hmv.com presents… The Best Soundtracks of All Time: All About Eve
All About Eve
So what’s the film about?
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve stars Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington, an aspiring actress who worms her way into the social circle of an established but ageing Broadway star named Margo Channing (Bette Davis), including her influential friends, the scriptwriter Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), director Bill Simpson (Gary Merrill) and producer Max Fabian (Gregory Ratoff).
The plot sees Eve manipulating the Broadway veterans to serve her own ruthless ambitions, and the film has become a kind of folklore among Hollywood aficionados for the cut-throat nature of New York’s Broadway scene and the wider entertainment business. As one of the film’s most oft-quoted lines says: ‘fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.
The film also features and early on-screen appearance for Marilyn Monroe.
Is this a score or a soundtrack?
This is very much in the soundtrack camp, comprised of a mixture of classical music - including Franz Liszt’s ‘Liebestraum’ and Claude Debussey’s ‘Beau’ Soir’ - and more popular music of the time, with songs composed by the likes of Anton Buckner and Richard Rogers, among others.
So who’s on it? Anyone I might know?
Along with Rogers and Bruckner, there are also contributions from Nat Simon, Harold Arlen and Burton Lane, who some of you may know as the man who wrote ‘That Old Devil Moon’.
So which songs are on it? Did any of them become hits?
Probably the most famous song featured in the film is Richard Rogers’ ‘Blue Moon’, performed on piano at the party while Lloyd and Margo are in the kitchen. It was a big hit at the time of the film’s release and has since gone on to be Manchester City’s anthem in reference to their sky blue kit colours. Take a trip to the Etihad Stadium on any given weekend and you’re sure to hear this belting out from the terraces, especially if they’re playing rivals Manchester United.
What’s the best moment?
Along with Blue Moon, the other highlight is Harold Arlen’s ‘That Old Black Magic’, first recorded and released in 1942 by Glen Miller and his orchestra. The song has since been performed and released many times over the last few decades, including versions by Sammy Davis Junior and Ella Fitzgerald.
Has it stood the test of time?
All About Eve is a 1950s classic and although things have moved on a lot since those days in production terms, many of the songs used do stand the test of time and the film’s themes of the ruthless,unforgiving nature of showbiz still ring true today. Mankewicz’s film won 6 Oscars that year and it deserves every bit of the high regard it is still held in by many in the industry.