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Rediscovering Stardom: Bette Davis in All About Eve
In the year 1950, Bette Davis, a highly-regarded actress, found her career on the decline, with critics and audiences perceiving her as an “aging” actress. However, her fortunes took a turn when Joseph L. Mankiewicz, a multitalented writer, producer, and director, offered her a pivotal role in a film that revitalized her popularity.
Ironically, in this movie titled All About Eve, Bette Davis portrays Margo Channing, an esteemed but aging actress grappling with a fading career. Premiering on October 13, 1950, in New York City, this Academy Award-winning drama became a standout in Davis’ filmography. Mankiewicz himself penned the screenplay, drawing inspiration from Mary Orr’s short story about a cunning young actress named Eve, who insinuates herself into the life of an older actress, attempting to usurp both her roles and her husband.
True aficionados of classic cinema were already familiar with the iconic line delivered by Davis as Margo in the film. The scene unfolds during Margo’s birthday party for her director and companion, Bill Sampson, played by Gary Merrill, who coincidentally became Bette’s husband in real life that very same year. As she notices Bill’s increasing attention towards the aspiring young actress Eve Harrington, portrayed by Anne Baxter, Margo succumbs to jealousy, drowning her sorrows in alcohol and displaying a surly demeanor.
Margo’s friend Karen, played by Celeste Holm, takes notice and remarks, “We’ve seen you like this before. Is it over, or is it just beginning?” Seizing the moment, Margo takes another swig of her drink, walks over to a staircase, and gazes down with a mischievous smile before delivering the now legendary movie quote:
“Prepare for Turbulence. It’s Bound to Be a Rough Ride.”
Of course, given that the film was set in 1950, Margo’s analogy alluded to securing seatbelts during a turbulent flight rather than fastening them in cars, as seatbelts were not yet commonplace in automobiles at the time.
All About Eve proved to be a resounding success, rejuvenating Bette Davis’ career, earning her an Oscar nomination, and securing a Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. Additionally, the film features a brief appearance by a young Marilyn Monroe during the party scene, offering a glimpse of her budding beauty and charismatic allure.
A Day of Memorable Quotes
October 13th stands out as a day connected to other famous quotes and phrases. Here are a couple of noteworthy mentions:
“You Must Remember This, Love’s a Game of Give and Take…”
The renowned song “As Time Goes By,” penned by American songwriter Herman Hupfeld, gained fame through its inclusion in the movie Casablanca (1943). However, it was originally composed for the Broadway musical Everybody’s Welcome, which premiered at the Shubert Theater in New York City on October 13, 1931.
“Fail-Safe” – A Cold War Term Enters the Lexicon
On October 13, 1962, The Saturday Evening Post magazine released a serialized version of the book “Fail-Safe” by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. This captivating novel quickly became a bestseller, cementing the chilling Cold War concept of “fail-safe” into the collective consciousness and vocabulary of the American public.
We hope you enjoyed exploring this historical connection of memorable quotes. If you have any comments or corrections, feel free to share them on the Famous Quotations Facebook page.
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