Last modified on 9 April 2014, at 01:01

All About Eve

All About Eve is a 1950 film about an apparent ingenue who insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends to establish herself as an actress.

Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, from the story The Wisdom of Eve, by Mary Orr.
It's all about women---and their men!

Margo ChanningEdit

Margo Channing
  • Everybody has a heart- except some people.
  • Autograph fiends, they're not people. Those are little beasts that run around in packs like coyotes...They're nobody's fans. They're juvenile delinquent, they're mental defective, and nobody's audience. They never see a play or a movie even. They're never indoors long enough.
  • Suddenly, I've developed a big protective feeling for her. A lamb loose in our big stone jungle.
  • Funny business, a woman's career. The things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you'll need them again when you get back to being a woman.
  • Lloyd, I am not twenty-ish. I am not thirty-ish. Three months ago, I was forty years old. Forty. Four oh - That slipped out. I hadn't quite made up my mind to admit it. Now I suddenly feel as if I've taken all my clothes off.
  • Bill's thirty-two. He looks thirty-two. He looked it five years ago, he'll look it twenty years from now. I hate men.
  • [to Bill] This is my house, not a theater. In my house, you're a guest, not a director.
  • [responding to Karen's disbelief] In this rat race, everybody's guilty till they're proved innocent!
  • The little witch must have sent out Indian runners, snatching critics out of bars and steam rooms and museums, or wherever they holed up. Well, she won't get away with it, nor will Addison De Witt and his poison pen. If Equity or my lawyer can't or won't do anything about it, I shall personally stuff that pathetic little lost lamb down Mr. De Witt's ugly throat.
  • Never have I been so happy...I'm forgiving tonight, even Eve, I forgive Eve...Do you know what I'm going to be?...A married lady...No more make believe off stage or on. Remember, Lloyd? I mean it now...I don't want to play Cora...It isn't the part. It's a great part in a fine play. But not for me anymore. Not for a four-square, upright, downright, forthright married lady...It means I finally got a life to live. I don't have to play parts I'm too old for, just because I've got nothing to do with my nights.
  • Nice speech, Eve. But I wouldn't worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be.

Eve HarringtonEdit

Eve Harrington
  • I've seen every performance...I'd like anything Miss Channing played in...I think that part of Miss Channing's greatness lies in her ability to pick the best plays.
  • But somehow, acting and make believe began to fill up my life more and more. It got so I couldn't tell the real from the unreal. Except that the unreal seemed more real to me.
  • When you're a secretary in a brewery, it's pretty hard to make-believe you're anything else. Everything is beer.
  • And there were theaters in San Francisco. And then one night, Margo Channing came to play in Remembrance and I went to see it. Well, here I am.
  • If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights and wrapping you up.
  • I'll never forget this night as long as I live, and I'll never forget you for making it possible.
  • Lloyd Richards. He's going to leave Karen. We're going to be married...Lloyd loves me, I love him...I'm in love with Lloyd...Oh Addison, won't it be just perfect? Lloyd and I - there's no telling how far we can go. He'll write great plays for me, I'll make them great.

