All About All About Eve: The Complete Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Bitchiest Film Ever Made!
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All About All About Eve: The Complete Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Bitchiest Film Ever Made!

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  30 reviews
To millions of fans, All About Eve represents all that's witty and wonderful in classic Hollywood movies. Its old-fashioned, larger-than-life stars--including Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, and Celeste Holm--found their best roles in Eve and its sophisticated dialogue has entered the lexicon.

But there's much more to know about All About Eve. Sam...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 23rd 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2000)
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All About All About Eve by Sam StaggsThe Making of Star Wars by J.W. RinzlerJAWS by Matt  TaylorRebecca by Jennifer Leigh WellsGWTW by Gavin Lambert
Legendary Pics Revisited
1st out of 13 books — 4 voters
All About All About Eve by Sam StaggsMy Autobiography by Charles ChaplinI Just Kept Hoping by Gloria StuartOf All the Gin Joints by Mark BaileyGrace by Robert Lacey
The Best and Worst of Hollywood
1st out of 22 books — 5 voters


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Community Reviews

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Madeline
Before you can ask: yes, I did buy this book because of the title. Look guys, you can't just show me a book with the byline, "the complete behind the scenes story of the bitchiest film ever made" and not expect me to buy it immediately. I know who I am. And if that "bitchiest film ever made" can also be described as "the best American film ever made" (FIGHT ME, Citizen Kane and Kubrick fanboys), so much the better.

On the Internet Movie Database website (or IMDb.com) there's a trivia feature for...more
Jennifer Lafferty
This is an extremely detailed and thorough book about the classic film "All About Eve". The author's encyclopedic knowledge of the film and subsequent projects, such as the hit Broadway play "Applause" is astounding. This is an entertaining and revealing read as well as a treasure for real fans of the film. At times the book becomes very technical and it drags in places as a result of being so detailed. The chapters on the filming of the movie are the juiciest and most fun to read. Over all, it'...more
Nancy L.
And it turns out the bitchiest cast member is Celeste Holm.
Emily
“All About Eve” is one of my favorite movies. Though it reads more like a play captured on film—with intense, overblown dialogue—I never tire of watching it. What, exactly, makes it so compelling? For one thing, it’s a scary proposition to know that someone is waiting in the wings to host on your success. Even scarier if that someone has a silky-smooth voice that lulls you into thinking they’re your friend. And then there’s the ensemble acting—astringent and invigorating. Finally, for me, it’s C...more
Kara

Given enough time, scandalous gossip becomes serious history.

This book still needs a little more time before it can be history – right now it is still one fanboy’s attempt to stuff every juicy little tidbit of gossip he could dig up about the movie All About Eve.

It’s a funny read to learn how little acting was needed by the actors as they played characters who loved and hated each other, but, my goodness, Staggs can certainly go off on tangents! He really wants to live up to the word “all” in th...more
Rory
I'm only about a quarter through this, but I'm already giving it five stars. I think when you shriek upon realizing your library carries a book you thought was out of print, you're probably already a sucker for it. "All About Eve" is my favorite movie, and this book is written by a super-fan, too. It's fairly well done, though, not all speculation and sugar. I keep telling myself to hold off reading it until I'm on a beach in Hawaii in a couple weeks but...I...just can't!
Jim
Only a die-hard devotee and seen-it-20-or-more-times viewer of the movie would get into this book, but there's such an abundance of newsworthy material about the whole production. Highly entertaining.
Beth Boylan
I looove this movie, and so found the book completely enthralling. Couldn't put it down!
Angel
Nov 22, 2009 Angel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All About Eve fanatics, Bette Davis fans, people interested in movie-making
This book was not quite what I expected. Billing itself as "The complete behind-the-scenes story of the bitchiest film ever made," I expected to learn about all the dirt-- the story of the real "Eve," the affair between Bette Davis and Gary Merrill, the animosity between Davis and Celeste Holmes, the competition between Davis and Ann Baxter for the best leading actress Academy Award, the legendary difficulties of working with Marilyn Monroe even at that early stage, etc. The author Sam Staggs do...more
Shawn Thrasher
The first half of this book was a bitch-filled kiki to "the bitchiest film ever made." It was extensively behind the scenes, a peak into Celeste Holm's closet and Bette Davis's cigarette case. A gossipy gas. Into the second half, though, this became brainy and intellectually talky, and so "complete" it rose too tall and collapsed in on itself from too much weight. I'd much rather watch the movie with a bunch of old drag queens (dressed as Margo, Eve, Karen and hopefully Birdie) swigging cocktail...more
Nathan
The title says it all. In fact, an alternate title could have been, "Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About 'All About Eve'*But Would Never Have Thought to Ask".

