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The top-name cast certainly know how to put Mankiewicz's words across. Anne Baxter is all doe-eyed charm as Eve, the ruthless aspiring actress who passes herself off as a little girl lost. George Sanders (eminent character actor and the voice of Shere Khan the tiger in The Jungle Book) shows his customary mellowness of sneer as Addison De Witt, theatre critic and professional cynic ("a venomous foot louse" as he's characterised) who helps push Eve up the greasy pole toward success, if not happiness. Best of all is Bette Davis, a soured but still resplendent stage diva, who takes Eve under her wing. ("I'll admit I've seen better days but I'm still not to be had for the price of a cocktail--like a salted peanut", she tells her lover.) The plotting and double-dealing on the screen, described in Sam Staggs' All About All About Eve: The Complete Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Bitchiest Film Ever Made, were matched by what went on behind the scenes. Davis heartily loathed fellow actress Celeste Holm who--ironically enough--plays her best friend. She fell in love with another co-star, the handsome, good-looking Gary Merrill, whom she later married. Backstage dramas are often self-indulgent and stagy affairs, but this one dazzles. --Geoffrey Macnab