Holm Sweet (Celeste) Holm at All About Eve Screening
"What are YOU doing on the PATH train?" asked a bemused commuter last Saturday, his jaw dropping to the spit-out gum on the floor. Well, believe it or not, I do venture out of Manhattan every few years—especially when there's a screening of All About Eve in the glorious Loews Jersey City Theater, featuring a live appearance by its only surviving star, Celeste Holm. I expected to be completely alone out there, only to find swarms of people—all kinds of people—lining up for the event and fastening their seatbelts for a night that made them pretty happy rabbits. After the film, 90-year-old Holm told her familiar story about the very first day of shooting. She said she approached Bette Davis to say "Good Morning," only to get the salty response, "Shit! Manners!" (Holm never spoke to Davis again unless she had to. I bet no one else did either.) At this point, the interviewer made a big point of saying he thought that as Eve, Anne Baxter was way too phony from the beginning and should have initially seemed more sympathetic. He tried to get Holm to agree that Baxter's acting sucked, but she absolutely wouldn't take the bait. (Shit! Manners!) Anyway, it was recently Bette's 100th birthday—God, she doesn't look it—and this event can be counted as part of the celebration, along with Broadway's A Catered Affair (Bette starred in the movie version) and the DVD release of the Granny Guignol shocker Hush. . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte. By the way, the special "making of" feature on that DVD includes ME! And Bruce Dern who DID talk to Davis on the Charlotte set, saying he couldn't believe she wanted to play herself in the romantic flashbacks with him. ("She was 60! I was 25!" relates Dern, eyes popping.) Well, Davis told him a thing or two and got her way, God love the bitch.