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The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  29 September 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,700 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 34 critic

At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards ... See full summary »

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Title: The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marius Goring ...
Eleanora Torlato-Favrini (as Valentina Cortesa)
Kirk Edwards
Franco Interlenghi ...
Pedro Vargas
Mari Aldon ...
Alberto Rabagliati ...
Enzo Staiola ...
Maria Zanoli ...
Maria's Mother
Renato Chiantoni ...
Maria's Father
Bill Fraser ...
J. Montague Brown


At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards scouted her at a shabby nightclub where she worked as a flamenco dancer. He convinces her to take a chance on acting and her first film is a huge hit. PR man Oscar Muldoon remembers when Maria was in court supporting her father who was accused of murdering her mother. It was Maria's testimony that got him off and she was a bigger star than ever. Alberto Bravano, one of the richest men is South America, sets his sights on Maria she goes off with him - as much to make Edwards angry as anything - but he treats her badly. When she meets Count Vincenzo Torlato-Favrini they fall deeply in love. They are married but theirs is not to be a happy life. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

29 September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La condesa descalza  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (dvd release) (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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. See more »


Just after Maria's engagement is announced, Harry is in a small town near a seaport talking to a group of men. They are all looking and gesturing off to stage left. Maria drives right up behind the group and sounds the car horn. The group of men continue talking for almost 3 seconds before any of them react to a car horn that is supposedly going off just 5 feet behind them. See more »


Alberto Bravano: To make a hundred dollars into a hundred and ten dollars - this is work. To make a hundred million into a hundred and ten million, this is inevitable.
See more »


Referenced in Murmur of the Heart (1971) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This film seemed to be populated by one-dimensional characters.
31 January 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I expected much more out of the writer of this film. Was he not the creator of "All About Eve"? That was a wonderful satirical work with interesting, believable characters. This movie seemed to be ponderously written with a series of one-dimensional characters, most of them cliches. Humphrey Bogart did his best, but Ava Gardner was unsatisfying, though beautiful to look at--a paper doll. Edmond O'Brien played his shallow part well, but I was amazed to learn that he took the Oscar from Steiger, Cobb, and Malden in their great turns in "On the Waterfront." I hold Joseph Mankiewicz responsible. If this movie had been well-written, it could have been truly intriguing.

24 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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