Addison DeWittEdit

Addison DeWitt
  • The Sarah Siddons Award for Distinguished Achievement is perhaps unknown to you. It has been spared the sensational and commercial publicity that attends such questionable 'honors' as the Pulitzer Prize - and those awards presented annually by that film society. This is the dining hall of the Sarah Siddons Society. The occasion is its annual banquet and presentation of the highest honor our theater knows - the Sarah Siddons Award for Distinguished Achievement...The minor awards, as you can see, have already been presented. Minor awards are for such as the writer and director [playwright Lloyd Richards and director Bill Sampson are briefly viewed] since their function is merely to construct a tower so that the world can applaud a light which flashes on top of it. And no brighter light has ever dazzled the eye than Eve Harrington. Eve. But more of Eve later, all about Eve, in fact.
  • To those of you who do not read, attend the theater, listen to unsponsored radio programs or know anything of the world in which you live - it is perhaps necessary to introduce myself. My name is Addison De Witt. My native habitat is the theater. In it, I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theater.
  • She is the wife of a playwright, therefore of the theater by marriage. Nothing in her background or breeding should have brought her any closer to the stage than Row E, Center. However, during her senior year at Radcliffe, Lloyd Richards lectured on the drama. The following year, Karen became Mrs. Lloyd Richards.
  • There are in general two types of theatrical producers. One has a great many wealthier friends who will risk a tax deductible loss. This type is interested in art. The other is one to whom each production means potential ruin or fortune. This type is out to make a buck.
  • Margo Channing is a Star of the Theater. She made her first stage appearance, at the age of four, in Midsummer Night's Dream. She played a fairy and entered - quite unexpectedly - stark naked. She has been a Star ever since. Margo is a great Star. A true star. She never was or will be anything less or anything else.
  • We know her humility, her devotion, her loyalty to her art, her love, her deep and abiding love for us, for what we are and what we do, the theater. She has had one wish, one prayer, one dream - to belong to us. Tonight, her dream has come true. And henceforth, we shall dream the same of her. Eve. Eve the Golden Girl, the Cover Girl, the Girl Next Door, the Girl on the Moon. Time has been good to Eve. Life goes where she goes. She's the profiled, covered, revealed, reported. What she eats and what she wears and whom she knows and where she was, and when and where she's going. Eve. You all know all about Eve. What can there be to know that you don't know?
  • Dear Margo. You were an unforgettable Peter Pan. You must play it again soon.
  • Every now and then some elder statesman of the theater or cinema assures the public that actors and actresses are just plain folks. Ignoring the fact that their greatest attraction to the public is their complete lack of resemblance to normal human beings.
  • I have lived in the theater as a Trappist monk lives in his faith. I have no other world; no other life - and once in a great while, I experience that moment of revelation for which all true believers wait and pray. You were one. Jeanne Eagels another...there are others, three or four. Eve Harrington will be among them.
  • We all have abnormality in common. We're a breed apart from the rest of humanity, we theatre folk; We are the original displaced personalities.
  • [confronting Eve] I had lunch with Karen not three hours ago. As always with women who try to find out things, she told more than she learned. Now do you want to change your story about Lloyd beating at your door the other night? ... That I should want you at all suddenly strikes me as the height of improbability, but that, in itself, is probably the reason. You're an improbable person, Eve, and so am I. We have that in common. Also a contempt for humanity, an inability to love and be loved, insatiable ambition - and talent. We deserve each other...and you realize and you agree how completely you belong to me?

Karen RichardsEdit

Karen Richards
  • Then stop being a star. And stop treating your guests as your supporting cast...It's about time Margo realized that what's attractive on stage need not necessarily be attractive off.
  • [to Eve, who is upset] The reason is Margo, and don't try to figure it out. Einstein couldn't.
  • Newton, they say, thought of gravity by getting hit on the head by an apple. And the man who invented the steam engine - he was watching a tea kettle. Not me. My big idea came to me just sitting on a couch. That boot in the rear to Margo. Heaven knows she had one coming. From me, from Lloyd, from Eve, Bill, Max, and so on. We'd all felt those size 5's of hers often enough. But how? The answer was buzzing around me like a fly. I had it. But I let it go. Screaming and calling names is one thing, but this could mean...Why not? Why, I said to myself, not? It would all seem perfectly legitimate. And there were only two people in the world who would know. Also, the boot would land where it would do the most good for all concerned. And after all, it was no more than a perfectly harmless joke that Margo herself would be the first to enjoy. And no reason why she shouldn't be told about it - in time.
  • That cynicism you refer to I acquired the day I discovered I was different from little boys.
  • Eve would ask Abbott to give her Costello.
  • Lloyd never got around somehow to asking whether it was all right with me for Eve to play Cora. Bill, oddly enough, refused to direct the play at first - with Eve in it. Lloyd and Max finally won him over. Margo never came to rehearsal. Too much to do around the house, she said. I'd never known Bill and Lloyd to fight as bitterly and often and always over some business for Eve, or a move, or the way she read a speech. But then I'd never known Lloyd to meddle as much with Bill's directing, as far as it affected Eve, that is. Somehow Eve kept them going. Bill stuck it out. Lloyd seemed happy. And I thought it might be best if I skipped rehearsals from then on. It seemed to me I had known always that it would happen, and here it was. I felt helpless, that helplessness you feel when you have no talent to offer - outside of loving your husband. How could I compete? Everything Lloyd loved about me, he had gotten used to long ago.

