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What is your review of The Barefoot Contessa?


FredCDobbs
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I don't like it at all. Never liked Ava Gardner, don't find her character in this film sympathetic, and Humphrey Bogart is wasted in it.  (not "wasted" like he's been smoking something...)

 

It's one of those overly-dramatic "much ado about very little" 50s  melodramas.  They're over-wrought and over-done.

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sorry, I always get a kick out of it.

fun gossipy melodrama about Hollywood. (fun to figure out who the characters were supposed to be based on) Ava=Rita Hayworth maybe?

great cast, photography, fun well-written script, catchy music theme... what's not to like?? :)

 

BarefootContessa_USLC6.jpg

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I enjoy this movie, being a big fan of Ava and Bogie.  It is a rather long and slow talkfest, with the watered down ending a typical compromise under the code.  The cinematography by Jack Cardiff is first rate, as always, and Ava and the locations are stunning.  I do enjoy watching these widescreen soaps from the 1950s (although Joe Mankiewicz would be appalled hearing it referred to as such).  My only quibble with this film is that it was reputedly the one that Mank promised his longtime mistress Linda Darnell, then went out and got Ava.  It did make Ava an international star to a degree she hadn't quite reached, but it would have had a much bigger boost to Linda's career, at a time when it could have used it. 

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I wasn't impressed.  Ava did look stunning, though.  Bogie had begun to look ill around this time, which was sad.  As others said, it was kind of slow and talky.  But I did find it amusing that Edmond O'Brien won an Oscar playing a character named Oscar.

 

BLU

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I don't like it at all. Never liked Ava Gardner, don't find her character in this film sympathetic, and Humphrey Bogart is wasted in it.  (not "wasted" like he's been smoking something...)

 

It's one of those overly-dramatic "much ado about very little" 50s  melodramas.  They're over-wrought and over-done.

There are NO sympathetic characters in this film. And I also find contessas more sympathetic if they are shod.

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Kenneth Geist in his biography of Mankiewicz, Pictures Will Talk, suggests that the best JLM pictures are the ones where he wore two hats (out of writer, director, and producer) but not all three. For A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve, JLM wrote and directed but didn't produce. For The Barefoot Contessa he also produced, so there was no one to urge that he cut the script, shorten the picture, etc.

 

Given our complaints that Contessa is too long and slow, I'd say that Geist has a point.

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I tried watching this a couple years ago when it was On Demand when I had Comcast.  I was intrigued by the cast, Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart, and the fact that it was directed by Mankiewicz, who did "All About Eve" which I loved.  Unfortunately, despite the stars and director, I found the film kind of boring.  A gossipy, melodramatic film should be something that would interest me; but this one didn't.  Maybe I'll have to give it another chance and see if it changes my opinion.  I have a feeling I'm right about this one though.

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IMHO it wasted Bogart and was directed by JLM in his worst characters-pace-back-and-forth-while-giving-speeches manner (see Kirk Douglas in A Letter To Three Wives -- the director Oscar for that may be the most inexplicable ever).

 

Special mention must be made of Warren Stevens as the Howard Hughes-ish millionaire, one of the most embarrassing performances of the 1950s.

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IMHO it wasted Bogart and was directed by JLM in his worst characters-pace-back-and-forth-while-giving-speeches manner (see Kirk Douglas in A Letter To Three Wives -- the director Oscar for that may be the most inexplicable ever).

 

Special mention must be made of Warren Stevens as the Howard Hughes-ish millionaire, one of the most embarrassing performances of the 1950s.

Speaking of "Mistaken Identity" (on another thread), Warren Stevens looked a lot like Barry Sullivan.

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Speedracer, I see you're from Oregon. Can you settle something for me? Is it pronounced "Oregohn" (like, "Or -e- gone" as in the word "gone"), or Oregun ( like "Or-e /gun, as in the word "gun" ??)

 

As for Barefoot Contessa, I did only watch it once all the way through. I feel kind of honour bound to give it another chance.

However, until I do, and only if that second viewing changes my mind, I would describe this movie as a perfect example of what we mean by "turgid".

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Speedracer, I see you're from Oregon. Can you settle something for me? Is it pronounced "Oregohn" (like, "Or -e- gone" as in the word "gone"), or Oregun ( like "Or-e /gun, as in the word "gun" ??)

 

As for Barefoot Contessa, I did only watch it once all the way through. I feel kind of honour bound to give it another chance.

However, until I do, and only if that second viewing changes my mind, I would describe this movie as a perfect example of what we mean by "turgid".

I'm not from Oregon, but I can answer with complete certainty that it's ar-a-gin (hot gon or gun)

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Well, I might not be sure about the proper pronunciation of "Oregon", but I DO know the proper pronunciation for the state right ABOVE IT is NOT "WORSH-in-ton"!

 

(...and contrary to how SO many 'Mericans pronounce THAT one!!!)

 

LOL

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Well, I might not be sure about the proper pronunciation of "Oregon", but I DO know the proper pronunciation for the state right ABOVE IT is NOT "WORSH-in-ton"!

 

That reminds be of a friend who always placed an "r" in the word wash. For years I would hear how he had just warshed the car, or he would soon be giving his clothes a good warsh.

 

He was a nice guy but would drive me a little crazy with all his warshing. So one day I asked him, "Ron, how do you pronounce the name of the first President of the United States?"

 

"Lincoln," he replied.

 

He stumped me with that one and I decided to pursue the business of word pronunciation no further. (By the way, he pronounced "Lincoln" very well).

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That reminds be of a friend who always placed an "r" in the word wash. For years I would hear how he had just warshed the car, or he would soon be giving his clothes a good warsh.

 

He was a nice guy but would drive me a little crazy with all his warshing. So one day I asked him, "Ron, how do you pronounce the name of the first President of the United States?"

 

"Lincoln," he replied.

 

He stumped me with that one and I decided to pursue the business of word pronunciation no further. (By the way, he pronounced "Lincoln" very well).

 

ROFL!!!

 

(...good one, Tom!) 

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Glad you liked it, Dargo.

 

If anyone had mentioned the title of The Barefoot Contessa to my friend, I almost cringe at what his response might have been.

 

"Barefoot, you say. Boy I bet her feet need a good warsh."

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That reminds be of a friend who always placed an "r" in the word wash. For years I would hear how he had just warshed the car, or he would soon be giving his clothes a good warsh.

 

He was a nice guy but would drive me a little crazy with all his warshing. So one day I asked him, "Ron, how do you pronounce the name of the first President of the United States?"

 

"Lincoln," he replied.

 

He stumped me with that one and I decided to pursue the business of word pronunciation no further. (By the way, he pronounced "Lincoln" very well).

I know there are many regional accents, but those who pronounce it "Warshington" are nothing short of dorky.

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