Once again, someone decided to take a typical "backstage backstabbing drama" type story and turn it into a prestige picture.
The film follows an aspiring actress named Eve Harrington who worships fading and aging stage goddess Margo Channing and finds herself going from rags to riches when Margo befriends her and helps her turn her life around. Thigns start going well enough until Eve begins to scheme about taking over the top spot, willing to do about anything to get there.
This basic plot was nothing new, even by 1950. This retelling is doen pretty well though, with some excellent performances and decent writing. What boggles my mind about it though is that I just cannot comprehend why this is such a highly lauded film. It's good, but there's nothing about it overall that makes it truly great. I don't think the performances are enough, though they do account for a lot of it.
There's perhaps some insights into show biz that this film introduced to the world, but, given its age, it's hard to really be surprised by much of it. Sure, there's some really good lines, but a lot of them have been used so much in reference to this film that seeing them in context kinda makes it all very underwhelming.
I didn't hate this movie, and appreciated that it didn't go into over the top soap operaish melodrama territory, but at 138 minutes, it could have actually used something like that to liven up a production that is quite understated for the most part.
All in all, this isn't a classic, but it is an enjoyable drama for what it is, and seeing Bette Davis deliver one of her best performances is a real treat.