Eve (Anne Baxter) is waiting backstage to meet her idol, aging Broadway star Margo Channing (Bette Davis). It seems innocent enough as Eve explains that she has seen Margo in EVERY performance of her current play. Only playwright/critic DeWitt (George Sanders) sees through Eve's evil plan, which is to take her parts and her fiancé, Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill). When the fiancé shows no interest, she tries for playwright Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), but DeWitt stops her. After she accepts her award, she decides to skip the after-party and goes to her room, where a young woman named Phoebe has sneaked into her room and fallen asleep. This is where the "Circle of Life" now comes to fruition as Eve will get played like she played Margo.
During the scene in the out-of-gas car, Margo tells Karen that she loves Bill, but she's afraid that Bill is actually in love with "Margo Channing", the stage persona, instead of Margo Channing the woman: "Bill's in love with Margo Channing. He's fought with her, worked with her, loved her... but ten years from now -- Margo Channing will have ceased to exist. And what's left will be, what?" Bette Davis and Gary Merrill, who married after filming this movie together, did indeed divorce almost exactly ten years to the day after their wedding. Davis was quoted as saying that they had married their characters from the movie, rather than the actual people. See more »
In the closing credits, the character of Bill Sampson is shown as Bill Simpson. See more »
How about calling it a night?
And you pose as a playwright? A situation pregnant with possibilities and all you can think of is everybody go to sleep.
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Eddie Fisher is credited in the cast as 'Stage Manager,' although all of his scenes were cut from the released print. This is not the the singer Eddie Fisher, but another actor. See more »
What a genius Joseph L Manckiewicz was. A literary script that is totally accessible. A melodrama for the thinking man. A film that is as engrossing and entertaining every time you see it. Bette Davis touches all the raw nerves of her mythological career. Anne Baxter never went this far. Thelma Ritter became a sort of icon. Marilyn Monroe gives us a preview of forthcoming attractions as a graduated from the "Copacabana" academy of dramatic arts. Celeste Holm represents us, all of us and George Sanders creates a prototype for a cultured monster that is immediately recognizable. I don't recall another film in which the nature of selfishness is so wittily dissected. A total triumph.
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