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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Three Faces of Eve (review)

Joanne Woodward won an Oscar for her indelibly effective performance as Eve White, a mousy housewife suffering from multiple-personality disorder… and as Eve Black, an aggressively sexual vamp, and Jane, a smart, sensible, modern woman. The power of the film as a whole has been lessened with time, however; mental illness is now a frequent enough subject for movie and TV drama that we, the contemporary audience, know more about Eve’s affliction than the compassionate doctor (Lee J. Cobb: The Exorcist) she turns to for help. But the resolution of Eve’s problems remains shocking, and though the audio is a bit tinny in spots, the stark and stylish black-and-white cinematography still feels fresh and modern almost half a century later. Extras include audio commentary by film historian Aubrey Solomon and a Movietone newsreel about the 1958 Academy Awards ceremony.

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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