A look back at this day in film history
November 30
October 13, 1950
All About All About Eve

The melodrama of fame, All About Eve, brought out its stars for a New York premiere on October 13, 1950. Bette Davis was there, as was Anne Baxter and Marilyn Monroe. Davis (recently been dropped from Warner Brothers after a string of flops) anchored the story of a fading theatre actress being upstaged by a cunning ingénue Eve (Anne Baxter). Davis was the filmmakers’ sixth choice, after Marlene Dietrich, Claudette Colbert, Gertrude Lawrence, Tallulah Bankhead and Susan Hayward. Anne Baxter stepped up to play Eve, after Jeanne Craig became pregnant and Donna Reed was passed over. And the blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe was just starting out––much the chagrin of many of the actor’s wives. (Zsa Zsa Gabor, George Sanders’ then wife, would come to the set to keep an eye out for the new girl in town). The film, adapted from a real-life inspired short story by Mary Orr published in Cosmopolitan, proved an instant success, going on to receive a record 14 Academy Award nominations (a feat only equalled by Titanic), and winning six Oscars including Best Picture. In an ironic twist, the film which satirized New York’s theater world, was later adapted into the Broadway musical Applause.

More Flashbacks
Boy with Green Hair November 30, 1948
The Boy with Green Hair opens

The opening of the pacifist parable The Boy with Green Hair should be celebrated as the feature directorial debut of Joseph Losey.

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November 30, 1947
Ernst Lubitsch dies

On Sunday November 30, 1947, director Ernst Lubitsch was due at William Wyler’s home for an afternoon screening party.

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November 30, 1945
Noir Takes a Detour

In a time in which CGI and other advanced film technologies create worlds that are more lifelike than life itself, the grungy, low-rent charms of Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour, which opened on November 20, 1945, should not be forgotten. Shot in less than one week on a few simple sets and using obvious rear-screen projection for all the driving scenes, the movie is, as Robert Ebert wrote, “so filled with imperfections that it would not earn the director a passing grade in film school.” But despite its many technical flaws, the film is a film noir classic. Its indigent aesthetic amplifies rather than detracts from its bleak tale of blackmail and remorselessness. And, as the femme fatale, Ann Savage created perhaps the perfect noir heroine. “There is not a single fleeting shred of tenderness or humanity in her performance,” Ebert wrote.

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