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Was Anne Baxter a lead in All About Eve and how did that effect Best Actress?

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  • RobertPius
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    Just finished watching that CNN special on the movies. It was pretty interesting. Wish I’d seen more of the episodes.

    Anyway they brought up how Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard were both playing aging actresses cast aside by Hollywood….and then they were both cast aside in the Oscar race when the younger Judy Holliday won.

    What’s the thinking on how Holliday won? Davis thought Baxter split her votes but people have won with other nominees from the same film in their category. I doubt many people voted for Baxter. Strange that Swanson didn’t beat Davis is someone was going to.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    Anne Baxter was definitely the co-lead. She was going to be competing in the supporting actress category but lobbied to be placed in lead. Personally I think Bette Davis should have won, albeit Baxter and Swanson were superb, as were Eleanor Parker and Judy Holliday. My problem with the winner – Holliday – was that her performance was a recreation of a stage role she had played a thousand times and it lacked spontaneity – she was great, yes, but it’s a disappointing choice (ironically it was her only nomination. She made very few films between 1950-60, and she could have and should have been a Supporting Actress nominee for 1950 for Adam’s Rib, an even better and more spontaneous performance). My ranking would have been Davis, Swanson, Baxter, Parker and Holliday.

    I do wonder if Anne Baxter would have won a 2nd Oscar if she had stayed in the Supporting Actress race? They gave it to Josephine Hull, who was a co-lead in Harvey.

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    Jake
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    It’s hard to know exactly since it was so long ago but…

    Anne Baxter was certainly lead actress of “All About Eve” (it’s even in the title) or rather a co-lead with Davis and she deserved her Best Actress nomination. She was a recent winner in supporting and I can’t imagine her stealing votes given by people who wanted to vote for “All About Eve” from Bette Davis.

    I think all 3 actresses – Davis, Swanson and Holliday – were very strong and I believe that Davis would have won without Swanson in the running and Swanson would have won without Davis in the running. As both were nominated, Holliday, coming from “Adam’s Rib” when Katharine Hepburn and co. have created buzz about her acting abilities, turned out to be a pretty great alternative. When you omit the context of who was she competing against, then she’s a perfectly fine winner.

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    Thatcher, Prime Minister of GoldDerby
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    #1203029717

    Darlings, Anne Baxter is THE LEAD in All About Eve.

    LENA HEADEY hasn't got an Emmy for Game of Thrones????? Emmys you need to win her right now!!
    If Lena Headey doesn't win the Emmy, I'm leaving GoldDerby forever.

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    Seven
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    It’s a perfect example of co-leads. She probably would have been frauded into supporting nowadays but she 100% deserved her nomination, even if Bette was better than her. Both Eve and Margo are iconic performances

    But Gloria deserved to win that year. Both her and Bette gave all-time best performances. Only difference is that Bette already had 2 awards on her shelf while Gloria died Oscarless

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    Aunt Peg
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    #1203029744

    Anne was co-lead but Bette deserved that Oscar.

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    Joe Burns
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    She was a lead, definitely. As to how that affected Best Actress? Hard to say but I think Baxter could have played a part in making Bette a bit less competitive than maybe she would have been without her. But Holliday was always a formidable contender who I think played a bigger part in denying Davis more of a chance to beat Swanson who would have been the one to beat nowadays. If it was between the two of them, Swanson probably would have won but Holliday was a strong alternative who was the breakout star in a film that also got nominated for Best Picture.

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    Atypical
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    Baxter would have been campaigned in supporting today, and we all know that. With the Academy being smaller back then, I’d guess that every vote counted. So maybe not many people would have voted for Baxter over Davis, but both were former, respected Oscar winners. Any vote-spitting, even small, might have been more significant then. And just basing this entirely from an anecdotal perspective of “Bette & Joan” lmao, I think that Hollywood took Bette’s excellence for granted. It’s one thing when Joan had to claw her way for respect in a community she thought of herself as being the ambassador of. It’s another when you’re nominated over and over again but rewarded early in your career like Bette (and sure enough, never winning again after her second). This was about “Baby Jane” later in Davis’s career, but some of that sentiment is apt here too. Parker was always fifth place. Holliday benefited from being the orange in a sea of apples, rare for a comedic win to overtake four dramatic performances. I waver between Davis and Swanson, but I have to go with Swanson. That was her Oscar through and through, and it’s heartbreaking that she died Oscarless. Back to Baxter, I’m curious from an alternative history perspective who would have been in sixth place with Baxter in supporting, and how would that have impacted the lead actress race? Betty Hutton?

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    FreemanGriffin
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    ^Katharine Hepburn in Adam’s Rib (:

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    Sean Phillips
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    Bette deserved the Oscar but was never gonna win it. The studio vote still meant something in 1950 and she had burned bridges at Warner’s while having no loyalty from Fox. She wasn’t getting that Oscar.

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    Eddy Q
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    Back to Baxter, I’m curious from an alternative history perspective who would have been in sixth place with Baxter in supporting, and how would that have impacted the lead actress race? Betty Hutton?

    I don’t know about the lead actress race but with Baxter in supporting I expect Thelma Ritter would’ve been 6th; all the other nominees had larger roles, and three nominees in a single category for All About Eve might have been a stretch (though other films have managed it including On the Waterfront four years later). I guess Baxter would’ve also won her second Oscar in this scenario.

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    Atypical
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    Hepburn was pretty great in “Adam’s Rib.” Baxter would have knocked off someone in supporting, but I tend to think it wouldn’t have been a co-star. Voters loved both Holm and Ritter. Olson and Emerson were never nodded again, and I doubt that their support was all that great here. I think one of them would have been the odd woman out. Hull never seemed undeniable to me, but maybe she would have been the de-facto winner with three “Eve” ladies around splitting votes.

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    RobertPius
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    Baxter never really had much of a film career after Eve. Anyone know why? Did she get typecast?

    I thought she richly deserved her Oscar for The Razor’s Edge. Great performance. (and Eve was a really bold move to play someone so unlikable. Did that backfire and people thought she was unlikable?)

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    FreemanGriffin
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    ^I wonder if the disintegration of the studio system due to the Supreme Court ruling hurt her? She was with 20th Century-Fox but I think she went the free-lance route after Eve. She did some good performances on television. She eventually replaced Lauren Bacall as Margo Channing in Applause on broadway, and she replaced Bette Davis in Hotel on television. The work she did between 1942 (The Magnificent Ambersons) and 1950 (All About Eve) was the best of her career, always interesting regardless of the film’s merits.

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