This book goes very in-depth about every facet of this film, from the history that inspired it, to the actual production, to the creation of a Broadway musical adaption. Well-written and very thorough, I recommend reading it only in this order: 1) Watch the film; 2) Read the book; 3) Watch the film again, in a newly enlightened...more
Frederick
This book is good.
But let me talk about the movie. I don't want to see it ever again. George Sanders is world-weary. Bette Davis says "Fasten your seat-belts, it's going to be a bumpy night." Marilyn Monroe gets more screen-time than she did in LOVE HAPPY.
Anne Baxter is cast against type.
I don't care. Give me IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. Give me CASABLANCA. Give me THE PINK PANTHER.
But spare me one more viewing of the slow, suffocating, dry-hump of a melodrama that is ALL ABOUT EVE.
The book is fun,...more
Catherine
Entertaining enough gossip-fodder about an all-time favorite film of mine. I rewatched it after reading this and I'm really not sure a better screenplay has ever been written. The film is a masterpiece; this book is passable entertainment. Goes off the rails towards the end, but I do like how it never commits to one version of events, merely laying out all the different versions because actors and people in Hollywood tend to mythologize themselves and the narratives they're involved in.
Fulya
It's a good book about my favourite film. It was a nice experience to learn what had happened off-stage and on. The origin of the script, the choice of cast, rumours and facts about the cast members ( my main interest was the relationship between Bette Davis and her last husband Gary Merill naturally). Some additional information and textual analysis were also helpful. All in all, it is a carefully detailed book. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the history of movies.
Chris
Aug 08, 2010 Chris rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Film and theater lovers, All About Eve fans
I enjoyed it, but I have seen the movie 6 times. Staggs wanders far and wide to give as much behind-the-scene dish as possible. I liked how much work he did on Applause! and on Broadway in general. However, he also engages in what feels like much arched-eyebrow speculation, especially of "Eve"'s possible influence on other films. Also, Marilyn Monroe gets far more attention in the book than is really warranted.
Graceann
Jul 12, 2009 Graceann rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: film buffs with handy grains of salt
Shelves: film-history
Please see my detailed review at Amazon Graceann's "All About All About Eve" Review"

Two-thirds fun, and one-third nonsense. The middle section was so bad that I almost quit - I couldn't believe he was able to come up with some of his conclusions without giggling himself out of his chair. My eyes were rolling like window shades.
James Clark
A fascinating insight into a movie that has not only cult status but is considered a camp classic. Taking each character and each actor and dissecting their careers, role in the film and the various aspects of their time in the film.

As a book about a film it really covers all the angles and gives a real close up look at the history of a film that has stood the test of time.
Michael Holland
Fun read about the behind the scenes events and relationships of the player in the film "All About Eve", about how Celeste Holm and Bettie Davie apparently disliked each other, yet were able to appear quite close in their portrayals of Karen and Margo, about the casting, how the picture was shot, etc. It's a fun, easy read!
Courtney
I never, EVER, get sick of reading gossip-fueled stories about the "golden age" of Hollywood. This book digs deep into one of the best films ever made, and is packed full of everything from original casting ideas, cutting room floor scenes, and a brief interview with the "real" Eve Harrigton. Good tub reading.
Robin
Everything you need it to be: equal parts film history, backstage dish, cultural impact, auteur explication, and psychoanalysis. Structured in a way that lets you skim the parts you already know and tuck into what's new. a great find on a vacation bookshelf that saw me through the weekend.
Michael
Sep 27, 2007 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 'mos
this book was very good, in my humble, gay opinion. however, i wanted more bitchy backstage drama and less about zanuck and how everyone hated celeste holm. the whole section on 'applause' was simply blah. definitely watch the movie *before* starting this book; you'll need a refresher.
Jason
A book about one of my favorite movies? Sign me up! An in depth look at how the movie and the cult came into being-oh, Hell Yeah! What a great read-full of intriguing new information for the Eve expert-LOVED THIS-no excuse me I have to re-watch the movie!
Kevin
ALL about All About Eve. Every single teensy tiny last detail.
Keith
A great detailed study of the film and it's history - from the original short story all the way through the musical "Applause." Very easy read, kept me interested and fun ;-)
Jill Bernstein
Loved the movie and I loved all the behind-the-scenes info in this book. If you're a fan of the movie, this is definitely a must-have. It's my favorite "inside Hollywood" book.
kabukigal
A fun read if you are into the movie, the musical and their stars. As usual Staggs throws in a few very off-the-wall opinions, but generally he's on the mark.
Miles Emanuel
A riveting account of the best film made on this cinematically largely unfortunate continent
Cindy
Nov 20, 2009 Cindy added it
Fascinating book for fans of the movie and any of the actors in it.
Valerie
Fun read for a rich, deep, fun movie!!
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