THE THREE FACES OF EVE (1957) B/W widescreen 91m dir: Nunnally Johnson
w/Joanne Woodward, David Wayne, Lee J. Cobb, Edwin Jerome, Alena Murray, Nancy Kulp, Douglas Spencer, Terry Ann Ross, Ken Scott, Mimi Gibson, Alistair Cooke
Woodward's Oscar-winning performance as a woman with three distinct personalities.
From Variety's review of the film: "Three Faces of Eve is based on a true-life case history recorded by two psychiatrists -- Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley --- and which was a popular-selling book [on which director Johnson based his screenplay]. It is frequently an intriguing, provocative motion picture, but director Nunnally Johnson's treatment of the subject matter makes the film neither fish nor fowl. Johnson shifts back and forth --- striving for comedy at one point and presenting a documentary case history at another.
"However, it is notable for the performance of Joanne Woodward as the woman with the triple personality. The three personalities Woodward is called upon to play are (1) a drab, colorless Georgia housewife, (2) a mischievous, irresponsible sexy dish, and (3) a sensible, intelligent and balanced woman.
"The psychiatric sessions, while possibly authentic, could readily confuse the layman. The manner in which the doctor (Lee J. Cobb) can hypnotize and alter his patient's personality seems so easy and pat as to appear hard to believe."
From the Scene Stealers website (www.scenestealers.com), this review of the release of the film on BLU-RAY by Eric Melin:
"Joanne Woodward won a Best Actress Oscar and her portrayal of Eve White, a Georgia housewife with three distinct personalities, created an entire subgenre of dramatic stories that has been explored in a similar way since. Woodward herself played Sally Field’s psychiatrist in the 1976 multiple personality drama Sybil.
"Based on the true story of Chris Costner Sizemore as written by her psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley in their book, The Three Faces of Eve starts out very clinical indeed. No less a trusted authority Alistair Cooke opens the film with a direct address to the audience where he explains that everything depicted actually happened. Now multiple personality disorder is a staple of books, movies, and TV shows, but in 1957, people were still reluctant to accept something this strange as based in fact.
"Woodward is solid and the entire film turns on her performance, which gets deeper and more convincing as the story opens up a bit. At first, writer/director Nunnally Johnson‘s script follows the utilitarian tone of Cooke’s narration. When Eve walks into a psychiatrists’s office with a problem, we’re already way ahead of her, and it takes a while for her husband to catch up. But things evolve from there, as does Woodward’s differing mannerisms (hindered sometimes by some really obvious music cues when she 'changes') and her evolving relationship with her doctor (Lee J. Cobb).
"The Three Faces of Eve deserves credit for playing out in a down-to-earth fashion what could have been considered a sci-fi premise in its time, even if it starts out a bit stagey. It was kind of a weird choice to go with an uber-realistic tone and then film the movie in the ultra-widescreen CinemaScope format, but it brings some aesthetic beauty to the story and the transfer to Blu-ray looks incredible.
"A nice extra feature shows Fox Movietone newsreel footage of Woodward accepting her Oscar, along with some quick flashes of other stars that attended the event. In addition, there’s a feature-length commentary from film historian Aubrey Solomon that contains interesting historical factoids about the making of the movie and its place in film history."