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The Barefoot Contessa

Price: $34.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Barefoot Contessa + Mogambo + The Night of the Iguana
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Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Marius Goring, Valentina Cortese
  • Directors: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Writers: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Producers: Angelo Rizzoli, Franco Magli, Robert Haggiag
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2001
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AUK7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,057 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Barefoot Contessa" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner. A sardonic, semi-satirical tale of a down-and-out director who helps propel a beautiful young Spanish singer into Hollywood stardom by manipulating and exploiting the industry. 1954/color/128 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

The acting, plot, setting and costumes are all very good.
Roger Bagula
I was not expecting the movie to end the way it did but I guess you do not alwas get what you want in the movies...
Emotionally, she is still a child in many ways and believes in fairy tales.
Rebecca of Amazon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 25, 2003
Format: DVD
This 1954 film was written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz who sure does know how to make movies. In one of the very first scenes, Ava Gardner is dancing in a nightclub in Spain. We know she's great even though the camera isn't on her for one minute. All we do is hear the music and watch the faces of the people watching her. By the time we do see her, she's already in her dressing room. She's absolutely gorgeous and lights up every scene she's in. We see her character's rise to movie stardom and share the unfulfilled life she leads. And then, just when we think she's finally found happiness, tragedy strikes. It's a modern day classic drama with a story that pulled me right in.
Humphrey Bogart plays a movie director who befriends this "barefoot Contessa", nicknamed that because she was once so poor that she didn't have shoes. She prefers going barefoot and this theme is emphasized all the time, showing her barefoot whenever possible. Rossano Brazzi, who doesn't appear till late in the film, is cast as the true romance in her life. All of these actors do a good job, but I was particularly impressed with the performance of Edmund O'Brien, cast as a public relations man for a studio executive. It's a small part but I just kept thinking how good he was. Later I discovered that he won an Academy Award for this role.
It's the screenplay that moves the action. It never lagged and I sat there with my eyes glued to the screen wondering what would happen next. Considering that this is basically just a love story, that's saying a lot. I totally enjoyed the viewing experience. It's too bad though, that there were no features included on the DVD. It would have been nice to have a little more background. "The Barefoot Contessa" gets a high recommendation from me just because I enjoyed it so much.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on March 6, 2006
Format: DVD
Throughout her famous acting career actress Ava Gardner had many heavy crosses to bear. Hounded by the press probably more than any other actress of her generation, she was forced to live in an emotional goldfish bowl as she married a succession of famous men and pursued an acting career that included many highs and lows. Labelled with daunting titles such as "The most beautiful woman in the world", and "The world's most beautiful animal", it's not a surprise to read that she suffered from an inferiority complex all her life and really never regarded herself as a good actress. Joseph L. Mankiewicz's "The Barefoot Contessa", contains one of those fine performances that proves beyond a doubt that Ms. Gardner was indeed a very fine actress capable of great depth when a character and story actually challenged her. Cast as the simple, self questioning Maria Vargas who rises to the lofty heights of Hollywood stardom only to encounter the down side of the business and the people who run it, Ava Gardner has never been better and coming on top of her Academy Award nominated performance in "Mogambo", the previous year proves that the earlier performance was no fluke. Interestingly teamed with veteran actor Humphrey Bogart, Gardner and he have an unusual chemistry onscreen based not so much on a passionate love between their characters but from a deep understanding of each others characters and foibles that really drives this story along to it's tragic conclusion.

As the story opens we witness the funeral of a woman who was once a great Hollywood star and through the narration of one man present; Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart), we are told in flashback the woman's sad story.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Yes, this is a much more mature movie than most are used to these days and the story takes a bit longer to gain momentum.

The characters actually have depth and they can act! How refreshing. While watching I found myself just intrigued with Ava Gardner and think she is perhaps one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the earth. The dialogue is simply deliciously revealing as the characters speak from their hearts.

"There's more to talking than just words..."

Ava plays the Barefoot Contessa, Maria Vargas who is discovered in Madrid. I expected there to be much more dancing in this movie, being it was about a dancer. However, there is just really one scene of her dancing out in the open with her gypsy friends where she sees the man she falls madly in love with. He is a nobleman and can provide everything for her. She sees him as the man who has seen more in her than any man ever has before.

The scenes where Ava and Bogart converse are the most meaningful. Bogart has a way of bringing out Maria's natural curiosity. When anyone tells her "no" she says "yes." She is determined to be owned by no one and yet, everyone seems to want to own her. She fears being exposed and unprotected. Emotionally, she is still a child in many ways and believes in fairy tales. The harsh realities of loving someone and not receiving it in return seem foreign to her.

The first scene is in a graveyard and from here, the scenes flash back to the past in a continuous fashion throughout with narration. Each part of the story is revealed at just the right moment.

The rest of the movie seems to deal more with her career and love interests. The theme of Cinderella and "shoes" plays out well and is very significant in many ways.
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