Great Actresses – Great Scenes: #2 Bette Davis in ‘All About Eve’
Bette Davis is one of my favourite actresses of all time, and with good reason. She could play a variety of difficult and powerful roles, though her greatest successes came from her willingness to play unsympathetic characters. She set a new standard for women on film, won two Academy Awards and is often referred to as “The First Lady of the American Screen”. She didn’t win an Oscar for her performance in All About Eve, but she should have. Released in 1950, and written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the film was based on the 1946 short story The Wisdom of Eve, by Mary Orr and featured Davis in the lead role as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star. The film was praised by critics at the time of its release, and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times wrote, “veteran actress Margo Channing in All About Eve was her greatest role” and I would agree with him. Below is her famous monologue from one of the most memorable scenes in the film.