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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joanne Woodward is simply spectacular,
This is one of the finest movies of Joanne Woodward in which she performs the role of a housewife torn between three contrasting personalities; Eve White, Eve Black and Jane. This is a real life story about multiple personality disorder suffered by Chris Costner Sizemore of South Carolina, and diagnosed by Drs. Corbett H. Thigpen, and Hervey M. Cleckley. This story was brilliantly adapted for the screen by the work of Nunnally Johnson, who also wrote for such classics as: How to Marry a Millionaire, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, and We're not Married.
Woodward plays the role of socially repressed Eve White, a housewife and mother of a daughter, Bonnie White (Terry Ann Ross). The second personality is the oversexed Eve Black, clad in sexy bras, and short skirts, drinking, smoking, and always ready for fun at the local bar; and the third person called Jane who is relatively normal. The viewers see a metamorphosis in Eve White who changes from perfect housewife to a downright difficult lady. The real drama unfolds in the offices of Dr. Curtis Luther (Lee Cobb) who methodically investigates the psychological disorder of his patient and comes to the conclusion that Eve suffers from the split personalities of three contrasting women. There is a great deal of drama when the viewers see Eve strangling her only daughter when she "appears" as Eve Black (Eve Black considers that is not her child). The constant fights and domestic problems with her husband Ralph White (David Wayne), and his visits to see her at the psychiatric hospital are very moving. When she is resident of the state facility for mentally disturbed, we find more of the irresponsible and selfish nature of Eve Black who hangs out in the bars, picks men and finally disappoints them, no matter how much it hurts them. In almost all instances we see the appearance of conservative Eve White after Eve black transforms herself; that is, when she sobers of and tries to understand what has happened, and feel embarrassed that she is sitting in the bar in skimpy clothes.
There is an interesting history behind casting. When director Nunnally Johnson's tried to cast actress Jennifer Jones for the leading role; she confessed being terrified of the part. June Allyson simply refused to play, and Judy Garland at first agreed to take part in the movie, but when saw the actual films of Chris Sizemore undergoing psychotherapy, and transformation to split personalities, she got scared. Joanne Woodward read the script on the train from New York to Los Angeles and confessed that she was so afraid of the role she almost returned to New York. Johnson wanted to have Sizemore interviewed for the movie, but her psychiatrists said that she was not ready for the experience. Sizemore continued to manifest new personalities after her supposed cure, up to 22 personalities in all, until 1970s. She did not see the film until 1974, and she found it moving and praised the performance of Joanne Woodward.
There are many situations that are close to the real story. Just as Chris Sizemore had displayed in her therapy, Woodward used a Southern accent for the two Eves and dropped this accent when she became Jane. One change Johnson suggested was making the transformations slowly than Sizemore had actually experienced in the real life. During therapy, Sizemore switched personalities fairly quickly, but the director felt that would not be believable to a movie audience unfamiliar with multiple personality disorder. Each event is chronicled accurately, and as the years in which it all took place pass, viewers see personalities appear and disappear, and transform to one another. One thing that is overlooked over the years in many reviews is the brilliant portrayal of Dr. Luther by Lee Cobb, who has offered brilliant performance and strongly complements the fine work of Woodward.
The Chris Costner Sizemore Papers span the time period 1952-1989, with the bulk of the papers dating between 1956 and 1979. These are currently available at the Duke University library (Duke.edu). The collection consists largely of correspondence; diaries and writings by Sizemore; clippings centered on film and book promotions and speaking engagements. The papers provide an in-depth look into the life of a woman with a rare disorder who later came to clearly articulate her life to the public.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not you marrying me. It's me marrying anybody. I'm sick. I am mentally sick, and I can't marry anybody, ever.,
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Three Faces of Eve is directed by Nunally Johnson who also adapts the screenplay from a book written by Corbett Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley. It stars Joanne Woodward, Lee J. Cobb, David Wayne and Edwin Jerome. A CinemaScope production, music is by Robert Emmett Dolan and cinematography by Stanley Cortez.
Doctor Curtis Luther (Cobb) treats Eve White (Woodward) for Multiple Personality Disorder...
Christine, Strawberry Girl.
It has become one of those films that is stuck in some sort of Hollywood purgatory. Its impact back on release in 1957, where Hollywood was still struggling to come to terms with putting mental illness on celluloid, should not be understated, and it's that time frame where one might have to transport yourself to get the benefits of the production.
