The Barefoot Contessa

July 29, 2018

July 29, 2018

1:00 pm To 3:08 pm

TIFF Bell Lightbox, King Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada


Event Description

Ava Gardner stars as the shoeless sovereign in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s sublime portrait of Hollywood in extremis, a ravishing Madrid cabaret dancer named Maria Vargas who is discovered by washed-up film director Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart) while on a European scouting trip. Cast as the lead in Harry’s new film, Maria quickly rises to superstardom but becomes increasingly lonely — especially after she marries a dashing Italian count (Rossano Brazzi) who proves unable to satisfy her emotional or sexual needs. Shot in Italy in retina-sating Technicolor by the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff, The Barefoot Contessa offered Bogart one of his greatest roles as a burnt-out, embittered artist whose cynicism is a cover for regret; the scene in which Dawes attacks his studio’s publicist (Edmond O’Brien, in an Oscar-winning performance) shocks no matter how often you’ve seen it. (And yes, the celebrated store and cookbook were named in homage to this film!)

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