The Barefoot Contessa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Barefoot Contessa Reviews

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July 27, 2017
Must-see film from Old Hollywood. Writing ambitious and skillful but cynicism on all sides wears on us after a while. Ava is gorgeous but doesn't change much. Plot problem for me: don't find basis for marriage of Maria and the Count credible at all. She is a lusty gal who would not marry for fairy tales and money without sex first. And the Count's supposed motivation is to prevent the family line from dying out, but he knows he cannot sire a child. Why marry her then?
July 24, 2017
The combination of old school Hollywood with Bogart's cynical realism is irresistible. And, of course, Ava Gardner is immaculate. Set in Italy, the heart yearns for more.
May 16, 2015
An attractive movie in many ways, not least with Gardner in the lead female role. 1001
January 4, 2015
Great film. It's a pitty that the cast don't do their best on the film. The way the film shows spain is awful, it looks more mexico than spain.
September 16, 2014
[color=yellow]Long live the blobbie movie weekend! Got a bunch of movies to watch this weekend and my rental store was generous enough to throw in free popcorn and coke - woo hoo! Managed to watch Le Divorce, Barefoot Contessa and Hidalgo.[/color]

[color=yellow]Barefoot Contessa (1954)[/color]
[color=yellow]Humphrey Bogart essentially plays the same character in all his movies; world-weary cynic with biting, dry humour. Love the way he disses the brash OTT PR guy who is slow to grasp his subtle comments. Ava Gardner is like WOW strong, independent, defiant and in control. A woman before her time, her character hints that she has always been very proud; "it's like a sickness" and "no man has ever paid for me". This is essentially what motivates her character throughout the story and eventually contributes to her demise when she meets her match; an equally proud Italian Count. This is great dark entertainment if you're in the mood for slightly film noir/glamorous nostalgia. Warning: the film makes use of [slightly annoying] narrative and flashback techniques. [/color]
August 14, 2014
recommended by pinkminkprincess, #3 in the queue...........
June 15, 2014
She only dances one time, then no more.

Harry Dawes is a down on his luck writer/director that finds happiness at the bottom of a glass. A producer sees his talent and carries him around looking for his next big break, and he thinks he found it in Maria Vargas. Maria is a Spanish dancer with a beautiful look and unmatched charisma. She reluctantly decides to work with the producer under the guidance of Dawes. Dawes ensures they only stay friends, but life moves fast for Maria and when she finally lets her guard down for a moment, the world eats her up.

"Many men must be in love with you."
"From the dirt it is hard to tell."
"Haven't you ever been in love?"
"From the dirt it is easy to look at the clouds."

Joseph Mankiewicz, director of Cleopatra, Guys and Dolls, All about Eve, Dragonwyck, The Honey Pot, Julius Caesar, and Sleuth, delivers The Barefoot Contessa. The storyline for this picture was fascinating and is interestingly taken from the real lives of Rita Heyworth (who was offered the lead role) and Ava Gardner (who ultimately starred in this picture). The plot unravels perfectly and the dialogue and monologue was magnificent. The cast delivers remarkable performances and includes Gardner, Humphrey Bogart, Warren Stevens, Elizabeth Sellars, Edmond O'Brien, Valentina Cortese, and Rossano Brazzi.

"She hasn't got what I've got."
"What she's got, you couldn't spell. And what you've got, you don't have any more."

I DVR'd this off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) because it starred one of my all time favorite actors, Humphrey Bogart. This is an underrated gem that does have some clumsy scenes in the middle where there's a stretch Bogart, but the movie quickly gets back on track to conclude perfectly. Overall, this is a must see movie and borderline worth adding to your DVD collection.

"In Hollywood it is not easy to become a star."
"Where is it easy?"

Grade; A
½ June 1, 2014
Ava Gardner, who pursues her dream to death, is glamorous, yet is the ending far too melodramatic? Great theme score.
½ May 24, 2014
Uninteresting life story of a singer who didn't sing. Bogart almost saved the film but he was absent for too long.
May 22, 2014
The Barefoot Contessa is an excellent film. It is about has-been director Harry Dawes who gets a new lease on his career when independently wealthy Kirk Edwards hires him to write and direct a film. Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner give amazing performances. The script is well written. Joseph L. Mankiewicz did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and mystery. The Barefoot Contessa is a must see.
April 27, 2014
Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart at their best!
½ April 21, 2014
A slick melodramatic "Hollywood looks at itself" movie that's not as sharp and insightful as "All About Eve" or as deliriously melodramatic as "Two Weeks in Another Town". It's tastefully dull. Edmond O'Brien deserved his Oscar. Bogart never seems completely comfortable with this role. The movie really should be grounded by Ava Gardner, who, as usual, looks good but isn't terribly interesting.
February 19, 2014
not bad late career bogie
½ October 21, 2013
The first third with Bogie is pretty good, and then it starts slogging downhill through increasingly wretched acting and melodrama toward one of the most stupid, pointless, and unbelievable endings in the history of cinema. Overall, a real turkey, and I'm shocked than anyone would feel otherwise.
June 20, 2013
Truly what a disappointment this film was I expected so much more from Joseph L. Mankieweiz so much more.

A very dull romance triangle that seemingly just went no where at all, just seemed like continuous pointless dialogue.

This film lacked so much... sets, good performances & to my disbelief the most wooden performance actually received an is this? A very frustrating & disappointing film.
April 19, 2013
It was a sweet treat the refined Hollywood Icon prove he still has what it takes! A delightful touch from Technicolor and fashion department.

In the hands of Joseph Mankiewicz, "The Barefoot Contessa" frequently bristles with crackling dialogue (would you have expected less?). Unique to this contribution from Mankiewicz is the portent that hangs over the film. As the details of Maria's life are expounded, empathy for her fate increases accordingly. Impeccably well-cast, this is actually an ensemble film. Gardner is luminous as Maria, though she is not solely dependent on her looks to carry the film--she gives a real performance. Bogart is stalwart and sympathetic as Maria's protector.
November 26, 2012
I liked the movie for 3 reasons: Ava, Ava, Ava.
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2012
An actress, who befriends a washed up Hollywood director, struggles to maintain her integrity in the spurious business of movie-making.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz is a master story-teller. Yes, in this film, he takes the easy way out of exposition by using voice over, but the characters so are finely drawn and theme is carried with deft clarity. Humphrey Bogart proves himself to be an actor, an artist, not just a personality like many movie stars of his era. His scenes with Ava Gardner are rich with subtext, and while there's a palpable sexual attraction between the two characters, both people realize that decorum demands they react as they do.
Mankiewicz's themes of personal integrity and Hollywood's corruption, on display in All About Eve and this film, have universal appeal because there's little that's unique about Mankiewicz's version of Hollywood.
I thought that the writing got a little heavy-handed here and there.
Overall, however, The Barefoot Contessa is a very good, classic film that puts Mankiewicz and Bogart's talents on full display.
½ October 3, 2012
Worth watching just to see Ava in her beautiful dresses by the Fontana sisters
October 2, 2012
While it is always a joy to watch Bogart, the screenplay is rather lacklustre and didn't sustain my total interest.
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