Looking at it today, it is rife with simplistic ideals, where it often feels like Hollywood believes there is this magical cure for mental illness, a world where some amiable doctor can chat the chat, snap his fingers and bang! What joy, it's all good really, and sorry we played some of the film for laughs...
The reason why it is in Hollywood no man's land is because in spite of the near crassness of the piece, it still stands up as a film of importance, a picture that brought out the topic at hand into the mainstream. As an interim movie in the trajectory of big screen forays into matters of the mind, it advanced awareness and built a bridge that the likes of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Girl Interrupted would later traverse with some distinction.
It also boasts a brilliant Oscar winning performance from Woodward, a real tour de force that engages the viewer emotionally to the point where sadness, anger, hope and understanding merge into one blurry cinematic achievement. Though away from "Eve's" interactions with Doctor Luther (Cobb perfectly restrained for a change), the rest of the film kind of feels like filler, Johnson not quite comfortable enough as a director to expand the dramatic thematics out of the Doc's office.
Based on the real life case of Chris Costner Sizemore, the story only scratches the surface of what the poor lady went through. The psychiatric resolution here on film is very disappointing, this even if there's undoubtedly some exhilaration to be had as cinema Eve comes through the dark tunnel to find daylight. So in that respect, it's another blot on Nunally Johnson's landscape. But again, it put the case in the public conscious, where even today it should at least make people consider reading up on the real "Eve's" story.
Uneven for sure, where rewards and annoyances await, but Woodward and the film's mark in subject matter history lift it way above average. 7.5/10
5.0 out of 5 stars The Three Faces of Eve  [Blu-ray] [US Import],
This review is from: Three Faces of Eve [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)
The Three Faces of Eve  [Blu-ray] [US Import] Joanne Woodward brought home a Best Actress OSCAR® for her unforgettable portrayal of a woman with multiple personality disorder. Woodward plays Eve White, a troubled housewife who begins seeing a psychiatrist. Under hypnosis, Eve's two additional personalities are revealed: a vamp and an independent sophisticate – but curing her will require a probe into her disturbing past.
FILM FACT: The film is based on the real-life story of a South Caroline woman who ultimately manifested 22 different personalities over her lifetime.
FILM FACT EXTRA: Joanne Woodward won the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first actress to win an Oscar for portraying three different personalities [Eve White, Eve Black and Jane]. The Three Faces of Eve also became the first film to win the Best Actress award without getting nominated in another category since Bette Davis won for Dangerous in 1935, and the last for nearly 31 years until Jodie Foster won the award for The Accused, the film's sole nomination.
Cast: Joanne Woodward, David Wayne, Lee J. Cobb, Edwin Jerome, Alena Murray, Nancy Kulp, Douglas Spencer, Terry Ann Ross, Ken Scott, Mimi Gibson, Vince Edwards (uncredited), Mary Field (uncredited), Richard Garrick (uncredited) and Alistair Cooke [Narrator]
Director: Nunnally Johnson
Producer: Nunnally Johnson
Screenwriter: Nunnally Johnson
Composer: Robert Emmett Dolan
Cinematography: Stanley Cortez
Resolution: 1080p [Black and White]
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 [CinemaScope]
Audio: English: 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French
Running Time: 91 minutes
Region: Region A/1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – A truly great performance can go a long way toward elevating any film, and in the case of Joanne Woodward's Academy Award winning turn in 'The Three Faces of Eve,' we actually get three for the price of one. A perfect example of "truth is stranger than fiction," the movie takes its cue from a real life instance of multiple personality disorder, chronicling the lofty struggles that come as a result of fractured psyches and lingering childhood trauma. The filmmaking itself doesn't offer too much to get excited about, but the lead actress is mesmerizing to watch, and acclaimed Hollywood writer Nunnally Johnson does a solid job in the director's chair. It might not quite earn classic status, but all three of Woodward's distinct personalities easily stand the test of time.
