Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1954 • United States, Italy
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien
Having trained a caustic eye on the backstage world of Broadway with ALL ABOUT EVE, director Joseph L. Mankiewicz applied his gift for crafting cutting dialogue and memorably drawn characters to another show-business exposé with this witty look behind the glamour of the Hollywood studio system. Humphrey Bogart plays the washed-up movie director who, while in Madrid, scouts the beautiful Spanish dancer Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner) and resolves to make her a screen star. His plan succeeds, reviving his career and making her the toast of Hollywood—but even at the pinnacle of her fame, the earthy Maria longs for more.