Night and Day: Wednesday, July 30, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A Bumpy Night, A Crazy Day

Local movie buffs who go to the library on Wednesday and TCU on Sunday can trace the genealogy connecting two filmmakers who plied their trade a half-century apart.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1950 film All About Eve isn’t terribly deep as movie “classics” go, but it sure is fun. The film’s ambivalent attitude toward career women notwithstanding, Bette Davis’ lead performance has inspired generations of divas. The real reason that the movie has survived the years, though, is because its story — veteran theatrical star pushed for a job by an ambitious young starlet who kisses up until the moment she has to show her ruthlessness — has played itself out in real life so many times, and not just in show business. If you’re hooked on Mankiewicz’s talent for dialogue filled with literacy and bitchy humor, check out his 1949 drama A Letter to Three Wives, a more understated piece of work with an arguably better script.

Pedro Almodóvar, who quoted All About Eve in the title and opening sequence of his 1999 film All About My Mother, first won international attention with his 1988 comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The wackiness of his early style is brought to delirious perfection in this story about an actress trying to win back a married lover who’s going back to his wife. The perfect proportions of the farce nevertheless allow for emotional lather, Day-Glo colors, and hijinks involving terrorist threats, Jehovah’s Witnesses, a sympathetic cabdriver, and some spicy gazpacho.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown screens 6pm Wed at TCU, Rm 164S, Moudy Bldg, 2800 S University Dr, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-257-7810. All About Eve screens at 2pm Sun at Fort Worth Public Library, 500 W 3rd St, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-871-7701.


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