The Barefoot Contessa, Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1954)

“Life, every now and then, behaves as though it had seen too many bad movies, when everything fits too well – the beginning, the middle, the end – from fade-in to fade-out.” This from Humphrey Bogart as the cynical has-been director Harry Dawes in the opening scene of this melodrama, and how right he is. Ava Gardner is the passionate Spanish actress who can’t get it through her head that success in the world of the rich and famous means never being genuine. Her failure to fail herself kills her, and her death further deadens all the fascinated zombies that have surrounded her. An overbaked and decadent movie, but somehow affecting nevertheless.

Leave a Reply