All About Eve : Karen Was The Real Enemy

Karen Was The Real Enemy

Karen was the one that brought Eve to Margo in the first place, and then helped Eve stab Margo in the back. She made Eve Margo's unerstudy, and made sure that Margo missed that performance, so that Eve could play her role and get the good reviews from the critics....

So it was kind of heart warming to see that Eve had an affair with Karen's husband after all that.... Heh!! Karen was not exactly what I would call a good friend to Margo... With friends like that, who needs enemies...

Without the help of Karen, Eve would have never gotten her foot in the door... Karen was pretty evil as well. The more I watch this film, the more I really hate Karen...

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Karen's motive in introducing Eve to Margo was sincere - blame it on her naivete - the cunning Eve played her like a Stradivarius.

"Somewhere along the line the world has lost all of its standards and all of its taste."

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Well I agree, that first introduction was innocent enough... But think about Karen for a moment, she went to Radcliffe, and all of a sudden, she marries a playwrite, and really doesn't have a life of her own, so she spends her time and energy thinking about ways to hurt Margo...

She makes sure that Eve becomes Margo's understudy, and makes sure that Margo doesn't know, then drains the gas tank so that Margo misses a performance... In the words of Margo "Men have been hanged for less"..

I think in a way Karen was jealous of Margo's achievements, after giving up her own ideals of any kind of career.

I think my favorite character is Birdy, who had Eve pinned right from the beginning. Eve had everyone fooled, everyone except Birdy... Birdy is a smart, funny, and tough cookie... Love Birdy!!!

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

This is one of my favorite movies.

Karen had good intentions that backfired...well, at first, then it all turned out for the best in the end. Margo got her man and Eve out of her life and Addison DeWitt had to find another stooge.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

I think Karen meant well and never saw through Eve until it was too late to stop her from interfering. I think she was Margo's friend, but made the mistake of believing Margo was indestructible.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Karen’s one of those people that know the right thing to say, but doesn't know why she’s saying it.

And she wasn’t clear, as to what she was doing, she couldn’t be.
She really didn’t know who she was.

Karen Was A 'Frienemy'

This is a new catch phrase that they are using about women friends that are really destructive, instead of helpful... I think Karen was the first "frienemy".

Re: Karen Was A 'Frienemy'

It's good to do good things.

It becomes dangerous when one does things in order to be perceived as good.

I think Karen suffered from that desire -- to be seen as the good girl.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

I feel that Karen only did what she did to pay Margo back in a way; remember the scene at the party when Margo was rude to Karen about her background in front of other people. She had been drinking, of course, but despite that it was inexcusable to be rude about her so called best friend in front of other people.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Eve never had an affair with Karen's husband.

~x~x~x~

"I always knew it would be like this." ~ Lauren, "The Rules of Attraction"

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

I think that she was a very lonely woman, that lived a very unsatisfying life, she seemed to be so unfullfilled. Such a bright future, just to become a cocktail-drinking trophy wife of a playwriter. And surrounded with such talented and charming people all the time. And if I was so inclined, I would say that she didn't get any either, from her husband. They had separate beds, anyway. Being gifted can be a burden. Being gifted but not enough to make a difference can actually be worse. Karen was smart, beautiful, educated, a gorgeous woman. But not gifted enough to succeed in that crowd by her own means, besides just being who she was, being charming and nice to everybody, and "doing good" all the time. Mediocracy is not measured in a vacuum, but in a context. In that context, she was a flower on the wall.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Yeah she set Margo up, but afterwards she felt really bad about it. She saw through Eve's facade a little too late and had already served her purpose 2 Eve. Though I can't help but think Karen was jealous of Margo a little herself, she was her friend to the end, not a very loyal one but one that stuck with her to the end. She was Margo's shoulder when Sam was gone.
_______________________________________________
Cheers!

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

we-are-glitter ~ Eve never had an affair with Karen's husband.


Oh, yes she did!

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Actually she did. And Karen knew exactly when it began: the night Eve's friend calls the husband late at night and he leaves his bed to go to another woman. At one point he thinks of marrying Eve and divorcing Karen, who waits out the affair.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy


Man, all this Karen hating is coming out of left field!

The practical joke on Margo was totally justified - she was just missing a performance, not a kidney for crying out loud!

And unlike Birdy - Karen did not figure out Eve until it was way too late, at their final confrontation in the ladies room (Bill quips, "I understand she might be the understudy in there too").

Karen did NOT tell Lloyd to give Eve the part of Cora either. I wonder sometimes if people even watch the movie before they criticize it! Margo had already decided NOT to do the play; Karen didn't have to tell Lloyd!

I think in the end - Karen was a very good friend. You can tell she was genuinely upset by the turn of events.

The irony is that Bette Davis and Celeste Holm were NOT friends at all. Apparently the first day on the set, Celeste said "Good Morning!" and Bette Davis cracked, "Oh, sh&t... she's got manners!" and they never spoke again, except while in character.




