood movies, released n the same year with very similar themes. Between the two films which did you think dealt with the theme of a Hollywood fading star more convincingly and which of the two do you think was the better done movie.

    Sunset Boulevard is the winner for me, It's a mouth watering masterpiece with a cinematography to behold.

    Last edited by Castle; 12-02-2020 at 01:56 AM.

  2. #2
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    It seems to me that ALL ABOUT EVE looks at the actress in the period when she's still popular, just not as popular as before. She has a career, but she might start to get smaller parts than what she had. It's kind of a less tragic version of A STAR IS BORN. Whereas, SUNSET BOULEVARD is about an actress who has completely been rejected and is now hidden away, living in the past and unwilling to accept her change in circumstance.

    The other day, I happened to watch an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE--"The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine" starring Ida Lupino (air date: October 23, 1959)--with her as the Norma Desmond type. In Norma's case her career was way back in the silent era, twenty years before the time of the movie, whereas Lupino's charactrer (Barbara Jean Trenton) is a refugee from the 1930s talkies.

    For Bette Davis, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE (1962) is a much more tragic take on this scenario.
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  3. #3
    Incredible Member Castle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    It seems to me that ALL ABOUT EVE looks at the actress in the period when she's still popular, just not as popular as before. She has a career, but she might start to get smaller parts than what she had. It's kind of a less tragic version of A STAR IS BORN. Whereas, SUNSET BOULEVARD is about an actress who has completely been rejected and is now hidden away, living in the past and unwilling to accept her change in circumstance.

    The other day, I happened to watch an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE--"The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine" starring Ida Lupino (air date: October 23, 1959)--with her as the Norma Desmond type. In Norma's case her career was way back in the silent era, twenty years before the time of the movie, whereas Lupino's charactrer (Barbara Jean Trenton) is a refugee from the 1930s talkies.

    For Bette Davis, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE (1962) is a much more tragic take on this scenario.
    Good insight, also in All about Eve, Margo is not insane or as delusional as Norma Desmond, What I loved more about SB was how the movie built itself to the final climax, it is the perfect Noir movie and Poor Joe (William's Holden's character) As he tries to remove himself from the toxic relationship with Norma he gets shot.

    Eve from all about Eve was ruthlessly ambitious but she is not worse than Norma and not a better person than Joe although Joe had his faults for also taking advantage of Norma even if she took far more advantage of him.

    SB ending is so tragic for the two characters, All about Eve , not that much for Eve and Margo.

    I also wonder if SB was based on true stories like To Kill A Mockingbird. How much was it was reality that silent Hollywood stars became washed up after sound was introduced.

    I will watch What ever happened to Baby Jane soon. Many of this golden age classics Hollywood movies are living up to their hype and expectations. They are just so darm good. I am watching the Guns of Navarone right now.

  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    Okay, going from my fuzzy memories...
    -- Sunset Blvd is more of a monster movie, where it's a slow burn reveal or two: the reveal of just how crazy Norma is and the reveal of how the guy ends up in the pool. All about Eve is a little more interesting because of the character interactions and dynamics. It's more realistic, despite both being in the heightened noir genre. That said, the high melodrama of "Sunset" has a greater impact, and the images and direction are more memorable to me, so I'd say that's the better film.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Panic's Avatar
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    I've seen both several times, and both are great. Sunset Boulevard is more tightly focused and more blackly humourous than Eve, probably because there is that threat of death hanging over the whole film - take away that opening scene with the protagonist floating in the pool, remove the voiceover, and the film just wouldn't have the same edge. Eve has sharp dialogue and some great performances (betty Davis, George Sanders, and Celeste Holm especially), but it's not literal life and death stakes. I prefer Boulevard a little more, but they're both five star films as far as I'm concerned.

  6. #6
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    First: Castle, your taste is impeccable. Awesome films. "I'm ready for my close up" and "it's going to be a bumpy night" have to be among the greatest lines in English-speaking cinema. Ever.

    I will quibble with calling it The Golden Age of Hollywood. I'd put that around 1939, well before these films. They were both produced in the twilight of The Studio System, which for all its evils, was the defining backdrop of Hollywood's Golden Age.

    I'd submit they were part of Hollywood's Gleaming Silver Age. Just before the candle burned out.

    Still, however we split the hair, they were magnificent films.

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    I LOVE LOVE LOVE both movies!

    I love All about Eve more, because I have had the experience of watching an "Eve-type" personality do just what Eve did to the group. It is amazing how it all happens.
    A few other reasons are Margo mentioning the fashion trend of wearing one earring as well as the celery bitting!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixx9 View Post
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE both movies!

