Reel Classics: the classic movie site

Celeste Holm

Biography | Filmography | Awards | Bibliography | Downloads | Links | Image Credits | Her Address | ALL ABOUT EVE

Page 3

After a period of suspension for refusing roles she felt were beneath her, Holm returned to Fox at the request of Joseph L. Mankiewicz to appear in his theatrical satire ALL ABOUT EVE Review.  This fascinating look at women's life choices centers around the tension between a young ingénue on her way up and a legendary stage actress whose career is on the decline.  The stellar cast includes Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Thelma Ritter and Marilyn Monroe. Although she and Davis had their differences off the set, Holm received her third Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Karen Richards, Davis' best friend and the wife of a successful playwright.   Blessed with an immortal screenplay and memorable performances by all involved, ALL ABOUT EVE Review earned a record-setting 14 Academy Award nominations and was named the Best Picture of 1950.

Despite the enormous success of ALL ABOUT EVE Review, Holm had grown tired of her niche in wise-cracking blonde roles.  In 1950, she shocked the Hollywood establishment when she bought out the remainder of her Fox contract and left to return to the stage and pursue opportunities in television.

Memorable Quotations:

  • "She does more without a voice than anyone I've ever heard." --as Susie Smith in ROAD HOUSE (1948).
  • "Why don't I drown myself now that the water's handy." --as Susie Smith in ROAD HOUSE (1948).
  • "She won't stay mad at him for long. She's too much in love. Pretty soon she'll be full of self-reproach. Ha ha! Women are so silly." --as Addie Ross in A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949).
  • "I guess I'll just keep on fiddling until I die or get married, whichever comes first." --as Sylvia Crews in THE TENDER TRAP (1955).
  • "What did you two do for laughs before I came along?" --as Sylvia Crews in THE TENDER TRAP (1955).
  • "I don't mind being lied to if I felt like a little work went into the lie." --as Sylvia Crews in THE TENDER TRAP (1955).
  • "I have a high IQ and a low boiling point." --as Sylvia Crews in THE TENDER TRAP (1955).
  • "It's this face of mine. It's what everyone's wearing this season." --as Sylvia Crews in THE TENDER TRAP (1955).
  • Crying. "Don't be alarmed. Just standard operational procedure." --as Sylvia Crews in THE TENDER TRAP (1955).
  • "This has been, all in all, a memorable day. If my luck holds out I should get hit by a truck on my way home." --as Sylvia Crews in THE TENDER TRAP (1955).
  • "Joe, you know what you've got?  You've got the married man's dream.  You want a girl.  That's what you all want -- a girl.  And that's what you can never have, because the only way to have a girl is not to marry her, because then she becomes a wife.  That's something entirely different." --as Sylvia Crews in THE TENDER TRAP (1955).
  • "When the cat's away, why should the mouse act like a rat?" --as Liz Imbrie in HIGH SOCIETY (1956).
  • "Look, Mike. If I ever am in your way, don't honk -- just run over me." --as Liz Imbrie in HIGH SOCIETY (1956).
  • "I know.  It's more of a curse than a blessing . . . being smart and what people call beautiful.  I'm not bragging, but in my day I was considered quite a catch.  I don't think I ever met a man I felt could out-smart me, out-think me.  Those silly creatures did bore me.  It does cause quite a fuss, that combination -- smart and beautiful -- but it's mostly in your own gut.  See, the problem is you stop believing that he could be out there waiting for you." --as Ida in STILL BREATHING (1998).

In 1955, Holm returned to Hollywood as a free-lancer, and at the suggestion of Frank Sinatra, was cast as Sylvia Crews (yet another worldly-wise and witty spinster) in MGM's film adaptation of Max Shulman and Robert Paul Smith's comedy THE TENDER TRAP.  Also starring Debbie Reynolds, David Wayne, some very classy costumes by Helen Rose, and an Oscar-nominated title song by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, THE TENDER TRAP is a sophisticated and thoroughly entertaining look at evolving gender relations in the mid-1950s.  Although playing second fiddle yet again, Holm's role is one of the best-written of her career, and her delivery makes every line memorable.

Click here "Finale" with Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, Holm and David Wayne (a .AVI file courtesy MGM).

(For help opening the above file, visit the plug-ins page.)


Holm remained at MGM the following year to appear in HIGH SOCIETY (1956), a musical remake of THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940).  Starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, HIGH SOCIETY fell short of the original in terms of comic timing but was bolstered by Oscar-nominated Cole Porter songs and score.  And most significantly, Holm finally plays a character (Liz Imbrie -- played by Ruth Hussey in the original) who gets her man, even if it's by default.

Click here"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (clip) sung with Frank Sinatra (a .MP3 file courtesy Capital Records).

Go to the next page.
Main Page
| Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

Buy Videos & DVDs
Find your movie at
Movies Unlimited

Buy Movie Posters
& Film Stills

Buy Movie Posters
In Affiliation with

Classic Movie Merchandise
-- recommended links to dozens of online vendors selling classic movies & all kinds of related products.

printer-friendly pagePrinter-friendly version.   return to the topReturn to the top.
Last updated: March 10, 2011.
Reel Classics is a registered trademark of Reel Classics, L.L.C.
© 1997-2011 Reel Classics, L.L.C.  All rights reserved.  No copyright is claimed on non-original or licensed material.  Terms of Use.