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

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  274 Ratings  ·  34 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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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter BiskindHitchcock by François TruffautPictures at a Revolution by Mark  HarrisThe Great Movies by Roger EbertAdventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
Books ABOUT Movies
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The Art of the Film, Part 1
67th out of 147 books — 70 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 595)
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Madeline
Jun 18, 2014 Madeline rated it liked it
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
Jan 24, 2014 Jennifer Lafferty rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 30, 2007 Nancy L. rated it really liked it
And it turns out the bitchiest cast member is Celeste Holm.
Masteatro
Jun 18, 2015 Masteatro rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leídos-en-2015
Lo he disfrutado muchísimo. Es un libro lleno de anécdotas interesantes sobre el rodaje de la película "Eva al desnudo". Pero no, pensándolo bien es mucho más, es una historia de la película desde su concepción, partiendo del relato que inspiró su guión. Recoge chascarrillos y también te permite aprender muchas cosas del mundo del cine y sus distintos oficios como el de montador o director artístico.
Recomiendo ver o revisionar la película antes de leerlo para sacarle más sustancia. Está extraord
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Emily
May 30, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it
“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
Jun 30, 2014 Kara rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-american

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
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Angel
Nov 22, 2009 Angel rated it liked it
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
Rory
Jul 16, 2008 Rory rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Sep 15, 2008 Jim rated it it was amazing
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.
Sara
Aug 26, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I really enjoyed Staggs' book on Imitation of Life, but he's outdone himself here. And yes, Virginia, there was an Eve Harrington.
Beth Boylan
Oct 25, 2008 Beth Boylan rated it really liked it
I looove this movie, and so found the book completely enthralling. Couldn't put it down!
Fraser Sherman
May 16, 2015 Fraser Sherman rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
If you're a fan of All About Eve, this book gives an impressively in-depth look at casting (Claudette Colbert was a strong contender for the Bette Davis role), writing, production, backstage gossip (Davis and her leading man, Gary Merrill, went on to marry for real, then really regret it) and later influence (such as the stage adaptation, Applause). A bit fannish at times (Staggs really strains to claim Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as being influenced by Eve) but otherwise impressive.
Shawn Thrasher
Nov 02, 2012 Shawn Thrasher rated it liked it
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
Liz
Jun 26, 2015 Liz rated it it was ok
I didn't care for the author's style. This was maybe a little too much of "All About Eve".
Nathan
Mar 25, 2014 Nathan rated it liked it
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
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Frederick
Mar 25, 2008 Frederick rated it liked it
Shelves: staggs-sam
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
Jan 24, 2013 Catherine rated it liked it
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 İçöz
Dec 24, 2012 Fulya İçöz rated it really liked it
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 liked it  ·  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 liked it  ·  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
Sep 30, 2012 James Clark rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 24, 2011 Michael Holland rated it really liked it
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
Dec 25, 2007 Courtney rated it liked it
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
Jan 17, 2011 Robin rated it really liked it
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 liked it
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
Feb 16, 2012 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 04, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it
ALL about All About Eve. Every single teensy tiny last detail.
Keith
Jan 13, 2012 Keith rated it really liked it
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
Aug 15, 2013 Jill Bernstein rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 30, 2010 kabukigal rated it really liked it
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.
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