Trivia / All About Eve

  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Anne Baxter recalls everyone watching the rushes after the first week of filming - and having this reaction. Knowing that the film was "something special", they were all excited to go to work each day. Bette Davis later called it the most rewarding film she had ever made. George Sanders likewise listed his role as Addison as his favourite.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Margo's famous quote is "it's going to be a bumpy night", not "ride"; she was actually referring to a party.
  • Career Resurrection: Bette Davis had been in a string of flops, and credits this film with saving her career from complete oblivion.
  • Casting Gag: Tallulah Bankhead played Margo in a radio adaptation of the movie. For years it was rumoured that she was the inspiration for Margo.
  • Deleted Role: Although he's still credited for the film, actor Eddie Fisher's scene as the stage manager was cut.
  • Defictionalization: The Sarah Siddons Award was made up by the director and was not a real theatre award. Two years later, a small group of Chicago theatre goers started presenting an award with that name - modelled after the award in the film. Celeste Holm won it in 1967, and Bette Davis was presented with an honorary one in 1973.
  • Enforced Method Acting: George Sanders spent his time nodding off between scenes in his dressing room. Anne Baxter remarked that his perpetual sleepiness helped his character immensely.
  • Follow the Leader: You can blame this film for an entire subgenre of films that includes Girl in Gold Boots and Showgirls.
    • There are also some interesting similarities between this film and Election: an ambitious, manipulative young female character, multiple narrators and freeze frames used in similar contexts.
  • Hostility on the Set: Bette Davis got on well with all her castmates. Except Celeste Holm. As she put it,
    I walked onto the set on the first day and said, 'Good morning,' and do you know her reply? She said, 'Oh shit, good manners.' I never spoke to her again - ever.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Due to Bette Davis being the lead and on the cover or poster, underneath the title - many first time viewers get a surprise when they learn that Bette Davis's character is not called Eve.
  • Jossed: A long standing rumor went around that Margo Channing was based off real actress Talulah Bankhead. The film is actually adapted from a short story, and the author personally told Bankhead herself that Margo was not based on her.
  • Life Imitates Art: Anne Baxter later was chosen to replace Bette Davis on the latter's show Hotel when she fell ill. She ended up replacing her permanently.
  • Meta Casting: Miss Caswell is an aspiring starlet hoping to get into the business. She's played by Marilyn Monroe, who at the time was one of the least experienced of the cast.
  • Recursive Adaptation: The movie was based on a short story, and then got a musical adaptation on Broadway - which itself was adapted into a TV movie. Anne Baxter even played Margot in the Broadway show for a time.
  • Romance on the Set: Bette Davis and Gary Merrill fell in love and married while making the film, but later divorced. They also adopted a girl, who they named Margo.
    Davis: We met while filming All About Eve. I was Margo Channing, and he was my director, Bill Sampson. We fell in love with each other in the film and in real life. We then got married in real life. But he thought he was marrying Margo, and I thought I was marrying Bill. It wasn’t long before he found out I wasn’t Margo, and he was certainly no Bill Sampson.
  • Stillborn Franchise: Bette Davis lobbied hard for a sequel film, as she and Gary Merrill had since married, and she wanted to continue Margo and Bill's lives. Years later after they'd divorced, she approached Mankiewicz and said "forget about that sequel. I've played it and it doesn't work."
  • Throw It In!: The famous dress Margot wears for the "bumpy night" actually didn't quite fit Bette Davis on the shoulders. So the actress decided to slip it off the shoulders instead.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Written-In Infirmity: Bette Davis' marriage to William Grant Sherry was in the throes of breaking up while she was making the film. Her raspy voice in the film is largely due to the fact that she burst a blood vessel in her throat from screaming at her soon-to-be-ex-husband during one of their many rows. Joseph L. Mankiewicz liked the croaky quality so he didn't have Davis change it.