2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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 is from: Three Faces of Eve [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
*** 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