All About Eve: The Ice Lady Keeps Coming

"I know this woman," I thought with a mix of horror and comfort--horror that there are so many like her that she is a Type and comfort that others, like me, have been down the road with cloying, parasitic lurkers who take everything they can for themselves for no clear better reason than that's their MO.

The woman? Eve Harrington, the central character of the 1950 20th Century Fox prizewinner All About Eve. Starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holme, and George Sanders, is a movie about a cold bitch who uses everybody for her own gain. She is a lurker who takes on the personality of Margot Channing (Davis) and sweeps past her on the road to fame on the New York stage. Eve is everyone's darling until they realize they've been used and abused by a fraud, a cat woman who watches everyone she finds useful that she might learn their soft spots and weaknesses and work them and their strengths that she might mimic them.

In the end, the group of friends she exploits are friends once again. This is not before Margot's friends each beat up on her for being so unkind to Eve. They even tell her she's paranoid. A prophet is never welcome in her own country. Besides, we all prefer to think of ourselves as kind rather than simply had.

Eve gets the actor's award, a cold lump of lifeless, molded metal, she covets. The end. Except, of course, that she is the next victim of the next lurker. The movie ends with an assurance that the cycle continues. If lurkers are not in danger of extinction, at least what goes around comes around and Eve will get hers. It's a bizarre and cynical form of justice, but it saves everyone else the trouble of descending into the pit with her.

No need to beat her at her own game; she will burn herself out with her own cold fire. Without mercy, she will find herself alone but not quite dead because she never really lived.

Along the way she wins the cynical fascination of the theatre critic (George Sanders), who enjoys the game until she nearly outwits him, too. He calls her a killer; he's on the money.

In her world, whoever she is, it's all about her. She was carved from a glacier at the beginning of time.

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