Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
"All About Eve" versus "Sunset Boulevard": Which is better?
Here's a curly one for those fans of vintage cinema (and I know there are a few about on here).
What a year 1950 was! To have both "All About Eve" and "Sunset Boulevard", two all time classics, made in the same year. They will forever be paired together in history. "All About Eve" walked away with the Oscar, but history and popular conciousness, has probably given the nod to "Sunset Boulevard". In the AFI's top 100 movies of the all time, All About Eve ranked #16, Sunset Boulevard #12. Personally I have them even higher - easily among my top 5 greatest pictures of all time. The screenplays are impeccable, the performances measured to perfection and the themes which overlap - just what people will do to get ahead - are still relevant to today.
But which was better?
For me, it has to be All About Eve. In my view, it simply is a more enjoyable film to watch. Even on the umpteenth play, Sunset Boulevard can still give me the creeps (and to a certain extent this is a measure of it's greatness). Even when Eve Harrington wreaks her havoc, you get the sense there is light at the end of the tunnel - and I need that in a film. Where Sunset Boulevard's dialogue is sharp, All About Eve's is sharper, wittier - probably the greatest screen play of all time. But All About Eve's trump card is probably Margo Channing, and Davis' fiery depiction of her. For me, Channing is simply the greatest movie character there has ever been. However memorable Swanson and Desmond are, Davis and Channing are better.