Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Book Review -- All About "All About Eve"

All About "All About Eve" by Sam Staggs

I've seen the movie All About Eve an embarrassing number of times, and I've wondered often about how this little gem of classic film came to be. All my questions are answered in Sam Staggs' book -- in fact, he answers questions that had never occurred to me.

Yes, this book is full of juicy gossip, but that's not the heart of it (just the fun part). Staggs explores everything connected to this movie, from the much debated origins of the original short story "The Wisdom of Eve" to its assorted homages and reinventions everywhere from on Broadway to in porn. He explores much of what went into making the film -- script, acting, directing, editing, costumes, set, music -- and even spends a rather involved chapter digging into assorted interpretations of the text.

Mostly, this is a fan of the movie telling all he can find out to other fans of the movie, all in a chatty, breezy, very readable style. I stayed up late reading this because it was so much fun and so interesting. While it might delve into too much minutia for a casual reader, it holds treasure for classic movie buffs.

And I shall never think of Celeste Holm in the same way again.

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