"the best that you can do is fall in love"

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Good lord! What film are you people watching???? Or do you just make stuff up as you watch this one???

Unbelievable.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Do you have a special DVD with deleted scenes or something?

At one point did he think of marrying Eve and divorcing Karen? I hope you didn't gather that by what Eve said, Eve was lying the whole movie.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Karen bringing Eve to Margo in the first place was understandable. She thought she was helping a star struck young girl meet her idol.
But I can't understand why she arranged for Eve to miss her performance. Even if she was trying to cut Eve a break, surely you don't do stuff like that to your supposed best friend?

Love is never having to say you're sober.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Karen arranged for Margo to miss the performance as an intention to help Margo (perhaps somewhat vindictively) -- not Eve -- by taking the petulant Margo down a peg and off her high horse with a figurative swift kick in the rear.

What prompts the idea is the scene where Lloyd comes home while Karen is painting the fruit basket and is falling all over himself with praise for Eve's reading (remember Karen says "Don't run out of adjectives dear"). After Lloyd puts down "Miss Channing" and Karen attempts to defend her, Lloyd responds "Margo? Margo's great. She knows it. That's the trouble. She can play Peck's Bad Boy all she wants, and who's to stop her? Who's to giver her that boot in the rear she needs and deserves?"

Soon after, Karen as narrator says "My big idea came to me just sitting on a couch: that boot in the rear to Margo. Heaven knows, she had one coming. From me, from Lloyd, from Eve, Bill, Max, and so on. We'd all felt those size 5's of hers often enough. But how?" She has it, then decides to let it go. "Screaming and calling names is one thing, but this could mean ..." I think she momentarily realizes this could possibly lead to Eve's ascension at the expense of Margo.

However, the classic rationalizations then begin: "Why not? It would all seem perfectly legitimate. And there were only two people in the world who would ever know. Also, the boot would land where it would do the most good for all concerned. And after all, it was no more than a perfectly harmless joke which Margo herself would be the first to enjoy, and no reason why she shouldn't be told about it ... in time." Finally, she places a phone call to Eve.

Of course, the great irony is despite things appearing to unravel for Margo as a result of these "good intentions", it actually DOES directly lead to and end up benefiting her, for she does show some humility with Karen while sitting in the empty car and attains the one thing she's desired and is missing but but hasn't yet got: marriage to Bill.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Thank you for the explanation.

Love is never having to say you're sober.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Not only did she plan to make Margo miss her performance, but instead of telling her truth when the conniving Eve threatened to rat her out, she gives in to her demands and tells Lloyd to give her Margo's part.
She went from being Margo's friend, to being Eve's b*tch.
I agree with the poster about Birdy. She had her figured out from the get go.
Karen is a nobody who married into the theater, because she wasn't good enough to make it on her own.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Sorry, but you are misunderstanding Karen's motives and the turn of events.
Others here have quite effectively explained Karen's motivation. Have you forgotten how rotten Margo had been treating everyone? She was no saint. She deserved to be taught a lesson, but teaching people lessons usually backfires one way or another. As far as Karen knew, Eve was merely a nice,very talented girl who was being verbally abused by her idol, Margo. And she thought that she would kill two birds with one stone by letting Eve get the opportunity to do one performance. In fact, Karen and Margo - like all of us, make mistakes for which they both felt remorse.
And no, Karen did not intercede with Lloyd to give the part to Eve; because at the table Margo announces that she does not *want* the part. That's why Karen is laughing: it's from sheer relief that now she doesn't have to give in to Eve's blackmail.
About Karen being a "nobody" - she gracefully states that she's the "lowest form of celebrity." But I like to think that she married Lloyd because she loved him and vice versa. Not everybody is interested in "making it big" in the theatre.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

I thought Karen was laughing (after Margo announced she didn't want the part of Cara) because -- yet again! -- she had been marginalized. Once again the "real" movers and shakers had made their moves, leaving no part or role for her. She had not thought it possible, but she had just become an EVEN LOWER form of celebrity: one who caves-in to a blackmail, knowing in her heart what she did, then STILL doesn't make an impact. Pathetic.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

It's always bothered me that Lloyd didn't further question how, or why, his car was out of gas - especially considering that he'd only filled the tank the day before. I realize this is only incidental to the plot, but I know that something like that would bother me until I got a definitive explanation.

Also, I don't know what kind of mileage cars got in 1950, but they were only 5 miles away from their destination, so Karen cut it very close when she drained the tank.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy


Karen is a woman of so many qualities.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

It's a weak thing I think. She was a path of least of resistance kind of person.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Nice! I got the reference! (to Margo's line)

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Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Agreed. Seems to me that Karen was always jealous of Margo. And yes in the beginning she was just a pawn but come on that whole fiasco was Karen's fault and Karen never owned up to it just became a better friend because of her guilt.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Interesting points.

