This is the life of a Hollywood movie star named Maria, as told by writer/director Harry et al, from being discovered in Madrid, Spain, until her funeral in Italy.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Humphrey Bogart ... Harry Dawes
Ava Gardner ... Maria Vargas
Edmond O'Brien ... Oscar Muldoon
Marius Goring ... Alberto Bravano
Valentina Cortese ... Eleanora Torlato-Favrini (as Valentina Cortesa)
Rossano Brazzi ... Count Vincenzo Torlato-Favrini
Elizabeth Sellars ... Jerry
Warren Stevens ... Kirk Edwards
Franco Interlenghi ... Pedro Vargas
Mari Aldon ... Myrna
Alberto Rabagliati Alberto Rabagliati ... Proprietor
Enzo Staiola ... Busboy
Maria Zanoli ... Maria's Mother
Renato Chiantoni ... Maria's Father
Bill Fraser 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 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 garykmcd

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The world's most beautiful animal! See more »


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Did You Know?


Linda Darnell, who was deeply in love with Joseph L. Mankiewicz, hoped he would keep the Maria Vargas character for her. Missing it was the biggest deception of her entire life. Her relationship with the director ceased soon afterwards. See more »


When Dawes is speaking to Maria about coming to America, her blouse first only has one button undone. About half-way through the scene, a second button is undone. See more »


Drunken blonde: I don't even believe you're playing Pinochle.
See more »


Referenced in Parenthood: The M Word (2013) See more »

User Reviews

All About Maria
24 November 2017 | by ptmcq05See all my reviews

Four years after the phenomenal All About Eve, Joseph L Manckiewicz moves away from Broadway and lands in Hollywood. Naturally, everything in Hollywood is bound to be louder, more vulgar, more shallow and more expensive and surprisingly less relatable, less credible. Ava Gardner is breathtakingly beautiful and Jack Cardiff photographs her like a goddess but that's no match for any of the exchanges between Bette Davis and Thelma Ritter in All About Eve. Here the soap opera elements dominate the tale. The Italian aristocrats as played by Rossano Brazzi and Valentina Cortese take the story for a ludicrous spin. Josseph L Manckiewicz as a writer and director makes sure the film doesn't become "The Legend Of Lylah Clare" for instance. Humphery Bogart plays the lead and I forgot to mention it. I wonder why. He's wonderful in it but the Oscar went to Edmond O'Brian for his unbearable press agent. Ava Gardner presence transformed this lurid tale into a classic and it's bound to remain so for ever.

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Italy | USA


English | Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

30 September 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Barefoot Contessa See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Transoceanic Film, Figaro See more »
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Technical Specs


| (dvd release) (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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