Lloyd RichardsEdit

Lloyd Richards
  • [about Eve] I like that girl, that quality of quiet graciousness.
  • It's Addison from start to finish. It drips with his brand of venom. Taking advantage of a kid like that, twisting her words, making her say what he wanted her to say.
  • There are very few moments in life as good as this. Let's remember it. To each of us and all of us, never have we been more close, may we never be farther apart.
  • The atmosphere is very MacBeth-ish...what has, or is about to, happen?
  • She can play Peck's Bad Boy all she wants and who's to stop her? Who's to give her that boot in the rear she needs and deserves?

Birdie CoonanEdit

  • I haven't got a union. I'm slave labor.
  • I'll tell ya how, like, like she's studyin' you, like you was a play or a book or a set of blueprints. How you walk, talk, eat, think, sleep.
  • The bed looks like a dead animal act.
MARGO: (graciously) And this is my good friend and companion, Miss Birdie Coonan.
BIRDIE: Oh, brother.
MARGO: Miss Coonan...
LLOYD: (to Birdie) Oh brother what?
BIRDIE: When she gets like this... all of a sudden she's playin' Hamlet's mother...
MARGO: I'm quite sure you must have things to do in the bathroom, Birdie dear.
BIRDIE: If I haven't, I'll find something 'til you get normal.
MARGO: Dear Birdie. Won't you sit down, Miss Worthington?
KAREN: Harrington.
MARGO: Oh, I'm so sorry... Harrington. Won't you sit down?
EVE: Thank you.
MARGO: There are some human experiences, Birdie, that do not take place in a vaudeville house - and that even a fifth-rate vaudevillian should understand and respect! (to Eve) I want to apologize for Birdie's-
BIRDIE: You don't have to apologize for me! (to Eve) I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, kid. It's just my way of talkin'...
EVE: You didn't hurt my feelings, Miss Coonan...
BIRDIE: Call me Birdie. (to Margo) And as for bein' fifth-rate - I closed the first half for eleven years an' you know it!
BIRDIE: You all put together?
MARGO: My back's open. Did the extra help get here?
BIRDIE: There's some loose characters dressed like maids and butlers. Who'd you call - the William Morris Agency?
MARGO: You're not being funny, I could get actors for less. What about the food?
BIRDIE: The caterer had to go back for the hors d'oeuvres-(she zips up Margo’s dress and sweeps her shoulders with a flourish). Et voila.
MARGO: That French ventriloquist taught you a lot, didn't he?
BIRDIE: There was nothing he didn't know. There's a message from the bartender. Does Miss Channing know that she ordered domestic gin by mistake?
MARGO: The only thing I ordered by mistake is the guests. (Birdie laughs) They're domestic, too, and they don't care what they drink as long as it burns...
BIRDIE: I haven't got a union. I'm slave labor.
MARGO: Well?
BIRDIE: But the wardrobe women have got one. And next to a tenor, a wardrobe woman is the touchiest thing in show business-
MARGO: Oh-oh.
BIRDIE: She's got two things to do - carry clothes an' press 'em wrong - an' don' let anybody try'ta muscle in...

