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The Barefoot Contessa

The Barefoot Contessa

The Barefoot Contessa

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1954 / 128min / 35mm

DIRECTOR: JOSEPH L. MANKIEWICZ

CAST: AVA GARDNER, HUMPHREY BOGART, EDMOND O'BRIEN

Screening introduced by writer and host of the You Must Remember This podcast, Karina Longworth, who will be signing copies of her new book Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, a rumination on sex and power in Tinseltown.

Mankiewicz, a fiercely intelligent and independent operator, broke away from the studios with this, his acidic insider’s take on the anguishes and compromises of international productions, starring Ava Gardner in a role modeled after Rita Hayworth, that of a Spanish dancer drawn into the movie business; Edmond O’Brien as the publicist who helps to reinvent her; and Humphrey Bogart as the film director who ruefully watches her rise and fall. A typically drum-tight script by Mankiewicz and blessed with the photography of the great DP Jack Cardiff.

35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation.

Karina Longworth is the creator, writer and host of You Must Remember This, a podcast on the secret and forgotten history of 20th century Hollywood. A former film editor of the LA Weekly and critic for the Village Voice, she is the author of four previous books, including Hollywood Frame by Frame and Meryl Streep: Anatomy of an Actor. She lives in Los Angeles.