The Three Faces of Eve is a 1957 American film adaptation of a case study by Thigpen and Cleckley. It was based on the true story of Chris Costner Sizemore, also known as Eve White, a woman who suffered from multiple personality disorder. Sizemore's identity was concealed in interviews and a film, and was not revealed to the public until 1975.
The film stars Joanne Woodward, David Wayne, Lee J. Cobb, Nancy Kulp and Alistair Cooke. It was filmed at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. Woodward won the 1957 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.
Eve White is a timid, self-effacing wife and mother who has severe and blinding headaches and occasional blackouts. Eventually she is sent to see a personality psychiatrist Dr. Luther, and while under hypnosis her "alter personality", wild, fun-loving Eve Black, discloses herself. Eve Black knows everything about Eve White, but Eve White is unaware of Eve Black. With Eve Black on the loose, Eve White's husband leaves her and abandons their daughter, Bonnie. Eve White is sent to an asylum after Eve Black tries to kill Eve White's daughter.
Dr. Luther considers both Eve White and Eve Black to be incomplete and inadequate personalities.
Most of the film depicts Luther's attempts to understand and deal with these two faces of Eve.
He eventually prompts her to remember a traumatic event in Eve’s childhood. Her beloved grandmother had died when she was six, and according to family custom relatives were supposed to kiss the dead person at the viewing, making it easier for them to let go. Eve's grief and terror led to her "splitting off" into two distinctly different personalities.
Under continued therapy, a third personality appears, the relatively stable Jane. After discovering the cause of her disorder, Jane is gradually able to remember everything that has ever happened to all three personalities. Luther asks to speak with Eve White, they discover that Eve White and Eve Black no longer exist. All three personalities are once again a single whole. She marries a man named Earl whom she met when she was Jane and reunites with her daughter Bonnie.
The book by Thigpen and Cleckley was rushed into publication and film rights immediately sold to director Nunnally Johnson in 1957, apparently to capitalize on public interest in multiple personalities following the publication of Shirley Jackson's 1954 novel The Birds' Nest, which was made into the 1957 film Lizzie.
Chris Costner Sizemore has written at some length about her experiences as the real "Eve." In her 1958 book, "The Final Face of Eve," she used the pseudonym Evelyn Lancaster. In her 1977 book I'm Eve, she revealed her true identity. She has also written a follow-up book, A Mind Of My Own.
Awards and honors
Woodward — at the time a relative unknown in Hollywood — won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and later went on to play Dr. Cornelia Wilbur in the film Sybil.
*Mental illness in films
*Multiple Personality: Reality and Illusion - Fact based docu-drama that delves into the lives of four women with Multiple Personality Disorder including the life of Chris Costner-Sizemore
ReferencesThis text has been derived from The Three Faces of Eve on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0