Friday, March 16, 2012
THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954)
(1950’s movie #6)
The Barefoot Contessa (1954):
Expectations: One of the more famous Humphrey Bogart movies I’ve yet to see.
After viewing: I can’t say this rags to riches story of a Spanish dancer who becomes an overnight movie star would be on my list of favorites, but it did have some interesting moments. Like Sunset Boulevard (and later American Beauty) we know the main character (Maria Vargas,played by Ava Gardner) has died in the opening scene and the movie is told in flashback. It also has multiple narrators, which did give the film some several different points of view, which does give us some additional insight into Maria's character. The Joseph L. Manciwickz script is pretty sharp, though I did find the movie a bit too talky at times.
And the Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award goes to…Warren Stevens (the Doc in Forbidden Planet) I guess I could have given the to character actor Edmond O’Brien as the always sweating Public Relations agent, but I’ll give it to the arrogant and unlikable movie mogul, Kirk Edwards, played by Stevens. Interestingly, Stevens’s character is almost always referred to as “Kirk Edwards,” and never just by “Kirk” or “Mr. Edwards.” Kind of like that episode of The Brady Bunch where Marsha only refers to ex-Monkee Davy Jones as “Davy Jones.” Wait, I hear a buzzer in the background which means that I’ve made a Brady Bunch reference, so I must now end this blog. There was more I wanted to say, but rules are rules.