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14 Bumpy Facts About All About Eve

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Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1950 backstage showbiz drama All About Eve set a record for Oscar nominations—14 in all—that has since only been matched by 1997’s Titanic, but never beaten. Even more impressive, the film is 65 years old yet remains caustically funny and eerily timeless. It seems ambition, jealousy, and vanity never go out of style in Hollywood. Fasten your seat belts for some amusing behind-the-scenes details of how Bette Davis’ comeback vehicle came to be.

1. BETTE DAVIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CLAUDETTE COLBERT.

The winsome star of It Happened One Night suffered a back injury while filming Three Came Home, and had to drop out of All About Eve. When Davis came aboard, the screenplay was tweaked a bit to reflect her abrasive public persona. Colbert later said, “I just never had the luck to play bitches.” 

2. IT’S STILL THE ONLY FILM IN HISTORY TO EARN FOUR FEMALE ACTING OSCAR NOMINATIONS.

Bette Davis and Anne Baxter were nominated for Best Actress, making them rivals with the Academy just as they were in the film. Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter were up for Best Supporting Actress. None of them won, but the movie did take home six trophies that night, including Best Picture.

3. THE WORKING TITLE WAS BEST PERFORMANCE.

All About Eve is a fine title, but it would have been fun to hear things like: “George Sanders won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Best Performance.”

4. IT WAS BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

Big surprise, a story about backstabbing in Hollywood actually happened. Elisabeth Bergner, a European stage and screen actress, hired a young fan as an assistant in the early 1940s, only to have the girl try to steal her career. Bergner related the tale to actress and writer Mary Orr, who turned it into a short story called “The Wisdom of Eve,” published in Cosmopolitan in 1946. Along comes Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who’d been working on a story about an aging actress and, after reading “The Wisdom of Eve,” thought a conniving ingénue would be a welcome addition. He got producer Darryl F. Zanuck to buy the rights to Orr’s story and turned it into All About Eve, which he both wrote and directed. Orr got no onscreen credit (though she retained the rights to any non-film adaptations; see below).

5. IT WAS TURNED INTO A BROADWAY MUSICAL.

Applause won the Tony for Best Musical in 1970, with Lauren Bacall in the Bette Davis role. (When Bacall left the show, she was replaced by Anne Baxter, who had played Eve in the movie. At long last, Eve succeeded at becoming Margo!) The script was by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (the duo behind Singin’ in the Rain), with songs by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse (the duo behind Bye Bye Birdie and, later, Annie). Adams and Strouse, unable to secure the rights to adapt the movie, instead got the rights from Mary Orr to adapt her original story, and brought in Comden and Green to write the script. Twentieth Century Fox eventually gave permission to use All About Eve as source material —too late for Comden and Green to incorporate much of it, though Adams and Strouse did add a song called “Fasten Your Seat Belts.”

6. BECAUSE OF A SCREAMING MATCH BETTE DAVIS HAD WITH HER HUSBAND, PEOPLE THOUGHT HER CHARACTER WAS BASED ON TALLULAH BANKHEAD.

Let us explain: The night before shooting began, Davis had a fight with her husband, William Sherry (they were in the process of divorcing), and as a consequence had a raspy voice the next day. She could speak only in a lower register, which she now had to keep up for the whole movie. The husky voice made her sound like Bankhead, a theater actress who, as it happened, had a reputation for being difficult. The rumor went around that Margo Channing was based on Bankhead—a rumor perpetuated by Bankhead herself, who helped it along by playing the role in a 1952 NBC radio adaptation. (During rehearsals for it, she asked Mary Orr point blank if the character was based on her. Orr said, “I assured her that she wasn’t, and that I had Elisabeth Bergner in mind only. This made her so angry, she never spoke to me again.”) Davis later said that without the husky voice, “I don’t think the similarity to Bankhead in my performance would ever have been thought of.”

7. BETTE DAVIS MARRIED HER MOVIE BOYFRIEND, AND LIFE CONTINUED TO IMITATE ART.

Davis and Gary Merrill (who plays her director and boyfriend Bill Sampson) were both married to other people when they met on the set of All About Eve, but they were married to each other by the time the film came out. They adopted a baby and named her Margot (with a “t”), after Davis’ character. The marriage lasted 10 years, and Davis later said it was too much of a fairytale. “I was Margo Channing and he was my director, Bill Sampson. We fell in love with each other in the film and in real life. We then got married in real life. But he thought he was marrying Margo and I thought I was marrying Bill. It wasn’t long before he found out that I wasn’t Margo, and he was certainly no Bill Sampson.”

