The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  29 September 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,797 users  
Reviews: 76 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marius Goring ...
Eleanora Torlato-Favrini (as Valentina Cortesa)
Kirk Edwards
Pedro Vargas
Mari Aldon ...
Alberto Rabagliati ...
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:

,  »
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Technical Specs


| (dvd release) (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?


Marlon Brando turned down the role of Harry Dawes, telling 'Joseph L. Mankiwez, "I'm not making pictures about moviestars this year. I'm not even into even being a movie star, myself." 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 »


Oscar Muldoon: You mean they're throwing punches?
Jerry: Don't be silly - neither one of them has had his hands closed since the day he was born!
See more »


Referenced in The Man Who Loved Women (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Just couldn't care about the story or characters.
20 February 2010 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This movie sounded like a good idea. It's about the rise and fall of a female movie star and focuses on the upper-class society and the world of Hollywood but in truth and honesty the movie is just too much of a drag, due to the fact that the story just never seems to take off and the characters are not very compelling ones.

It probably foremost is the pace that makes this movie its story come across as slow and dull. It seemed like an interesting idea to tel the story of this actress from the viewpoint of several male characters she met throughout the entire movie. However this way of storytelling instead causes the story to feel like a messy one. I also just don't see how this movie is a good one as an inside-Hollywood movie or social commentary perhaps. The movie to me just seemed pretty pointless and it wasn't going anywhere. It all still could had worked out had the characters been better ones.

You can't really blame the actors for not letting the characters work out well enough for the movie. I mean when you have actors like Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner and Edmond O'Brien involved, you can hardly blame the acting can you?

The movie is just too much talking and not enough drama or romance involved. I didn't very much liked watching this movie and didn't feel involved with it enough but nevertheless I also couldn't hate it. After all, it certainly ain't no bad movie but it still is one that comes across as being uninteresting and pretty pointless overall.


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