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Film / The Three Faces of Eve

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The Three Faces of Eve is a 1957 drama film written and directed by Nunnally Johnson, starring Joanne Woodward, David Wayne, and Lee J. Cobb.

Woodward plays a Georgia housewife and mother with multiple personalities (names changed to protect the innocent to "Eve White", "Eve Black" and "Jane"). The film follows her doctors' attempts to learn her personalities, help her deal with the different people struggling in one body, and ultimately help them merge into a healthy human being. Woodward won a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance.

This film is the Trope Namer for:

"The Three Tropes Of Eve":

  • Based on a True Story: With the results carefully edited to make her psychiatrists look good. Years later she (real name Chris Costner-Sizemore) wrote her own autobiography. Sissy Spacek wanted to make it into a film, but 20th Century Fox claimed it owned all rights to all versions of Chris' life story in perpetuity.note  Chris' doctor had signed her legal rights away, and she had put her three "Eve" names on the contract without Reading The Fine Print. In '89 she sued, and won.
  • Extreme Doormat: Eve White seems to rely entirely on her husband Ralph for decision making, in stark contrast to Eve Black.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The real life Eve developed up to 20 different personalities rather than the mere three seen in the film. Her personality first split as a result of witnessing several traumatic events rather than just one.
  • Sexophone: The soundtrack features this when Eve Black has emerged.
  • The Shrink: Dr. Luther and his colleagues.
  • Split Personality: Eve manifests three distinct personalities. Her real life counterpart supposedly had quite a few more and her therapy took more like twenty years. She did finally integrate successfully.
  • Split-Personality Merge: The goal of her therapy.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Eve Black tries to strangle 4-year-old Bonnie at one point.