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An Analysis of Joshua Johnson’s All About Eve

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Joshua Johnson All About Eve All About Eve is a story about the intricate parts that made up theater life in the mid nineteen hundreds. It is a story of a young girl’s rise to fame due to her strong love and ambition to star in movies. An aspiring actress, Eve Harrington, played by Anne Baxter, climbs into and eventually replaces the life of Broadway star Margo Channing, played by Bette Davis.

Eve is a young girl who was born into a family living in poverty. She decides to move to Milwaukee were she marries a husband that will soon be killed in action in the South Pacific. Hearing word of her husband’s death while visiting in San Francisco, she decides to stay and live off his insurance money. Being that Eve is an obsessive-compulsive movie lover, she decides one evening to attend a play starring Margo, Remembrance. It is only clear then to the audience what is transpiring. With the goal of one day becoming a superstar on Broadway, Eve is examining and chasing the life of a famous person whom she admired in San Francisco.

Eve is Margo’s biggest fan. She has seen every performance of Margo’s current plays. She even waits outside of the stage door just to take a glimpse of Margo hoping she will recognize her. Hugh Marlowe plays the part of Lloyd Richards, the director of Margo’s plays. His wife Karen notices Eve one day after a play. Karen is shocked at how a lady could be so enthusiastic about Margo and insists Eve meet her. The vivaciousness, determination, and openness portrayed by Eve at becoming a movie star, enables her to get inside Margo’s dressing room. Once inside, Eve is overwhelmed with what she sees and experiences. Eve is determined to become a movie star, which consists of fame and fortune, which are all characteristics of Margo’s life.

Eve knows that in order to become a movie star she must model her own life around that of Margo’s. While in the dressing room, Eve tells about the grim life she lived while growing up. Her life entirely revolved around her strong love and bondage to the theater, which acted as a remedy for the difficulties in her life. Margo begins to show sympathy for Eve’s troubled and gloomy past. She asks Eve if she would like to follow along with her and Margo’s boyfriend, theater director Bill Sampson, played by Gary Merrill, to the airport. Throughout the next couple of scenes, the audience sees a tight connection between Margo and Eve beginning to form. This cohesiveness is what led Margo to ask Eve to become her understudy.

Eve begins to witness first hand the crucial elements that roles and statues play in a movie star’s life. Eve begins to handle herself with dignity and honor. She treats all of Margo’s friends and colleagues with high class and respect. She knows that creating a good image for herself will have a lasting impression on persons that might later provide acting roles. This is clearly portrayed throughout the party scenes taking place at Margo’s house honoring Bill’s birthday. Upon arriving at the door, Eve goes out of the way to make an appearance, thereby causing herself to been known. The sudden attention everyone gives to Eve leads Margo to realize that Eve is about more than trying to be an understudy. Instead, she is somebody who tries portraying herself as being gregarious, desperate to become known throughout the theater world. Margo realizes that she has made a big mistake and calls Max Fabian, played by Gregory Ratoff, into the kitchen. Margo begins requesting Max to produce a play, promising that she would audition for the role if he would give Eve a job.

Margo cannot help but feel threatened by Eve’s vitality because her acting career is closing to an end due to her swelling in age. Eve’s charismatic behavior towards everyone at the party is no different than in today’s society. For example, college students before graduation have to complete some type of internship before they enter into the market place. This internship provides an opportunity to display oneself as a person who is aspiring to become whatever occupation he/she chooses. Internships give students a chance to start a positive reputation with potential employers by showing off the skills and abilities they have to offer in the job force, thus giving students young at heart, like Eve, a chance to be in the lead at securing a job. It enables Eve to fulfill the dream and aspiration she set out to become. Eve being an “understudy” for a prominent, well-known movie star helped to enhance her status. Eve used the opportunity with Margo as a chance to meet new, viable people, which eventually lead her to landing a theater job.

While at the party Eve meets a person who has a dramatic effect on the movie industry, Addison DeWitt, played by George Sanders. Like his last name, Addisons’ personality was witty causing him to stand out as someone with profound impact on what goes on throughout the movie industry. He is a prestigious movie critic, with the potential to make or break a movie stars career. Eve is aware of Addison’s huge potential he can play in boosting publicity about her because he is as ambitious towards critiquing films as she is in becoming a movie star. Eve tries to influence Addison by forcing him to believe she is better then Margo.

In the paper following Margo’s absence, Addison talks wildly’ of Eve’s performance while admonishing Margo’s old age. This is seen throughout the world today as many sports heroes use the press to achieve prosperity. Michael Jordan is an example of somebody with high ambition on life. Jordan, who wants to succeed at anything and everything that he does, uses the press to gain fame and fortune to achieve success by gaining a well-known name resulting in increased advertisement deals. Eve’s ambition to be successful led her to fine every way possible to acquire the end result of becoming a movie star despite whether it is moral.

Had Margo accepted the fact she is ageing and way out of her prime she might have been able to conclude her career with respect and dignity from her spectators. She should have acknowledged that Eve was a better person on stage and left with the audiences thinking highly of her, like many sports stars do to avoid looking incompetent. Instead, her career ended with a little girl fond of the theater world, coming off the streets and taking her career away in the blink of an eye. Eve set out to be what has always been a dream. Her dream finally came true once taking over Margo’s fame. Eve’s ambition helped her to overcome obstacles by letting nothing stand in the way.

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