The Three Faces of Eve
|Keywords||Body Self-Image, Child Abuse, Depression, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Domestic Violence, Empathy, Family Relationships, Human Worth, Individuality, Loneliness, Love, Marital Discord, Medical Advances, Memory, Mental Illness, Mother-Daughter Relationship, Patient Experience, Psychotherapy, Sexuality, Trauma, Women's Health|
A depressed housewife, Eve White (Joanne Woodward), is brought by her husband (David Wayne) to consult a psychiatrist (Lee J. Cobb) because her behavior has been strange. Although she denies it, she has purchased uncharacteristically seductive clothing and has been singing and dancing in bars.
Her surprised doctor is soon confronted with a different but equally inadequate personality, the sexy Eve Black. He recognizes the case as an example of the rare condition, multiple personality disorder, and embarks on a course of psychotherapy in search of the woman's missing memories.
Eve's unhealthy marriage disintegrates when she chooses to remain in therapy rather than move away with her violent husband. Psychotherapy helps her to the repressed memory of an instance of childhood abuse: being forced by her mother to kiss the corpse of a dead relative. A third personality, that of intelligent, insightful Jane, slowly emerges to replace the other two. Jane establishes a new life with a loving man.
A landmark film, based on a true story that heightened public awareness of the multiple personality as a disease entity. The transitions are slightly melodramatic, but Woodward's portrayal of the remarkably distinct changes in Eve's character and appearance earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
The causal mechanism of repressed trauma conforms to the late twentieth-century understanding of multiple personality disorder; however, sexual aspects of the abuse are not evident, while the easy success of her psychotherapy is more attuned to mid-century positivism than to late-century cynicism. The fascination of the psychiatrist and his colleague with the novel spectacle of a rare disease is credible and timeless.
|Leading Actors||Lee J. Cobb, David Wayne, Joanne Woodward|
|Studio||Twentieth Century Fox|
|Color/BW||Black And White|
|Running Time||91 minutes|
|Video Source||Fox Video, 1993|
|Miscellaneous||Based on the book of the same title by Corbett H. Thigpen, 1957.|
|Annotated by||Duffin, Jacalyn|
|Date of Entry||07/01/96|