    I love All about Eve more, because I have had the experience of watching an "Eve-type" personality do just what Eve did to the group. It is amazing how it all happens.
    A few other reasons are Margo mentioning the fashion trend of wearing one earring as well as the celery bitting!
    I thought Margo was biting an onion.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member Castle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panic View Post
    I've seen both several times, and both are great. Sunset Boulevard is more tightly focused and more blackly humourous than Eve, probably because there is that threat of death hanging over the whole film - take away that opening scene with the protagonist floating in the pool, remove the voiceover, and the film just wouldn't have the same edge. Eve has sharp dialogue and some great performances (betty Davis, George Sanders, and Celeste Holm especially), but it's not literal life and death stakes. I prefer Boulevard a little more, but they're both five star films as far as I'm concerned.
    SB is definitely more tightly focused since it draws more from only two characters. This does not take anything away from All about Eve since All about Eve does a tremendous Job of showing how Eve deceitfully charms herself into Margo's life and her inner Circle.

    The threat of Death on SB is what makes the movie a lot more fascinating, I have seen many tv shows and a few movies that starts with the ending story first but SB is the best I have seen. It such an amazing mystery that unfolds from just a random guy lying dead in a swimming pool.

    Both movies have among the greatest endings just for writing. Eve is going to get her Karma, with her new assistant who will do the exact same thing to her as she did with Margo and what tops. ''Alright Mr Demile, I am ready for my close up'' as Norma walks down the stairs thinking she is about to start shooting a film.

    I think both movies are great, if you enjoy comedy, All about Eve may be your favourite, for those that prefer thriller and mystery SB wins
    Last edited by Castle; 12-02-2020 at 01:56 AM.

  10. #10
    Incredible Member Castle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    First: Castle, your taste is impeccable. Awesome films. "I'm ready for my close up" and "it's going to be a bumpy night" have to be among the greatest lines in English-speaking cinema. Ever.

    I will quibble with calling it The Golden Age of Hollywood. I'd put that around 1939, well before these films. They were both produced in the twilight of The Studio System, which for all its evils, was the defining backdrop of Hollywood's Golden Age.

    I'd submit they were part of Hollywood's Gleaming Silver Age. Just before the candle burned out.

    Still, however we split the hair, they were magnificent films.
    Thanks for admiring my taste.

    I think we can debate forever when did the golden age started. For me I always felt it was between 1930s-1960s.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    I thought Margo was biting an onion.
    And spitting Venom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixx9 View Post
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE both movies!

    I love All about Eve more, because I have had the experience of watching an "Eve-type" personality do just what Eve did to the group. It is amazing how it all happens.
    A few other reasons are Margo mentioning the fashion trend of wearing one earring as well as the celery bitting!
    All about eve is more relatable as those kind of people are kind of common, I too have experienced and know an all about eve situation, Eve is what we call the second wave ''Bitch''. This is when the all cute sweet girl is actually rotten, mean and nasty to the core and will do anything to get what she wants while still pretending to be all cute and sweet.

    This is summed up all when eve is giving her acceptance speech acting all humble and the rest of the them including Margo are just looking at her with disgust and venom because they know she is not some sweet humble little girl. LOL

    I feel a bit sorry for Norma but don't excuse her behaviour. Norma was mentally ill. Eve knew exactly what she was doing.
    Last edited by Castle; 12-01-2020 at 09:29 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    ...This is summed up all when eve is giving her acceptance speech acting all humble and the rest of the them including Margo are just looking at her with disgust and venom because they know she is not some sweet humble little girl. LOL

    I feel a bit sorry for Norma but don't excuse her behaviour. Norma was mentally ill. Eve knew exactly what she was doing.
    Yeah, Eve is a really ugly piece of work; you can't even gin up much pity knowing that she's going to be under Dewitt's thumb for the rest of her days. You just have to shake your head as Ann Baxter talks about the theater always being her home even tho she's going to Hollywood. Even tho she disparaged films compared to stage to Gary Merrill early in the film, you just know she ain't coming back to Broadway.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    This is summed up all when eve is giving her acceptance speech acting all humble and the rest of the them including Margo are just looking at her with disgust and venom because they know she is not some sweet humble little girl. LOL

    I feel a bit sorry for Norma but don't excuse her behaviour. Norma was mentally ill. Eve knew exactly what she was doing.
    I know All About Eve is more remembered for the 'fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night' line, but I much prefer this quip from Margo:

    'Nice speech, Eve. But I wouldn't worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be.'

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    SB has the iconic ending, but for me All About Eve is one of my favorite movies ever. Not that any of the characters are so loveable but it just said a lot to me about human nature and the order of things crazy as it sounds a lot like the Lion King does. Transitions of power are rarely sweet pretty or neat but if you are on top best believe there is someone out there ready to take your spot, circle of life (and power). For me SB is more over the top cartoonish, but there is something very real about the top characters in All About Eve they are well formed but human (none of them are perfect) they have their flaws/warts.

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