Study Guide

All About Eve The Sarah Siddons Award

The Sarah Siddons Award

And the Award Goes to…

Eve Harrington!

You'd better applaud. Eve might kill you if you don't.

You don't know that side of Eve when you see her at the very beginning of the movie receiving the prestigious Sarah Siddons Award for theater performance. However, right before Eve touches the award, boom—she's frozen. The freeze frame allows us to fly backward through time and learn everything Eve did to get her conniving little hands on that award.

By the time we know the whole story, the award is more than an acting accomplishment. Yes, Eve earned it by her performance on-stage, but her performance off-stage was equally impressive. Is it possible to celebrate the role but not the actress? The people Eve stomped on to get there— Margo, Karen, and the gang—aren't feeling it.

The award returns a few minutes later when Eve leaves it in a taxi cab. Was she tired, or did she not really care about the award as much as she acted like she did in her acceptance speech? Either way, the award is picked up by a girl calling herself Phoebe, who's insinuated herself into Eve's life even faster than Eve wormed her way into Margo's.

We last see Phoebe holding the award and looking at herself in Eve's tripled mirror. There are hundreds of Phoebes and hundreds of awards, making us wonder just what else people will do just to get this flimsy-looking trophy. The award seems to represent all the worst of the theater world—its superficiality, cutthroat ambition, and fleeting fame.