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Bette Davis as Margo Channing: 4 Quotes of her Iconic Role

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2015 09:59 AM

A 1950 American drama film that starred Bette Davis as Margo Channing, "All About Eve" was adored by critics and the public audience alike, earning Davis a well-deserved career comeback. Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, the movie was adapted from the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve" by Mary Orr.

Davis' character (Margo Channing) poignantly and powerfully portrays a beloved – but aging – Broadway star. Channing's nemesis of sorts, Eve Harrington (played by Anne Baxter) is an overzealous fan who has no sense of boundaries when it comes to Channing's personal life. Nominated for a record breaking 14 Academy Awards, the film was praised by critics. Below is a smattering of quotes regarding the performance of the enigmatic Davis.

1. Bosley Crowther, film critic for The New York Times, predicted big things during the awards season for Davis's performance.

"This lady, an aging, acid creature with a cankerous ego and a stinging tongue, is the end-all of Broadway disenchantment, and Miss Davis plays her to a fare-thee-well. Indeed, the superb illumination of the spirit and pathos of this dame which is a brilliant screen actress gives her merits an Academy Award."

2. On the Turner Classic Movie website, they note how strongly Davis and Margo Channing became like one.

"The role of Margo fit Davis like a glove and became one of the most definitive performances of her career, perhaps more closely associated with Davis than any other role."

3. In his review, Roger Ebert compares her performance to that of Gloria Swanson, who covered similar ground in "Sunset Boulevard."

"When you compare the performances by Davis and Swanson, you see different approaches to similar material. Both play great stars, now aging. Davis plays Margo Channing realistically, while Swanson plays Norma Desmond as a gothic waxwork. 'Sunset Boulevard' seems like the better film today, maybe because it fits our age of irony, maybe because Billy Wilder was a better director than Joseph Mankiewicz. But Davis's performance is stronger than Swanson's, because it's less mad and more touching. Davis was a character, an icon with a grand style, so even her excesses are realistic."

4. In a review in The Telegraph, Marc Lee discussed the depth of the performance that Davis gave in "All About Eve."

"Davis invests her performance with irresistible charisma. There may be chinks in Margo's armor, but she will not be easily crushed, especially when she has such devastating wit as a weapon (best line: "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night")."

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A 1950 American drama film that starred Bette Davis as Margo Channing, "All About Eve" was adored by critics and the public audience alike, earning Davis a well-deserved career comeback.
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2015-59-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 09:59 AM
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