8. LONI ANDERSON AND LINDA HAMILTON STARRED IN A COUNTRY & WESTERN VERSION.

Country Gold was a 1982 TV movie with Anderson as a Nashville star and Hamilton as the young usurper. 

9. BETTE DAVIS AND HER ONSCREEN BEST FRIEND HATED EACH OTHER IN REAL LIFE, WHILE DAVIS AND HER ONSCREEN RIVAL WERE PALS OFF-CAMERA.

Davis and costar Celeste Holm got off on the wrong foot, the latter’s polite sensibilities offended by the former’s gruffness. Holm avoided Davis when they weren’t on camera together, and the feeling was apparently mutual. Meanwhile, Davis and Anne Baxter became fast friends—a surprise to observers, since Davis had a reputation for disliking her female costars, not to mention the fact that Baxter was playing her onscreen rival.

10. MARILYN MONROE WAS SO NERVOUS SHE BARFED.

The blonde bombshell was just breaking into the movie business when she got the small role of up-and-coming actress Miss Casswell in All About Eve, and she felt grossly intimidated by all the experienced, talented people in the cast. Nervous and insecure, Monroe needed 11 takes to get through the scene where her character talks to Margo after a failed audition. When it was finally done, Davis snapped at her, whereupon Monroe exited the set and vomited.

11. ZSA ZSA GABOR WAS JEALOUS OF MARILYN MONROE.

On the flight to the set at the start of production, George Sanders (who was playing snide theater critic Addison DeWitt) had a middle seat. On one side of him sat Gabor, his 33-year-old wife of one year; on the other side sat Monroe, not yet 24 and, of course, perfectly stunning. Gabor later wrote that Monroe spent the entire flight “batting her eyelashes at George,” which may well have been true. True or not, Gabor was wildly jealous, and went so far as to ask Sanders to get her a part in the movie so that she could keep an eye on the situation. He didn’t do it—he wrote in his memoirs that Gabor’s worries were unfounded, that he saw Monroe as a lost child—but his marriage to Gabor ended a few years later. (He was the third of nine husbands for her; she was second of four wives for him, and he later married her sister, Magda.)

12. IT HAS SOME GAFFES IN THE ONSCREEN CREDITS.

Margo’s director is called Bill Simpson in the credits, but he’s called Bill Sampson in the movie. The credits also list Eddie Fisher in the cast, but his scenes were cut.

13. THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT ASKED THE STUDIO NOT TO ENTER THE FILM IN A FESTIVAL FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING EVA PERÓN.

Fox was persuaded not to submit All About Eve to the International Film Festival—held in Montevideo, Uruguay, just down the road from Buenos Aires—because, as Variety explained: “The story of a young film actress who is ruthless in her ambition and willing to step on necks of benefactors to get ahead in the theatre might be construed as paralleling the career of [former actress] Eva Perón, wife of the president of Argentina.”

14. IT WAS CONDEMNED BY THE NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION.

An Indiana man who was part of a local fire prevention committee wrote to national headquarters with this complaint: “We have preached and preached not to smoke in bed, yet I viewed a movie last night where movie actors, under the influence of spirits, smoked in bed. This in my opinion encourages smoking in bed, as the public are quick to act on what they see done. I believe it is time we asked the cooperation of studios not to show actors smoking in bed. It is adult delinquency.” The letter made its way to the MPAA, where officials said that the Production Code, for all its strictness (you couldn’t show married couples sharing a bed, for example), didn’t permit them to forbid the depiction of dangerous smoking habits.

Additional sources:
Turner Classic Movies
All About ‘All About Eve,’ by Sam Staggs
Variety, March 7, 1951: “All About Little Eva?”

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10 Things We Know About The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2
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Hulu

Though Hulu has been producing original content for more than five years now, 2017 turned out to be a banner year for the streaming network with the debut of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 26, 2017. The dystopian drama, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book, imagines a future in which a theocratic regime known as Gilead has taken over the United States and enslaved fertile women so that the group’s most powerful couples can procreate.

If it all sounds rather bleak, that’s because it is—but it’s also one of the most impressive new series to arrive in years (as evidenced by the slew of awards it has won, including eight Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards). Fortunately, fans left wanting more don’t have that much longer to wait, as season two will premiere on Hulu in April. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season.

1. IT WILL PREMIERE WITH TWO EPISODES.

When The Handmaid’s Tale returns on April 25, 2018, Hulu will release the first two of its 13 new episodes on premiere night, then drop another new episode every Wednesday.

2. MARGARET ATWOOD WILL CONTINUE TO HELP SHAPE THE NARRATIVE.

Fans of Atwood’s novel who didn’t like that season one went beyond the original source material are in for some more disappointment in season two, as the narrative will again go beyond the scope of what Atwood covered. But creator/showrunner Bruce Miller doesn’t necessarily agree with the criticism they received in season one.

