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 »
McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" ... See full summary »
Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," 20th-century millionaire Cecil Fox devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. ... See full summary »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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 in South America, sets his sights on Maria and 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
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 (1950), also by written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. See more »
Muldoon enters the room where Edwards is to discuss Maria's father killing her mother, he has a handkerchief in his pocket. When he crosses the room to pick up the phone, the handkerchief is gone. At the end of the scene, it is back, but in a completely different shape. See more »
This is a long and at times tedious film. It could be called "a woman's search for love," but it is really the film-maker's search for a story. That it is strung together via flashbacks inserted in the "contessa's" funeral is merely a way of admitting as much. The film does have one brilliant technique -- that is, the repeat of a scene we have already seen, shot from a different angle, and, this time, explaining via providing background what the scene means. I don't know of any other film that has ever used this device. The film feels as if it has been "written." The dialogue -- particularly Ava's and that of the showdown between the two rich men at the party -- conveys dry ink, not spontaneous speech. The film could have been edited by about a half hour, and Ava's long-standing relationship with her "cousin" needed to be clarified or eliminated. Bogart's heated objection to the cousin and the relationship was pointless -- something left in that ended up making no sense in the context of the outcome. And the outcome was radically unconvincing. But to explain why would be to inflict a spoiler upon my summary.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?