101 Funniest Screenplays

“Dialogue comes easy to me,” writer-director Joseph Mankiewicz told The New York Times in 1950. “Organization is my problem, but once I have a beginning and an end in mind I can get going. I never worry about the middle.” With All about Eve, Mankiewicz hit upon shifting voice-over narration and a flashback structure to deliver an enduring reference point for all comedies about show business egos and the timeless art of the back-stab. Mankiewicz had started out in Hollywood working under the shadow of his older brother Herman, the screenwriter of Citizen Kane. But All about Eve, based on the radio play by Mary Orr, was Joseph’s second of two consecutive Oscars for writing and directing. Eve also gave screen comedy one of its most memorable lines, as uttered by Bette Davis at a party: “Fasten your seat belts – it's going to be a bumpy night.”

READ ALSO: Facts about the writing of All About Eve and how Joseph L. Mankiewicz resurrected Bette Davis “from the dead”