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 »
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
Mankiewicz wanted James Mason, whom he had just directed in "Julius Caesar," for the part of the nobleman. MGM executive Nicholas Schenck, who had had a vehement disagreement with the director, would not release Mason for the film. According to Mankiewicz, he ended up with Rossano Brazzi, "who cannot act, cannot be sensual... could hardly speak English..." Ironically, Rosemary Matthews, who was hired to help Brazzi with his English, and Mankiewicz later married. 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 »
[of Maria Vargas]
She hasn't even got what I've got.
What she's got you couldn't spell - and what you've got, you used to have.
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This film seemed to be populated by one-dimensional characters.
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.
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