OthersEdit

Bill Sampson
  • Bill Sampson: Zanuck is impatient. He wants me, he needs me.
  • Bill Sampson: The theatah, the theatAh - what book of rules says the theater exists only within some ugly buildings crowded into one square mile of New York City? Or London, Paris, or Vienna? Listen, junior. And learn. Want to know what the theater is? A flea circus. Also opera. Also rodeos, carnivals, ballets, Indian tribal dances, Punch and Judy, a one-man band - all theater. Wherever there's magic and make-believe and an audience - there's theater. Donald Duck, Ibsen, and the Lone Ranger. Sarah Bernhardt and Poodles Hanneford, Lunt and Fontanne, Betty Grable, Rex the Wild Horse, Eleanora Duse - they're all theater. You don't understand them, you don't like them all - why should you? The theater's for everybody - you included, but not exclusively - so don't approve or disapprove. It may not be your theater, but it's theater for somebody, somewhere...It's just that there's so much bourgeois in this ivory green room they call the theater. Sometimes it gets up around my chin.
  • Max Fabian: She loves me like a father. Also, she's loaded.
  • Old Actor: [about Eve] We know her humility, her devotion, her loyalty to her art, her love, her deep and abiding love for us, for what we are and what we do, the theater. She has had one wish, one prayer, one dream - to belong to us. Tonight, her dream has come true. And henceforth, we shall dream the same of her.

DialogueEdit

Birdie: What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end.
Margo: There are some human experiences, Birdie, that do not take place in a vaudeville house - and that even a fifth-rate vaudevillian should understand and respect!

Margo: Bill, don't get stuck on some glamour-puss.
Bill: I'll try.
Margo: You're not much of a bargain, you know. You're conceited, and thoughtless and messy.
Bill: Well, everybody can't be Gregory Peck.
Margo: You're a set-up for some gorgeous, wide-eyed young bait.
Bill: How childish are you going to get before you stop it?
Margo: I don't want to be childish. I'll settle for a few years.
Bill: Then cut that out right now.
Margo: Am I going to lose you, Bill? Am I?
Bill: As of this moment, you're six years old.

Margo: You bought the new girdles a size smaller. I can feel it.
Birdie: Somethin' maybe grew a size larger.
Margo: When we get home, you're going to get into one of those girdles and act for two and a half hours.
Birdie: I couldn't get into the girdle in two and a half hours. (Margo laughs)

Bill: We started talking. She wanted to know about Hollywood. She seemed so interested.
Margo: She's a girl of so many interests.
Bill: A pretty rare quality these days.
Margo: A girl of so many rare qualities.
Bill: So she seems.
Margo: So you've pointed out so often. So many qualities so often. Her loyalty, efficiency, devotion, warmth, and affection, and so young. So young and so fair.
Bill: I can't believe you're making this up. It sounds like something out of an old Clyde Fitch play.
Margo: Clyde Fitch--though you may not think so--was well before my time.
Bill: I've always denied the legend that you were in "Our American Cousin" the night Lincoln was shot.
Margo: I don't think that's funny.
Bill: Of course it's funny. This is all too laughable to be anything else. You know what I feel about this age obsession of yours. And now this ridiculous attempt to whip yourself up into a jealous froth because I spent ten minutes with a stage-struck kid.
Margo: Twenty.
Bill: Thirty minutes, forty minutes, what of it?
Margo: Stage-struck kid! She's a young lady of qualities. And I'll have you know I'm fed up with both the young lady and her qualities. Studying me as if I were a play or a blueprint, how I walk, talk, think, act, sleep...
Bill: Now, how can you take offense at a kid trying in every way to be as much like her ideal as possible?
Margo: Stop calling her a kid! As it happens, there are particular aspects of my life to which I would like to maintain sole and exclusive rights and privileges.
Bill: For instance what?
Margo: For instance you.
Bill: This is my cue to take you in my arms and reassure you. But I'm not going to. I'm too mad...
Margo: [interrupting] Guilty.
Bill: ...Mad! Darling, there are certain characteristics for which you are famous onstage and off. I love you for some of them in spite of others. I haven't let those become too important. They're part of your equipment for getting along in what is laughingly called our environment. You have to keep your teeth sharp, all right. But I will not have you sharpen them on me - or on Eve.
Margo: What about her teeth? What about her fangs?
Bill: She hasn't cut them yet, and you know it! So when you start judging an idealistic, dreamy-eyed kid by the barroom benzedrine standards of this megalomaniac society, I won't have it. Eve Harrington has never by a word, a look, or a suggestion indicated anything to me but her adoration for you and her happiness at our being in love. And to intimate anything else doesn't spell jealousy to me. It spells out paranoiac insecurity that you should be ashamed of.
Margo: Cut! Print it! What happens in the next reel? Do I get dragged off screaming to the snake pits?

