The Barefoot Contessa Overview:

The Barefoot Contessa (1954) was a Drama - Crime Film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and produced by Franco Magli, Angelo Rizzoli and Robert Haggiag.


A famous film writer and director (Bogart) stands by the grave of a beautiful Hollywood star and contemplates her life in a series of flashbacks. Lovely Maria Vargas (Gardner) works as a flamenco dancer at a second-rate club when a trio of movieland bigwigs discovers her. Soon she's acquired fame, riches, and love. On the surface, it seems as if she has it all, but a dark secret in her marriage leads to jealousy, tragedy, and murder. Spicy dialogue from Mankiewicz keeps things interesting.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1954 --- Ceremony Number 27 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActorEdmond O'BrienWon
Best WritingJoseph L. MankiewiczNominated

BlogHub Articles:

The Barefoot Contessa (1954): A Cinderella Story

By 4 Star Film Fan on Sep 1, 2021 From 4 Star Films

While it shares elements with the earlier Pandora and The Flying Dutchman in both its techniques and the mystique projected around Ava Gardner, The Barefoot Contessa ultimately evolves and settles into the narrative rhythms one might expect from its creative partners. Jack Cardiff returns to give Av... Read full article

The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

By Beatrice on Dec 30, 2015 From Flickers in Time

The Barefoot Contessa Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz Written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz 1954/USA Figaro/Transoceanic Film First viewing/Amazon Instant #288 of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Harry Dawes: Ah, where is it easy? Mankiewicz takes a melodramatic look behind the “glamour... Read full article

The Barefoot Contessa – 1954

By Bogart Fan on Oct 13, 2013 From The Bogie Film Blog

My Review —A Good Film with a Few Hiccups— Your Bogie Film Fix: out of 5 Bogies! Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz The Lowdown A millionaire playboy (Warren Stevens) hires a has-been film director (Bogart) to find a fresh new face from Spain (Ava Gardner) and put her in a film. Thus beg... Read full article

The Barefoot Contessa

By Michael on Apr 29, 2013 From Le Mot du Cinephiliaque

The Barefoot Contessa (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954) Starring Ava Gardner as the contessa and Humphrey Bogart as the has been movie director, this story was known as based on Rita Hayworth’s life but as some Film historian recalled it is more probably based on Anne Chevalier’s (actress of... Read full article

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Quotes from

Count Vincenzo Torlato-Favrini: It is time for the Torlato-Favrinis to get off the world.
Eleanora Torlato-Favrini: The fact remains that we are neither unique nor important to the world. And it will go on without us.

Maria Vargas: In Hollywood, it is not easy to become a star.
Harry Dawes: Ah, where is it easy?

Myrna: I'm a frightened tramp.

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Facts about

The character of Maria Vargas is said to be based on Rita Hayworth, who was actually offered the part. Hayworth was a Latina who later married a prince, Prince Aly Khan. However, some elements were taken from Ava Gardner's life as well. The stormy relationship between Maria and the tycoon movie producer Kirk Edwards (Warren Stevens) is based on Gardner's own relationship with billionaire film producer Howard Hughes.
The name "Lloyd Richards" appears on the marquee of Maria's first film. "Lloyd Richards" is the name of Margo Channing's playwright friend in All About Eve, also by written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1954

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Also directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

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Also produced by Franco Magli

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