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Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

United States 1954 130 mins.

Humphrey Bogart plays Harry Dawes, a recovering alcoholic film director who plucks simple nightclub dancer Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner) out of obscurity and turns her into an international movie star. The influential Roman fashion designers the Fontana Sisters created Gardner’s costumes, including the iconic and controversial “pretino” (based on a priest’s cassock and complete with a giant rosary), which was later referenced by Piero Gherardi for Anita Ekberg’s enticing costume in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. “Mankiewicz’s pitiless take on the dissolute, dispiriting world of international filmmaking, a veritable film à clef…the film’s aura of profound and limitless disenchantment looks ahead to Fellini and Godard’s Contempt.”—Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Genres: Drama, Romance

Appears in: Italian Style