Karen: Margo, nothing you've ever done has made me as happy as your taking Eve in.
Margo: I'm so happy you're happy.

Eve: I'm afraid Mr. De Witt would find me boring before too long.
Miss Casswell: You won't bore him, honey. You won't even get a chance to talk.

De Witt: Do you see that man? That's Max Fabian, the producer. Now go and do yourself some good.
Miss Casswell: Why do they always look like unhappy rabbits?
De Witt: Because that's what they are. Now go and make him happy.

Bill: Many of your guests have been wondering when they may be permitted to view the body. Where has it been laid out?
Margo: It hasn't been laid out. We haven't finished with the embalming. As a matter of fact, you're looking at it - the remains of Margo Channing, sitting up. It is my last wish to be buried sitting up.
Bill: Wouldn't it be more natural for you to be taking a bow?

Miss Casswell: Now there's something a girl could make sacrifices for.
Bill: And probably has.
Miss Casswell: Sable.
Max Fabian: Sable? Did she say sable or Gable?
Miss Casswell: Either one.

De Witt: Every so often some elder statesman of the theatre reminds the public that actors and actresses are just plain folks, completely ignoring the fact thath their whole attraction is their complete lack of resemblance to ordinary human beings. We all have that abnormality in common. We're a breed apart from the rest of humanity, we theatre folk. We are the original displaced personalities.
Bill: (To Eve) You won't have to read his collumn tomorrow kid, you just heard it. I don't agree, Addison.
De Witt: That happens to be your particular abnormality.
Miss Casswell: [interrupting] Oh, waiter!
De Witt: That isn't a waiter, my dear. That's a butler.
Miss Casswell: Well, I can't yell, 'Oh, butler!' can I? Maybe somebody's name is Butler.
De Witt: You have a point. An idiotic one, but a point.
Miss Casswell: I don't want to make trouble. All I want is a drink.
Max: Leave it to me. I'll get you one.
Miss Caswell: [smiling] Thank you, Mr. Fabian.
De Witt: Well done. I can see your career rising in the east like the sun. You were saying.
Bill: I'll admit there's a screwball element in the theatre. It's got splotlights on it and a brass band but it isn't basic. To be a good actor or actress or anything else in the theatre means wanting to be that more than anything else in the world.
Eve: [softly] Yes, yes it does.
Bill: It means concentration of desire or ambition, and sacrifice such as no other profession demands. And I'll agree that the man or woman who accepts those terms can't be ordinary, can't be just someone. To give so much for almost always so little.
Eve: So little. So little, did you say? Why, if there's nothing else, there's applause. I've listened backstage to people applaud. It's like, like waves of love coming over the footlights and wrapping you up. Imagine. To know, every night, that different hundreds of people love you. They smile, and their eyes shine. You've pleased them. They want you. You belong. Just that alone is worth anything.

Margo: [to Eve] Don't get up. And please stop acting as if I were the Queen-Mother.
Eve: I'm sorry, I didn't...
Bill: Outside of a beehive, Margo, your behavior would hardly be considered either queenly or motherly.
Margo: You're in a beehive, pal. Didn't you know? We're all busy little bees, full of stings, making honey, day and night. [To Eve] Aren't we, honey?
Karen: Margo, really.
Margo: Please don't play governess, Karen. I haven't your unyielding good taste. I wish I could have gone to Radcliffe too, but father wouldn't hear of it. He needed help behind the notions counter. I'm being rude now, aren't I? Or should I say, ain't I?
De Witt: You're maudlin and full of self-pity. You're magnificent.
Lloyd: How about calling it a night?
Margo: And you pose as a playwright, a situation pregnant with possibilities and all you can think of is everybody go to sleep.