Based on an actual case study written by psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, the story follows a timid woman, Eve White [Joanne Woodward], who is suffering from memory loss and apparent mood swings. Through the help of Dr. Curtis Luther [Lee J. Cobb], Eve discovers that her recurring blackouts and inexplicable behaviour are actually the result of a rare case of multiple personality disorder. As her wild and flirtatious second persona, Eve Black takes control, Eve White's marriage begins to fall apart and she becomes unfit to take care of her daughter. Determined to sustain some semblance of normalcy, the poor fragmented woman and her physiatrist work hard to handle her unpredictable life, but when a third personality suddenly emerges, any chance at a manageable existence is put into jeopardy.
From the moment we fade in, the filmmakers go out of their way to make sure that the audience is aware of the script's true life inspirations. A formal intro from the movie's narrator, Alistair Cooke, goes over the general history of the case and sets the stage for the strange yet mostly factual story to follow. Cooke continues to offer voice over narration intermittently, helping to clue us in on time shifts and advances in Eve's unfortunate predicament. To this end, the majority of the runtime focuses on therapy sessions between the increasingly tragic patient and her doctor, but there are also a few traditional dramatic beats added here and there to liven things up, including a subplot dealing with Eve's dissolving marriage and the potential romantic exploits of her two other personalities.
Though the core of the narrative is certainly interesting in its own right, especially Joanne Woodward's performance or should I say, performances that really make the picture. As the sweet but submissive Eve White, the actress exudes fragile desperation and dreary vulnerability. All she wants is to be able to take care of her daughter, but her constant blackouts and unpredictable behaviour make it impossible. Shy, reserved, and quiet, she's a likeable character, but it becomes clear that she sadly lacks the strength to really take control. On the other hand, Eve Black is something else entirely. A southern belle seductress, she's everything Eve White isn't. Confident, playful, and sexy, the screen lights up whenever she's around, but her frivolous, selfish, and irresponsible behaviour makes her a poor match for motherhood.
Watching Joanne Woodward segue from personality to personality, almost at the drop of a hat, is simply mesmerising. Though each persona could be interpreted as different facets of the same woman, as Eve White and Black the actress really does become two distinct roles. Everything from her body language, to her facial expressions, to her voice, to the very look in her eyes, completely changes, and the speed at which the actress is able to transform herself is incredible. Once her third personality manifests, the performance is taken to even greater heights, and once again we are introduced to a new, yet not altogether unfamiliar woman. And while it might be easy for some of these competing psyches to come across as underdeveloped, each piece of Eve's conflicting mind really feels like a whole individual, complete with desires, fears, and motivations all their own. In fact, it's the disparities between all three women's differing goals that fuel most of the movie's drama.
Though director Nunnally Johnson and his cinematographer maintain a very competent visual style that takes full advantage of the films CinemaScope frame with wide masters, long takes, and thoughtful lightning designs, the film's overall aesthetic isn't terribly interesting. Likewise, the script's relative faithfulness to the source material can leave the runtime feeling a bit dry and slow during certain stretches, with very standard dramatic detours used to try and spice things up. Eve's husband, played by David Wayne, also seems a little out of place, with the character's constant confusion and anger coming across as a tad hokey. An early, rather disturbing instance of off-screen violence ultimately rings falsely as well, since in retrospect it never really seems like any of Eve's personalities would be capable of such an act. Thankfully, these issues are fairly minor, and the narrative and visuals remain solid throughout. To the director's credit, there's even a particularly striking camera movement in the third act, that's made all the more powerful thanks to its deliberate break from Nunnally's otherwise subdued style.
'The Three Faces of Eve' is a genuinely remarkable showcase for actress Joanne Woodward. In a trio of roles that all happen to share the same body, the actress gives a memorable and intricately nuanced series of performances. The true life story of one woman's fascinating bout with multiple personality disorder tackles weighty themes dealing with identity, control, and trauma, and while some of the narrative's focus can be a little too clinical, the movie is a well-made piece of old fashioned Hollywood melodrama.
Blu-ray Video Quality – The film is presented in a black and white 1080p transfer in the 2.35:1 CinemaScope aspect ratio. Sharp, authentic, and nicely preserved, this is a rather gorgeous video presentation.