“People talk about how we're beyond the book, but we're not really," Miller told Newsweek. "The book starts, then jumps 200 years with an academic discussion at the end of it, about what's happened in those intervening 200 years. We're not going beyond the novel. We're just covering territory [Atwood] covered quickly, a bit more slowly.”

Even more importantly, Miller's got Atwood on his side. The author serves as a consulting producer on the show, and the title isn’t an honorary one. For Miller, Atwood’s input is essential to shaping the show, particularly as it veers off into new territories. And they were already thinking about season two while shooting season one. “Margaret and I had started to talk about the shape of season two halfway through the first [season],” he told Entertainment Weekly.

In fact, Miller said that when he first began working on the show, he sketched out a full 10 seasons worth of storylines. “That’s what you have to do when you’re taking on a project like this,” he said.

3. MOTHERHOOD WILL BE A CENTRAL THEME.

As with season one, motherhood is a key theme in the series. And June/Offred’s pregnancy will be one of the main plotlines. “So much of [Season 2] is about motherhood,” Elisabeth Moss said during the Television Critics Association press tour. “Bruce and I always talked about the impending birth of this child that’s growing inside her as a bit of a ticking time bomb, and the complications of that are really wonderful to explore. It’s a wonderful thing to have a baby, but she’s having it potentially in this world that she may not want to bring it into. And then, you know, if she does have the baby, the baby gets taken away from her and she can’t be its mother. So, obviously, it’s very complicated and makes for good drama. But, it’s a very big part of this season, and it gets bigger and bigger as the show goes on.”

4. THE RESISTANCE IS COMING.

Just because June is pregnant, don’t expect her to sit on the sidelines as the resistance to Gilead continues. “There is more than one way to resist," Moss said. “There is resistance within [June], and that is a big part of this season.”

5. WE’LL GET TO SEE THE COLONIES.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

Miller, understandably, isn’t eager to share too many details about the new season. “I’m not being cagey!” he swore to Entertainment Weekly. “I just want the viewers to experience it for themselves!” What he did confirm is that the new season will bring us to the colonies—reportedly in episode two—and show what life is like for those who have been sent there.

It will also delve further into what life is like for the refugees who managed to escape Gilead, like Luke and Moira.

6. MARISA TOMEI WILL APPEAR IN AN EPISODE.

Though she won’t be a regular cast member, Miller recently announced that Oscar winner Marisa Tomei will make a guest appearance in the new season’s second episode. Yes, the one that will show us the Colonies. In fact, that’s where we’ll meet her; Tomei is playing the wife of a Commander.

7. WE’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF GILEAD.

As a group shrouded in secrecy, we still don’t know much about how and where Gilead began. That will change a bit in season two. When discussing some of the questions viewers will have answered, executive producer Warren Littlefield promised that, "How did Gilead come about? How did this happen?” would be two of them. “We get to follow the historical creation of this world,” he said.

8. THERE WILL BE AT LEAST ONE HANDMAID FUNERAL.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

While Miller wouldn’t talk about who the handmaids are mourning in a teaser shot from season two that shows a handmaid’s funeral, he was excited to talk about creating the look for the scene. “Everything from the design of their costumes to the way they look is so chilling,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “These scenes that are so beautiful, while set in such a terrible place, provide the kind of contrast that makes me happy.”

9. ELISABETH MOSS SAYS THE TONE WILL BE DARKER.

Like season one, Miller says that The Handmaid’s Tale's second season will again balance its darker, dystopian themes with glimpses of hopefulness. “I think the first season had very difficult things, and very hopeful things, and I think this season is exactly the same way,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “There come some surprising moments of real hope and victory, and strength, that come from surprising places.”

Moss, however, has a different opinion. “It's a dark season,” she told reporters at TCA. “I would say arguably it's darker than Season 1—if that's possible.”

10. IT WILL ALSO BE BLOODIER.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

When pressed about how the teaser images for the new season seemed to feature a lot of blood, Miller conceded: “Oh gosh, yeah. There may be a little more blood this season.”

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6 Surprising Facts About Nintendo's Animal Crossing

by Ryan Lambie

Animal Crossing is one of the most unusual series of games Nintendo has ever produced. Casting you as a newcomer in a woodland town populated by garrulous and sometimes eccentric creatures, Animal Crossing is about conversation, friendship, and collecting things rather than competition or shooting enemies. It’s a formula that has grown over successive generations, with the 3DS version now one of the most popular games available for that system—which is all the more impressive, given the game’s obscure origins almost 15 years ago. Here are a few things you might not have known about the video game.

