The Barefoot Contessa

The Barefoot Contessa

DVD - 2001
Average Rating:
5
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A director turns a barefoot cabaret dancer into a star who suffers a tragic end.
Publisher: Santa Monica, California : MGM Home Entertainment, ©2001.
ISBN: 9780792863786
079286378X
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (130 min.) :,sound, color ;,12 cm
video file, DVD, rda
DVD
videodisc
digital, video

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l
lukasevansherman
Sep 08, 2016

I'm gonna have to disagree with "Nursebob" (if that is his real name, I think Ava Gardner is quite convincing as a beautiful movie star and Humphrey Bogart convincing as a slightly gone to seed writer/director. Edmond O'Brien probably didn't deserve an Oscar, but he's fine and the Italian guy, well, he's right about him. Aside from the actors, what's most interesting about this is the structure, which employs extensive flashbacks and voice overs. It begins at the end essentially, with Gardner's funeral and then fills in her story, as filtered through multiple characters' memories. It's a little too long and dull in stretches, but it feels like an adventurous film for the Hollywood of the 1950s. Supposedly it was loosely inspired by Rita Hayworth's story. Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz ("All About Eve," "Cleopatra").

n
Nursebob
Aug 02, 2015

Celebrated movie star Maria D”Amata (an unconvincing Ava Gardner) has died after making only three films. As acquaintances gather in the Italian countryside for a modest funeral three mourners look back on her meteoric rise and tragic death: writer/director Harry Dawes (an unconvincing Humphrey Bogart); PR man Oscar Muldoon (Edmond O’Brien, convincing enough to snag an Oscar); and wealthy Italian count Vincenzo Toriato-Favrini (a ham-stuffed Rossano Brazzi). In the process we are treated to three self-indulgent bouts of post mortem navel-gazing as each man beats his breast while Ava, in flashback after interminable flashback, tries to embody the object of their individual obsessions through stilted mannerisms and a bargain basement Latina accent. A ludicrous soap opera script supposedly borrows elements from the real life bios of Rita Hayworth and Gardner herself (poor girl gets a break, finds fame, marries rich) adds a touch of Pygmalion (check out that tombstone statue) then proceeds to garnish it with so much Hollywood flotsam that had it been handled slightly better—or slightly worse—you could almost enjoy it as a satirical take on the film industry itself with characters constantly reminding one another that reality is not a script, dammit! In once scene, perhaps the film’s most shamelessly awful, Brazzi’s tortured count explains to Maria why he won’t be joining her in their conjugal bed and when she runs to Harry Dawes with a hare-brained scheme to make her unhappy husband smile he counters with “You’re talking mawkish nonsense you’ve remembered from cheap films!” If ever a pot called a kettle black…

g
garycornell
Aug 29, 2014

The movie is simply one of Ava Gardner's finest films. Find someone to argue that point! She is simply beautiful beyond words in the "Barefoot Contessa". It is her movie and she carries it off with flying colors. The famed cinematographer Jack Cardiff makes every frame look like a master painter pallet. Edmond O'Brien would receive an Academy Award as Oscar Muldoon. Humphrey Bogart is good as well, but as I say, it is Ava Gardner who carries the mail here. Any fan of hers should certainly see the "Barefoot Contessa". We may even make new fans for her. This was a once in a lifetime role. Ava Gardner did not disappoint her director or her fans. Hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did. Let me know your reaction here on the KCLS web site.

j
JeanieG
Jan 19, 2014

It was fun to watch Bogart and Ava Gardner in this film - but it really was not that great. The story seems corny and dated now. Bogart looks worn out - he sure smokes a lot in this movie. You'll enjoy it if you like the old classics.

b
bigmanwithbigtits
Jun 14, 2013

Enjoy an amazing Oscar winning performance by Edmond O'Brien, without a doubt the highlight of this film.

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