Margo: [to Bill] You be host. It's your party. Happy birthday, welcome home. And we who are about to die salute you.
De Witt: Too bad, we're gonna miss the third act. They're gonna play it off stage.

De Witt: [about Eve] It wasn't a reading. It was a performance. Brilliant, vivid, something made of music and fire.
Margo: How nice.
De Witt: In time, she'll be what you are.
Margo: A mass of music and fire? That's me.

Miss Casswell: Now what?
De Witt: Your next move, it seems to me, should be towards television.
Miss Casswell: Tell me this. Do they have auditions for television?
De Witt: That's, uh, all television is, my dear. Nothing but auditions.

Margo: All playwrights should be dead for three hundred years!
Lloyd: That would solve none of their problems, because actresses never die. The stars never die and never change.
Margo: You may change this star any time you want for a new and fresh and exciting one, fully equipped with fire and music. Anytime you want, starting with tonight's performance!
Max: This is for lawyers to talk about! This concerns a run-of-the-play contract that you cannot rewrite or ad-lib!
Margo: Are you threatening me with legal action, Mr. Fabian?
Max: Are you breaking the contract?
Margo: Answer my question.
Max: (muttering angrily) Who am I to threaten? I'm a dying man.
Margo: I don't hear you.
Max: I said 'I'm a dying man!'
Margo: Not until the last drugstore has sold its last pill.
Lloyd: I shall never understand the weird process by which a body with a voice suddenly fancies itself as a mind. Just when exactly does an actress decide they're her words she's saying and her thoughts she's expressing?
Margo: Usually at the point when she has to rewrite and rethink them to keep the audience from leaving the theater.
Lloyd: It's about time the piano realize it has not written the concerto!
Margo: And you, I take it, are the Paderewski who plays his concerto on me, the piano?

Bill: The gong rang, the fight's over. Calm down.
Margo: I will not calm down.
Bill: Don't calm down.
Margo: You're being terribly tolerant, aren't you?
Bill: I'm trying terribly hard.
Margo: But you needn't be. I will not be tolerated and I will not be plotted against.
Bill: Here we go.
Margo: Such nonsense. What do you all take me for - Little Nell from the country? Been my understudy for over a week without my knowing it, carefully hidden no doubt.
Bill: I am sick and tired of these paranoiac outbursts
Margo: Paranoiac!
Bill: For the last time, I'll tell it to you. You've got to stop hurting yourself and me and the two of us by these paranoiac tantrums.
Margo: Oh that word again, I don't even know what it means.
Bill: Well it's about time you found out. I love you.
Margo: Ha!
Bill: I love you! You're a beautiful and an intelligent woman ...
Margo: A body with a voice!
Bill: A beautiful and an intelligent woman and a great actress. A great actress at the peak of her career. You have every reason for happiness.
Margo: Except happiness!
'Bill: But due to some strange, uncontrollable, unconscious drive, you permit the slightest action of a kid ...
Margo: (Sneering) A kid.
Bill: ... of a kid like Eve to turn you into an hysterical, screaming harpy. Now, once and for all, stop it!
Margo: It's obvious you're not a woman.
Bill: I've been aware of that for some time.
Margo: Well I am.
Bill: I'll say.
Margo: Don't be condescending.
Bill: C'mon, get up. I'll buy you a drink.
Margo: I'll admit I may have seen better days, but I'm still not to be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut.

Margo: So many people know me. I wish I did. I wish someone would tell me about me.
Karen: You're Margo, just Margo.
Margo: And what is that besides something spelled out in lightbulbs, I mean, besides something called a temperament which consists mostly of swooping about on a broomstick and screaming at the top of my voice. Infants behave the way I do, you know. They carry on and misbehave. They'd get drunk if they knew how, when they can't have what they want. When they feel unwanted or insecure or unloved.

