ALL ABOUT EVE, 1950, 20th Century Fox, 138 min. A scintillating showbiz yarn laced with bitchiness and backstabbing, director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's multi-Oscar-winning masterpiece pits middle-aged Broadway mega-star Margo Channing (glorious Bette Davis in one of her greatest roles) against smooth-talking, two-faced wannabe Eve Harrington (a perfectly evil Anne Baxter). A timid, mousy fan who ingratiates her way into Margo's inner circle, ambitious Eve wastes no time stealing Margo's spotlight and her man. Never fear: Margo takes nothing lying down, and Bette's arsenal of immortal lines is unmatched - not to mention costumes and makeup that cemented her place as a drag icon. A superb supporting cast (including Celeste Holm, George Sanders, Marilyn Monroe and hilarious Thelma Ritter) brings New York's theater set to life with razor-sharp precision and dialogue that glitters with sophistication and cynicism. If you've never seen it before, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
MILDRED PIERCE, 1945, Warner Bros., 111 min. Dir. Michael Curtiz. “Mildred had more to offer in a glance than most woman give in a lifetime.” Joan Crawford gives her signature performance (an Oscar winner) as James M. Cain's ultimate maternal martyr, in thrall to her own femme fatale daughter, Veda (a deliciously venal Ann Blyth). After Mildred divorces her cheating husband, she turns her pie baking skills into what ultimately becomes a successful restaurant chain – all the while, working to give her demanding, selfish daughter the best of everything - but even that isn’t enough for Veda! The twisted combination of high-strung soap opera and hard-edged pulp produced what may be the greatest Hollywood melodrama of all time.
Followed at 7:00 PM by:
THE STAR, 1952, Warner Bros., 89 min. Dir. Stuart Heisler. “Come on, Oscar, let's you and me get drunk!” Bette Davis racked up another well-deserved Academy Award nomination playing a movie star whose career has hit the skids. Former actor turned boat mechanic Sterling Hayden throws her a lifeline - but can she put love above the chance at a Hollywood comeback? Natalie Wood costars.
POSSESSED, 1947, Warner Bros., 108 min. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt. When Louise Howell (Joan Crawford) is found wandering the streets of Los Angeles in a daze, she’s sent to a psychiatric ward. There her story emerges: she had been a private nurse buffeted about between her employer (Raymond Massey), his daughter (Geraldine Brooks) and the man Louise was obsessed with (Van Heflin). Crawford’s Oscar-nominated performance in this noir-tinged drama is one of the juiciest of her career.
Plus prize drawing and a Bette Davis/Joan Crawford impersonation contest!