Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Shop now Learn more Shop now
Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joanne Woodward is simply spectacular, 17 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Three Faces of Eve [DVD] [1957] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Feb 2012 09:59:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Feb 2012 11:28:56 GMT
blueskies says:
Strange, that a region 2 version is seemingly not available. If that has always been the case, it strikes me that distributors may have considered Europe as unready for this [psychological] subject. That would contrast with the open-minded [US] handling of the film and also the ready availability of the documentation created by the two doctors over many decades. (Out of interest, it was screened in the UK on the SKY Classics channel on 31st January 2012).
In addition, three (invited) eminent actors decided against involvement for the lead, so the subject is clearly disturbing; all credit therefore to Joanne Woodward for seeing it through despite her own initial misgivings.
An introduction by Alastair Cook - a highly-respected British film critic - lends weight to the subject. One hopes psychological dificulties and their range will be given more credence and tolerance by this courageous production.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Annandale, VA, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 42,385