Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
May 04
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.


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Five Graves to Cairo May 4, 1943
Five Graves to Cairo opens

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May 4, 1972
Play It Again, Sam plays

Today in 1972, Woody Allen got romantic advice from the ghost of Humphrey Bogart in yet another film that confirmed the bespectacled neurotic as an unlikely rising star. Play It Again, Sam, based on a play by Allen and originally called Aspirin for Three, was, in some senses, the most straightforwardly commercial film of Allen’s career so far.

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