The Three Faces of Eve (1957) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

Living with a mental disorder can be challenging, frightening, and lead to multiple misunderstandings. This is all especially true for someone with Multiple Personality Disorder, a medical condition in which an individual suffers from erratic personality shifts that can create potentially dangerous situations and scenarios for that person. Psychologists and psychiatrists might do their best to treat people with such horrific diseases, but people suffering from those disorders oftentimes just have to live with their conditions, and cope in spite of their personal difficulties. Hollywood occasionally makes films that showcase people with mental disorders to reveal the fundamental fact that those disorders are an unfortunate part of reality, and The Three Faces of Eve (1957) remains one of the most popular and influential films that reveals such a disturbing reality check.

A Toast

The best part of this film is obviously Joanne Woodward’s Oscar-winning performance as Eve, a woman with three distinct personalities. It is almost as if Woodward actually plays three separate characters that form Eve’s unified whole given the complexity of her role. Woodward seamlessly shifts between Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane all throughout the picture, and her performance reveals her talent as a formidable actress. This award-winning role is also similar to a psychological concept known as “Gestalt,” in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It is clear that Joanne Woodward is able to honor the legacy of such a troubled woman while also teaching audiences to express sympathy and/or empathy for individuals who struggle with their medical conditions that can make life challenging.

Verdict

Christine Costner Sizemore eventually published a book entitled I’m Eve in 1977 two decades after the release of this famous motion picture that was based on her. Sizemore had a long and difficult life until her unfortunate passing on July 24, 2016, but the film based on her life will always remain a black-and-white classic. Woodward’s performance is iconic, and audiences can learn a lot about what it is like to live with a medical condition after viewing this film. Hollywood has done several films that feature mental illness, including The Snake Pit (1948), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Silver Linings Playbook (2012), but The Three Faces of Eve will always have a special place in film history that features one of the greatest performances ever captured on film.

The Three Faces of Eve (1957) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time there is voice-over narration

Take a Drink: every time Eve Black does anything violent or vampish

Drink a Shot: anytime men feel uncomfortable around Eve (including Ralph White, Dr. Luther, and men that interact with her)

Double up your Drinks: every time Eve experiences a personality shift

And Triple those Shots: every time anything in the film is done three times (such as when Eve quotes the three literary figures Henry Vaughan, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and William Shakespeare)

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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