The Three Faces of Eve Movie Review

Never mind Alistair Cooke's monologue which opens The Three Faces of Eve: The film is not a true story presented without embellishment. It is based on a novel, which itself was based loosely on a true story about a woman with multiple personality disorder.

Joanne Woodward's performance in the title role is pretty much the only reason to see the film today -- mental illness has been handled with much more grace in the years since. Woodward deftly handles the difficult task of running through three characters: At first she's Eve White, a troubled and plain young woman, and soon enough Eve Black, a brazen hussie, comes to the forefront, doing battle with Eve White. As her psyche continues to degenerate, a third identity, Jane, comes to the forefront. Eve's psychiatrists are offered up as heroes -- looking back at them today reveals that they're all total chumps -- and through a series of absurd hypnotisms she eventually comes to grips with her past abuse and, like that, gets well.

The film merited an Oscar for Woodward -- it would be one of the most notable films in which an actor earned the award for playing a mentally ill character, but the film is surprisingly bereft of any other notable qualities. (The movie earned four nominations from various groups, all for Woodward's performance.)

Why the snub? Ultimately, The Three Faces of Eve has the same doomsaying breathlessness of, say, Reefer Madness or a highschool film reel. Even an oblivious 1957 audience must have seen that. Writer/director Nunnally Johnson wrote some 60 films over his career but directed only a handful in the 1950s (notably The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit). He's better off with a typewriter, sealing his doom with Cooke's wide-eyed diatribe from frame one. The film makes no serious statement about mental illness, but it doesn't really try to either. It's just a showcase for his leading lady.

Put it aside and watch the film for Woodward. She never reached heights like this before or since.

The new DVD includes a feature commentary from film historian Aubrey Solomon.

Aka The 3 Faces of Eve.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer :

Comments

The Three Faces of Eve Rating

" Good "

Rating: NR, 1957

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Cee-Lo Green Posts Bizarre Views on Rape, Deletes Twitter

In a series of tweets, the singer Cee-Lo Green has questioned the definition of rape after he pleaded...

Cee-Lo Green Posts Bizarre Views on Rape, Deletes Twitter

As One Marvel Flick Falls, Another Must Rise - 'Guardians' Topples 'Winter Soldier' For 2014 Box Office Crown

After much love from critics and fans alike, Guardians of the Galaxy has reached a...

As One Marvel Flick Falls, Another Must Rise - 'Guardians' Topples 'Winter Soldier' For 2014 Box Office Crown

Maroon 5 perform on the 'Today' show - Tuesday 2nd September 2014

American band Maroon 5 who have had hits with songs such as 'Moves Like Jagger'...

Maroon 5 perform on the 'Today' show - Tuesday 2nd September 2014

'Game of Thrones' Actor Cast in 'Star Wars: Episode VII''

The actor Miltos Yerolemou, the best known for playing swordsman Syrio Forel in HBO's 'Game of Thrones'...

'Game of Thrones' Actor Cast in 'Star Wars: Episode VII''

Stan Lee Confirms Marvel Have Started On 'Black Panther' Movie

You can always rely on Stan Lee to let us know what Marvel are doing behind closed doors...

Stan Lee Confirms Marvel Have Started On 'Black Panther' Movie

Made In America Festival 2014 - Saturday 30th August 2014

Made In America Festival 2014 at downtown L.A.'s Grand Park - Los Angeles California United States...

Made In America Festival 2014 - Saturday 30th August 2014

Ok, So Maybe A '24' Movie Is About To Happen

Despite initially looking dead in the water, the possibility of a movie adaptation of '24' has gathered pace in recent...

Ok, So Maybe A '24' Movie Is About To Happen

'Hungry Hearts' Is Missed Opportunity for Saverio Costanzo, Adam Driver

Hungry Hearts, the New York-set Italian drama starring 'Girls' actor Adam Driver, was...

'Hungry Hearts' Is Missed Opportunity for Saverio Costanzo, Adam Driver

Michael Keaton and 'Birdman' Have Oscars in Sight After Telluride Festival

Birdman conquered at in Venice and although the movie didn't go down quite as...

Michael Keaton and 'Birdman' Have Oscars in Sight After Telluride Festival
Advertisement