The print is essentially in pristine shape with no real signs of age or damage. A light layer of fine grain is present throughout, offering a natural, filmic appearance. For the most part, clarity is exceptional, with sharp textures and patterns readily visible in characters' suits and dresses. The filmmakers use a lot of wide shots that fully utilize the CinemaScope frame, and every layer of the image is impeccably rendered with pleasing dimension, revealing lots of detail in background objects. With that said, there are a few shots (usually right before a dissolve or scene transition) that offer a comparatively soft appearance. The grayscale is perfectly balanced with bright but natural whites and deep, inky blacks that don't crush. Beautifully detailed with gorgeous cinematic texture, this is a fantastic video transfer. Though there is some occasional softness here and there, fans of classic black and white films should be very impressed with this authentic and nearly immaculate image.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The film is provided with an English 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track. Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles are also included. Basic but respectful, the mix is free from any major issues.
Dialogue is a little thin compared to contemporary releases, but remains clear and clean throughout. Effects work within the single channel of audio is minimal but adequately conveyed. The movie's score becomes integral to the mood, with key cues that are tied to Eve's different personalities, and thankfully the music comes through with pleasing fidelity and decent range. Though some very faint background hissing is apparent in a few scenes, major age related issues like pops and crackle are nowhere to be found. The 1950s mono sound design is nothing to get excited about, but Fox has offered an authentic and clean audio presentation that preserves the filmmakers' original intentions.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Commentary by Film Historian Aubrey Solomon: Aubrey Solomon provides a fairly interesting discussion on the film, and while there are a few pauses here and there, he offers a wide array of production trivia. Details on the adaptation process and differences from the real life case are all shared, along with titbits about casting (Judy Garland was the first choice for the lead) and deleted material. Solomon even shares a refreshingly humble quote from the film's director assessing his own passable but admittedly unspectacular direction.
Fox Movietone News: Academy Awards® [2:22] Presented in standard definition with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, this is a vintage promotional news story about the winners of the 1958 Academy Awards, including Joanne Woodward. We even get to see footage of her very brief acceptance speech.
Theatrical Trailer [2:44] The film's trailer is included, which features a rare on camera appearance by Nunnally Johnson with an on-the-set introduction from the director.
Finally, 'The Three Faces of Eve' features a stunning marvellous performance from Joanne Woodward, who deserved the Oscar Award, and allowed the actress to tackle three distinct roles in one. While the film's style and script aren't quite as memorable, the movie's real life tale of multiple personality disorder is certainly fascinating in its own right. On the technical front, Fox has provided an exceptional video transfer and a great, faithful audio mix. We don't get a whole lot in the way of supplements, but the included commentary is definitely worth a listen. The film isn't exactly a classic, but it's a well-made Hollywood drama with a remarkable leading performance. Ever since I saw the film in the cinema, I thought Joanne Woodward was absolutely stunning and gave a magical performance and couldn’t believe an actor of her calibre could perform so many characters with great ease and ever since I fell in love with this film and had always said I would get this on the inferior DVD format, well I am glad I didn’t plunge in that direction, as the wait was well worth waiting and what I love about this film is that it is character driven and that is why it got so many plaudits and now it has gone pride of place in my Region A/1 Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
5.0 out of 5 stars The Three Faces of Eve,
Absolutely love this film. This is a brilliant well told story and excellent acting. Easier to understand than Sybil, which, by the way is also an awesome movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars great old movie,
an intriguing story line that still holds the imagination of our up to date society, we are unable to fathom the workings of the mind with all the advancement and research into the workings of the human brain. great movie you can watch time and again.
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD,
A gift for my daughter. An excellent introduction into the psychological world for the explanation of multiple personality disorder. AN excellent case study and based on fact I understand
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!,
There will be no doubt as to why this was an Oscar winning performance from Joanne Woodward, she is just fantastic. It is a great suspense drama, well transferred onto DVD also (from personal experience Odeon releases are always of good quality), a true gem for your film collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Age doesn't matter.,
I saw this as a teenager and wondered if this film would still be as memorable. I was not disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!,
Great classic movie.
Superb sharp DVD quality.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD The Three Faces of Eve,
I have been searching for this film for many years, then someone told me about Amazon and I did a search, imagine my surprise when there was the DVD, just waiting for me to buy.....and at a very good price too, immediately sent off for and just as quickly arrived, (certainly did not expect to be that quick), extremely well packaged. The film is just as I remembered and well worth waiting all those years. Thanks ALL
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Three Faces of Eve [Blu-ray]  [US Import] by David Wayne (Blu-ray - 2013)