Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Feb 2014)
Brief Synopsis – An aging Broadway star befriends one of her biggest fans not realizing that she wants to replace her.
My Take on it – This movie was written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz who was known for his clever dialogue driven scripts.
This movie is probably his best one and it’s largely because the movie takes place in an industry not so much unlike the cinematic world that he immersed himself in; The world of the Theater.
Many theater actors back then would object to similarities between the two acting worlds, but now a days it is much clearer that there is a strong connection between the two.
Using the theater world as a analogy for the film world allowed Mankiewicz to make light of many aspects of his own world without making direct references to it.
Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celetse Holm, Thelma Ritter and George Sanders were all at the pinnacle of their careers when they made this movie and it is fair to say that this is the best work of every one of them.
The main theme of this movie is how to famous people deal with getting older and fearing that younger better looking actors/actresses will replace them and make them obsolete.
This is considered to be one of the best written movies ever.
This movie won 6 Oscars of a record 14. (which still stands today). It was tied by Titanic (1997) for the most nominations in 1997.
It won Best picture, Supporting Actor (Sanders), Director, Screenplay, Costume Design and Sound. It lost Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing, Music Score, 2 Best Actress (Davis and Baxter) and 2 Supporting Actress (Holm and Ritter).
This movie has the record for the most female acting nominations (4).
Mankiewicz is the only Director/writer to win back to back Oscars for both Directing and Writing. He had won the previous year for A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
Bottom Line – Excellently written by Mankiewicz! The actors all are superb and it’s a thrill watching them deliver his lines. Says so much about the movie industry and fame. Highly recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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