Margo: Bill's in love with Margo Channing. He's fought with her, worked with her, and loved her. But ten years from now, Margo Channing will have ceased to exist. And what's left will be - what?
Karen: Margo, Bill is all of eight years younger than you.
Margo: Those years stretch as the years go on. I've seen it happen too often.
Karen: Not to you, not to Bill.
Margo: Isn't that what they always say?...About Eve, I've acted pretty disgracefully toward her too.
Karen: Well,...
Margo: Don't fumble for excuses, not here and now with my hair down. At best, let's say I've been oversensitive to her...to the fact that she's so young, so feminine and so helpless, too so many things I want to be for Bill. Funny business, a woman's career. The things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you'll need them again when you get back to being a woman. There's one career all females have in common - whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted. And, in the last analysis, nothing is any good unless you can look up just before dinner or turn around in bed - and there he is. Without that, you're not a woman. You're something with a French provincial office or a - a book full of clippings, but you're not a woman. Slow curtain. The End.

Bill: ...you did it. With work and patience, you'll be a good actress if that's what you want to be.
Eve: [purring] Is that what you want me to be?
Bill: I'm talking about you and what you want.
Eve: So am I.
Bill: What have I got to do with it?
Eve: Everything.
Bill: Names I've been called, but never Svengali. Good luck.
Eve: Don't run away, Bill.
Bill: From what would I be running?
Eve: You're always after truth on the stage. What about off?
Bill: I'm for it.
Eve: Then face it. I have. Ever since that first night here in this dressing room.
Bill: When I told you what every young actress should know?
Eve: When you told me that whatever I became it would be because of you...
Bill: Makeup's a little heavy.
Eve: ...and for you.
Bill: You're quite a girl.
Eve: You think?
Bill: I'm in love with Margo. Hadn't you heard?
Eve: You hear all kinds of things.
Bill: I'm only human, rumors to the contrary. And I'm as curious as the next man.
Eve: Find out.
Bill: The only thing - what I go after, I want to go after. I don't want it to come after me. Don't cry. Just score it as an incomplete forward pass.

De Witt: But if I may make a suggestion...I think the time has come for you to shed some of your humility. It is just as false not to blow your horn at all as it is to blow it too loudly.
Eve: I don't think I have anything to sound off about.
De Witt: We all come into this world with our little egos, equipped with individual horns. Now if we don't blow them, who else will?
Eve: Even so, one pretty good performance by an understudy - it'll be forgotten by tomorrow.
De Witt: It needn't be.

Eve: You take charge.
De Witt: I believe I will.

Lloyd: For once to write something and have it realized completely. For once not to compromise.
Karen: Lloyd Richards! You are not to consider giving that contemptible little worm the part of Cora.
Lloyd: Now just a minute.
Karen: Margo Channing's not been exactly a compromise all these years. Why, half the playwrights in the world would give their shirts for that particular compromise.
Lloyd: Now just a minute.
Karen: It strikes me that Eve's disloyalty and ingratitude must be contagious.
Lloyd: All this fuss and hysteria because an impulsive kid got carried away by excitement and the conniving of a professional manure-slinger named De Witt. She apologized, didn't she?
Karen: On her knees, I've no doubt. Very touching. Very Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Lloyd: That bitter cynicism of yours is something you've acquired since you left Radcliffe.
Karen: That cynicism you refer to I acquired the day I discovered I was different from little boys.

Bill: The so-called art of acting is not one for which I have a particularly-high regard...But you may quote me as follows. Quote: 'Tonight, Miss Margo Channing gave a performance in your cockamamie play the like of which I have never seen before and expect rarely to see again.' Unquote....I shall propose the toast. Without wit. With all my heart. To Margo. To my bride-to-be.
Margo: Glory, Hallelujah.

Margo: Encore du champagne.
Waiter: More champagne, Miss Channing?
Margo: That's what I said, bub.

