Saturday 20 January 2018

There's a night to remember in Gardner's top three

Ava Gardner as Maria Vargas
Ava Gardner as Maria Vargas

Paul Whitington

The Barefoot Contessa

(1954)

Perhaps fittingly, the price of fame is the theme of this cerebral 1950s drama from Joseph Mankiewicz. Humphrey Bogart plays a film director who comes across a beautiful dancer called Maria Vargas (Gardner, pictured) in Spain, but is soon racked with guilt about the part he played in making her a star.

Bhowani Junction

(1956)

Stewart Granger co-starred with Gardner in this George Cukor epic as a British army colonel charged with trying to keep things under control during the handover after Indian independence. But he is entirely obscured by his spectacular co-star, who did a fine job of playing a conflicted Anglo-Indian woman.

The Night of the Iguana

(1964)

In perhaps her finest screen performance of all, Ava Gardner channelled her worldly disillusionment into her fascinating portrayal of Maxine Faulk, the formidable owner of an old hotel at a Mexican beach resort who becomes entangled with Richard Burton's disgraced Episcopalian priest.

Irish Independent

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