Generally unconvincing despite some sparky inside-Hollywood dialogue as you'd expect from the author, although More About Eve, it is not. The conceit is a sound one but the decision to have a split three-way narrative and - more problematically - little development of the object of attention, grounds this one after Bogart's slice of the pie is over (the final romance is too hurried). Gardner looks ravishing though.
35mm, UCLA restoration, rewatched. The last half-hour with Rossano Brazzi is so stucked of European clichés that almost compromises the magnificence of the former dialectic image-script, in which the twilight dimension of classicism is superiorly written and photographed by a critic conscience. Inseparable from this twilight, it's Ava Gardner's aura-figure, undoubtedly "the most beautiful animal in the world."
(2.5 | 2K) Can someone kill the narrators? It's too evident the way Mankiewicz manipulates the narrative. The stitches show albeit all the wrapping. It feels like a shit-shot's show off. That ever returning to the funeral present tense is a drag. The ending is very maladroit. And there are also good things.
Non sono (quasi) mai stata affascinata dai personaggi di bogart (sì, mi merito la sassaiola) ma ogni singola battuta che pronuncia in questo film è un piccolo capolavoro. E se questo non bastasse, l'atmosfera che regna in questo film, dall'inizio alla fine, è qualcosa di raro e preziosissimo.
It is surprising that someone as savvy as Mankiewicz could have made a movie as unhip as this. It is fun to watch but it is crap. Ava Gardner is something special, however. Jack Cardiff's cinematography is sublime, as usual.
A modestly proportioned behind-the-scenes Hollywood melodrama that collapses under the weight of a triptych of narrators. The friendship sans romance between Bogart and Gardner was refreshing, charming, and unexpected.