Academy Awards 1954 -
Best Supporting Actor: Edmond O'Brien
Description by OLDIES.com:
Sparkling with "juicy dialogue" (Leonard Maltin) and a superb cast (including Edmond O'Brien in an Oscar-winning performance), this landmark film is "spectacular...ingeniously-fashioned, original entertainment" (Variety).
With extraordinary beauty, talent and grace, Spanish dancer Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner) was born to be a star. Aided by American movie director Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart), she attains great success and fortune in Hollywood's land of dreams. But, though she gives her all for stardom, there is one thing Maria will never compromise - her soul. No matter what the cost, The Barefoot Contessa will dance to no one's music but her own.
In one of the last films before his death in 1957, Humphrey Bogart plays washed-up film director Harry Dawes, who sees another chance at success when he meets Spanish dancer Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner) and recognizes her star potential. Harry's willingness to let Maria keep her independence, and his steadfast character, wins him her undying friendship; the two weather the Hollywood seas, made stormy by Maria's own tempestuous spirit and the greedy nature of the film business. Maria's final break from Hollywood throws her into the arms of a Prince Charming whose secrets lead her down a destructive path. Impatience with Hollywood is evident in every line of director-writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz's dialogue (as in the unforgettable ALL ABOUT EVE), but he carefully plants the seeds of Maria's decline in her character rather than simplistically painting her fate as a reaction to fame. Bogart, in an role atypical for him of platonic friend to his female costar, is the touchstone of the movie and its most sympathetic character, while Gardner's eyes snap with passion as she searches for her fairy-tale ending.
Film director Harry Dawes (Humphrey Bogart) contemplates, in a series of flashbacks, the life of beautiful Hollywood star Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner). A flamenco dancer at a second-rate club when a trio of film business bigwigs discover her, soon Vargas has acquired fame, riches, and love. On the surface, it seems as if she has it all; but a dark secret in her marriage and Maria's fiery spirit lead to tragedy. Spicy dialogue from director-writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz and the complex but platonic friendship between Harry and Maria make this film memorable.
Love Story |