I’m terrible at remembering which actors (other than the obvious film icons) appeared in which movies, so when I was watching The Barefoot Contessa and thinking how much it reminded me, at times, of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, I didn’t remember that Ava Gardner was the title character in both… but she was, and that probably has a lot to do with how similar the films felt.
The rest was that the story was just so similar in parts.
Which is weird when you come to think of it. One of them was quintessentially British, the other so American that it actually starred Humphrey Bogart… yet I have the feeling they will become interchangeable in my mind, a couple of mid-century myths of a doomed soul among the beautiful people.
Unlike some films that are great but not good, this one is eminently watchable, with Bogart back on form–I hadn’t enjoyed some of his other 50s performances as much as the early ones–and beautifully cynical views of high society, which is always fun coming from Hollywood.
But is it a hugely memorable one? Probably not. I think it makes the list only because of the creative way the narrators were swapped around. So watch it if you’re looking to be transported for a couple of hours, but don’t expect it to change your life.
Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer whose latest book is a romp through a tropical paradise… with monsters. Lost Island Rampage is available for purchase here.