Eve: If you told him (Lloyd) so, he'd give me the part. He said he would...It's my part now...Cora is my part. You've got to tell Lloyd it's for me...Addison wants me to play it...Addison knows how Margo happened to miss that performance, how I happened to know she'd miss it in time to call him and notify every paper in town...If I play Cora, Addison will never tell what happened, in or out of print. A simple exchange of favors. I'm so happy I can do something for you at long last. Your friendship with Margo - your deep, close friendship. What would happen to it, do you think, if she knew the cheap trick you played on her for my benefit? You and Lloyd. How long, even in the theater, before people forgot what happened and trusted you again? No, it would be so much easier for everyone concerned if I would play Cora. So much better theater too.
Karen: You'd do all that just for a part in a play?
Eve: I'd do much more for a part that good.

De Witt: And tomorrow morning, you will have won your beachhead on the shores of immortality.
Eve: Stop rehearsing your column. Isn't it strange, Addison? I thought I'd be panic-stricken, want to run away or something. Instead, I can't wait for tonight to come, to come and go.
De Witt: Are you that sure of tomorrow?
Eve: Aren't you?
De Witt: Frankly, yes.
Eve: It will be a night to remember. It will bring me everything I've ever wanted. The end of an old road. The beginning of a new one.
De Witt: All paved with diamonds and gold?
Eve: You know me better than that.
De Witt: It's paved with what, then?
Eve: Stars...Plenty of time for a nice long nap. We rehearsed most of last night.
De Witt: You could sleep now, couldn't you?
Eve: Why not?
De Witt: The mark of a true killer. Sleep tight, rest easy, and come out fighting.
Eve: Why did you call me a killer?
De Witt: Oh, did I say killer? I meant champion. I get my boxing terms mixed.

Eve: The setting wasn't romantic, but Lloyd was. He woke me up at three o'clock in the morning banging on my door. He couldn't sleep, he said. He'd left Karen. Couldn't go on with the play or anything else until I promised to marry him. We sat and talked until it was light. He never went home.
De Witt: You 'sat and talked' until it was light?
Eve: We 'sat and talked' Addison. I want a run-of-the-play contract.
De Witt: There never was and there never will be another like you...[rising] What do you take me for?
Eve: I don't know that I'd take you for anything.
De Witt: Is it possible, even conceivable, that you've confused me with that gang of backward children you play tricks on? That you have the same contempt for me as you have for them?...Look closely, Eve. It's time you did. I am Addison De Witt. I am nobody's fool. Least of all - yours.
Eve: I never intended you to be.
De Witt: Yes you did and you still do...It's important right now that we talk - killer to killer.
Eve: Champion to champion.
De Witt: Not with me, you're no champion. You're stepping way up in class.
Eve: Addison, will you please say what you have to say, plainly and distinctly, and then get out so I can take my nap.
De Witt: Very well. Plainly and distinctly...Lloyd may leave Karen, but he will not leave Karen for you.
Eve: What do you mean by that?
De Witt: More plainly and more distinctly? I have not come to New Haven to see the play, discuss your dreams, or pull the ivy from the walls of Yale. I've come here to tell you that you will not marry Lloyd or anyone else for that matter because I will not permit it.
Eve: What have you got to do with it?
De Witt: Everything, because after tonight, you will belong to me.
Eve: Belong to you? I can't believe my ears.
De Witt: What a dull cliched.
Eve: Belong to you? That sounds medieval, something out of an old melodrama.
De Witt: So does the history of the world for the past five hundred years. I don't enjoy putting it as bluntly as this, I assumed you'd take it for granted that you and I ...
Eve: That you and I ... (laughs bitterly)
[De Witt slaps her sharply across the face]
De Witt: Now remember as long as you live, never to laugh at me. At anything or anyone else, but never at me.

De Witt: San Francisco has no Shubert Theater. You've never been to San Francisco! That was a stupid lie, easy to expose, not worthy of you.
Eve: I had to get in to meet Margo! I had to say something, be somebody, make her like me!

Phoebe: I call myself Phoebe.
De Witt: And why not? Tell me, Phoebe, do you want someday to have an award like that of your own?
Phoebe: More than anything else in the world.
De Witt: Then you must ask Miss Harrington how to get one. Miss Harrington knows all about it.

CastEdit

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