1. ITS INSPIRATION CAME FROM AN UNLIKELY PLACE.

By the late 1990s, Katsuya Eguchi had already worked on some of Nintendo’s greatest games. He’d designed the levels for the classic Super Mario Bros 3. He was the director of Star Fox (or Star Wing, as it was known in the UK), and the designer behind the adorable Yoshi’s Story. But Animal Crossing was inspired by Eguchi’s experiences from his earlier days, when he was a 21-year-old graduate who’d taken the decisive step of moving from Chiba Prefecture, Japan, where he’d grown up and studied, to Nintendo’s headquarters in Kyoto.

Eguchi wanted to recreate the feeling of being alone in a new town, away from friends and family. “I wondered for a long time if there would be a way to recreate that feeling, and that was the impetus behind Animal Crossing,” Eguchi told Edge magazine in 2008. Receiving letters from your mother, getting a job (from the game’s resident raccoon capitalist, Tom Nook), and gradually filling your empty house with furniture and collectibles all sprang from Eguchi’s memories of first moving to Kyoto.

2. IT WAS ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED FOR THE N64.

Although Animal Crossing would eventually become best known as a GameCube title—to the point where many assume that this is where the series began—the game actually appeared first on the N64. First developed for the ill-fated 64DD add-on, Animal Crossing (or Doubutsu no Mori, which translates to Animal Forest) was ultimately released as a standard cartridge. But by the time Animal Crossing emerged in Japan in 2001, the N64 was already nearing the end of its lifespan, and was never localized for a worldwide release.

3. TRANSLATING THE GAME FOR AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE WAS A DIFFICULT TASK.

The GameCube version of Animal Crossing was released in Japan in December 2001, about eight months after the N64 edition. Thanks to the added capacity of the console’s discs, they could include characters like Tortimer or Blathers that weren’t in the N64 iteration, and Animal Crossing soon became a hit with Japanese critics and players alike.

Porting Animal Crossing for an international audience would prove to be a considerable task, however, with the game’s reams of dialogue and cultural references all requiring careful translation. But the effort that writers Nate Bihldorff and Rich Amtower put into the English-language version would soon pay off; Nintendo’s bosses in Japan were so impressed with the additional festivals and sheer personality present in the western version of Animal Crossing that they decided to have that version of the game translated back into Japanese. This new version of the game, called Doubutsu no Mori e+, was released in 2003.

4. K.K. SLIDER IS BASED ON ON THE GAME'S COMPOSER.

One of Animal Crossing’s most recognizable and popular characters is K.K. Slider, the laidback canine musician. He’s said to be based, both in looks and name, on Kazumi Totaka, the prolific composer and voice actor who co-wrote Animal Crossing’s music. In the Japanese version of Animal Crossing, K.K. Slider is called Totakeke—a play on the real musician’s name. K.K. Slider’s almost as prolific as Totaka, too: Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS contains a total of 91 tracks performed by the character.

5. ONE CHARACTER HAS BEEN KNOWN TO MAKE PLAYERS CRY.

A more controversial character than K.K. Slider, Mr. Resetti is an angry mole created to remind players to save the game before switching off their console. And the more often players forget to save their game, the angrier Mr. Resetti gets. Mr. Resetti’s anger apparently disturbed some younger players, though, as Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s project leader Aya Kyogoku revealed in an interview with Nintendo's former president, the late Satoru Iwata.

“We really weren't sure about Mr. Resetti, as he really divides people," Kyogoku said. “Some people love him, of course, but there are others who don't like being shouted at in his rough accent.”

“It seems like younger female players, in particular, are scared,” Iwata agreed. “I've heard that some of them have even cried.”

To avoid the tears, Mr. Resetti plays a less prominent role in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and only appears if the player first builds a Reset Surveillance Centre. Divisive though he is, Mr. Resetti’s been designed and written with as much care as any of the other characters in Animal Crossing; his first name’s Sonny, he has a brother called Don and a cousin called Vinnie, and he prefers his coffee black with no sugar.

6. THE SERIES IS STILL EVOLVING.

Since its first appearance in 2001, the quirky and disarming Animal Crossing has grown to encompass toys, a movie, and no fewer than four main games (or five if you count the version released for the N64 as a separate entry). All told, the Animal Crossing games have sold more than 30 million copies, and the series is still growing. In late 2017, the mobile title Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was released for iOS and Android. It's a big step for the franchise, as Nintendo is famously selective about which of its series get a mobile makeover. A game once inspired by the loneliness of moving to a new town has now become one of Nintendo’s most successful and beloved franchises.

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