Study Guide

All About Eve Director

Director

Mankiewicz both wrote and directed All About Eve, and if there's anything we've learned from studying one of Hollywood's greatest screenwriters and filmmakers, it's to never repeat yourself unnecessarily. So Mankiewicz's biographical info is in our "Screenwriter" section. Check that out.

Joe's directorial career was just as illustrious. Mankiewicz directed 20 films over his lifetime, 16 for 20th Century Fox, the studio that released All About Eve. This film was a massive success for both the studio and the screenwriter/director. Mankiewicz took home an Oscar trophy for both writing and directing that year, just as he did the year before for A Letter to Three Wives.

Over the rest of his career, Mankiewicz would direct Marlon Brando twice—Julius Caesar (1953) and Guy and Dolls (1955)—and Elizabeth Taylor twice—in the Tennessee Williams adaptation Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) and the blockbuster Cleopatra (1963), which almost bankrupted the studio with its cost overruns and caused a huge scandal because of Burton and Taylor's off-screen romance. Mankiewicz's final film was Sleuth, a 1972 thriller with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine.

He received his final Oscar nom for that film, and died about 20 years later of a heart attack. For all the anti-Hollywood wisecracks in All About Eve, Mankiewicz believed in the power of movies to engage an audience intellectually as well as emotionally (Source).

He was the ultimate Hollywood insider: He really did it all—and with style.