Uh, by the way, what color is the sky in your world? Just curious.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Oddly enough, Bette Davis got along with Anne Baxter in real life (they remained friends until Davis's death despite their initial competition for the Lead Actress Oscar that year!) but Bette couldn't stand Celeste Holm and felt as though Karen's laughing fit at the restaurant was purposely improvised by Holm to upstage Davis's morose Margo character in the scene! She was such a jealous control freak!

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

There's a lovely chain reaction here: though it's true that Margo has often abused her friends, and has a come-uppance coming, so to speak, in this particular case, her extreme behavior is motivated by her realization of what kind of person Eve is, and her inability to communicate this constructively to the people around her. Watch that magnificent build-up scene with her and Bill (and the chocolate temptation!), through to the Liebestodt (sp?) scene, and buttressed by her confession of fear of age to Lloyd, and culminating in that monologue about being tucked into bed ("Eve would, wouldn't you, Eve?" "If you'd like." "I wouldn't like."). Eve, in the end, is at the bottom of her behavior that night, but of course, no one knows (not even, I believe, Eve, interestingly, though she probably catches on right quick - which may be why she asks Karen if there's a way to move on from working for Margo).

Wonderful chain of behavior from writer Mank!

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

I agree. Margo was afraid of Eve, and a control freak. And when she caught on to Eve (with Birdy's help) she couldn't articulate it. Margo was at a crossroads, but too afraid to ask or take what she wanted, love.
Karen was played by Eve, and you wonder how it happen. Why did she trust this woman? But then Karen tells you why. She wants to teach Margo a lesson. But the smarter move would have been to talk to Margo. But they has stopped talking, so Margo couldn't tell her about Eve. And then it was too late.
Margo's speech in the car took the high road in discussing Eve. Margo took the blame instead of telling Karen her perceptions of Eve. I liked that, it showed growth in Margo. They say let a person show their colors. And how long could Eve keep it up. She was so close to her goal, but couldn't wait. Eve's mistake was using her sex. There she wasn't a master. She assumed all men and in fact women were the same, in my opinion. Then there's the story, which is fantastic. It protects the protagonists and gave the antagonist her come-uppence. Addison is the only character that is a protagonist and an antagonist.

If we can save humanity, we become the caretakers of the world

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

The backstory video on you tube interviews Celeste Holm. She says she could laugh on cue and Bette admitted she could not. So the cued laughter at the table was an additional jab at Bette.

(I think this is where I saw it, didn't rewatch)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a98Bcu55nAM



Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Celeste enjoyed every minute of her misteps

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Karen's plan was just for Margo to miss one (just ONE) performance and let Eve have her one moment in the spotlight. She felt remorse when she learned how sad and unfulfilled Margo had been. I don't think Karen suspected that Eve would invite the press (which you would not do generally for an understudy performance; in fact even lay people often refund their tickets if they really came for the star--I once considered doing that but didn't because I felt bad for the poor understudy). Karen's "harmless joke" backfired on her in tragic was but ultimately everything turned out well for Margo and Karen. Now Eve will have to deal with her own insidious little fan

"It's hard for me to watch American Idol because I have perfect pitch."
-Jenna, 30 Rock

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

I dont know....
It seems that Karen really had good intentions, and who the h*** would put up with Margot anyway? Karen just seems like a good friend who puts up with a lot of crap from the people around her.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

I felt a little bad for Karen. She made a dumb mistake; and she probably would have to spend her life wondering when/if Eve was going to tell Margo.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Karen goofed big time, but only because she was as much a victim of Eve's manipulation as everyone else. I don't think she needs to worry, I think Addison has squelched Eve's spirit for good. Besides, at this point, even if Eve did blab about what Karen did, who's going to care?

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Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Karen was the weakest part of the group, the rearguard, so Eve attacked there. A classic strategy!

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Someone mentioned how Bette Davis did not like Celeste Holm. I read that Celeste Holm thought that Bette Davis chewed up too much of the "clippings" scene in the car.

"Two more swords and I'll be Queen of the Monkey People." Roseanne

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

I've always felt that Karen was a basically someone with a good heart who was just trying to help. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Goodnight to all, and to all a goodnight.

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Addison introduces Karen:


This is Karen Richards. She is the wife of a playwright, therefore of the Theater by marriage.
Nothing in her background or breeding should have brought her
any closer to the stage than row E, center...



So Karen is an outsider in the theater world, maybe without an easy feel for how it works and what really is or isn't important to theater people, or she might have confronted Margo on other ground.

But she seems to be a good enough person to know a moral dilemma when she's in one, beginning to feel remorseful about her prank after seeing Margo more clearly, even before she realizes how Eve has manipulated things.


_______________________________
"The bonsai: the ultimate miniature."
--Will Hayward, Twin Peaks

Re: Karen Was The Real Enemy

Exactly!
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