View Full Version : "All About Eve" versus "Sunset Boulevard": Which is better?

Jul 20th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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.

Jul 20th, 2006, 09:47 AM
I find Sunset a bit slow to be honset, and only really grabs my attention when Gloria pops up - and it's not as often as I'd like. The scenes without Norma and max drag. But the scenes WITH Norma, and with Max are sensational. I also think that it looks very worn now - might just be the print TCM uses, but it needs a spruce up.

Eve has stood the test of time better, is much more enjoyable, great one liners, fuller, more characters which have been fleshed out and hold the attention. A fantastic supporting cast. Plus I think it has more pace. Plus Bette Davis is beyond compare in my view. I love All About Eve and would never want to see a re-make. But I thought the musical version of Sunset was great and much better than the film, and look forward to it being filmed with the rumoured Glenn Close in the role of Norma.

Jul 20th, 2006, 10:45 PM
All About Eve hands down. But it was great to see Gloria Swanson have one last great role in her career.

If anything, Sunset Boulevard made Gloria more immortal with countless parodies and of course, that great musical of the 90s.

Jul 21st, 2006, 01:20 AM
All About Eve hands down. But it was great to see Gloria Swanson have one last great role in her career.

If anything, Sunset Boulevard made Gloria more immortal with countless parodies and of course, that great musical of the 90s.

Eve gets my vote too Jakeev. Who can top lines like "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be bumpy ride!" A cameo by Marilyn Monroe doesn't hurt.

Speaking of Sunset parodies, here's Carol Burnett (bottom left) doing hers. It's a laugh riot when she screams out "Max! MAX! Maaaa-ax!"


Jul 21st, 2006, 03:08 AM

Jul 21st, 2006, 03:41 AM
ALL ABOUT EVE !! I just bought the special edition dvd :D :bounce:

Helen Lawson
Jul 21st, 2006, 03:01 PM
That's a VERY tough call! Wow, two greats that I just love to watch. I watch Sunset more often, but between the two, I go with All About Eve. There's not a dull moment in either film, but there's a certain isolated quality to Sunset Boulevard in that really, it's 3 characters at Norma's palace. All About Eve has a bigger cast with so many great, intersting characters, everyone is at the top of their game in that move, like a little more energy and as great as the dialog is in Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve's better.

Gonzo Hates Me!
Jul 21st, 2006, 03:49 PM
When I was like, 15, I got All About Eve as a Christmas present from one of my friends in high school. That's how much I love love love that movie. I put it on my wishlist, and she was like, what the hell is this?. But she found it for me anyway. I was so happy. :hearts: I love that movie. Sunset doesn't compare IMO. And so many movies try and copy AAE's plot and appeal but nothing ever comes close. :hearts:

Jul 21st, 2006, 08:38 PM
Sorry! I love both films, but I have to go with Sunset here!I find it campy and I think it's great parody about the aging silent screen star eagerly awaiting the return of silent film to reclaim her stardom! At least I see the parody of all the great silent screen stars that never made the transition to talkies! It really makes a statement and deals with a part of Hollywood lore/history! I find it fascinating!

All About Eve is best remembered for the over the top performances of two of Hollywoods greatest leading ladies! It is a wonderful film that one is likely not to see again!

Jul 21st, 2006, 09:53 PM
I love both films but I gotta go with All About Eve. I'm a big Bette Davis fan.

Jul 23rd, 2006, 01:57 AM
Glad to see all the support for Eve :D

Jul 23rd, 2006, 02:18 AM
I thought we were talking about "Sunset Strip" off the shit that is Courtney Love's solo album :o


Jul 23rd, 2006, 02:45 AM
I voted for "All About Eve". The screenplay is incredible and the acting is delicious. Bette Davis and Anne Baxter were brilliant. :)

However, Gloria Swanson was just as brilliant in "Sunset Boulevard".

Ironically all 3 leading ladies were nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. And all three LOST. :eek:

I think Oscar made a mistake that year. Judy Holliday's performance in "Born Yesterday" was cute, but the above 3 performances are legendary in Hollywood.


Jul 23rd, 2006, 03:02 AM
Glad to see all the support for Eve :D

You like old movies? What happened to Mean Girls? :sad:

Jul 23rd, 2006, 03:47 AM
You like old movies? What happened to Mean Girls? :sad:


Eve is a bit like Mean Girls :p

Anne K.
Jul 23rd, 2006, 07:54 PM
I love both these movies and cannot chose between them. They're both
great in different ways. Aside from being released in 1950 and both being
B&W, the subject matter is so different in each you can't really compare
them. Apples and oranges, really.....:wavey: