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
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 »
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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