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'All About Eve' the ultimate theatrical backstage story

'All About Eve' the ultimate theatrical backstage story
Anne Baxter, left, faces Bette Davis as Marilyn Monroe watches from the stairs in "All About Eve." (Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

No film has more Oscar nominations than "All About Eve" with 14. No film has had more acting nominations than "Eve" with five. And no other writer-director has duplicated Joseph L. Mankiewicz's feat of winning Oscars in both categories two years running (for "Eve" and the earlier "Letter to Three Wives").

A 65th anniversary screening will showcase "Eve's" virtues at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Laemmle's Royal in West Los Angeles.

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"Eve" is not only the ultimate backstage story, a delicious portrait of connivance and complicity in the world of the theater, but it also showcases the kind of witty, sophisticated dialogue that was Mankiewicz's trademark.

Four of the women in "Eve" were Oscar-nominated (Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter), and a fifth (Marilyn Monroe) used the film as a launching pad for a legendary career. Though the competition meant none of them won, the ensemble work they did demands to be seen.

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