Saturday, June 16, 2012

Barefoot Contessa Premieres - 1954

Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner
Must have found it ironical indeed to be attending the Hollywood premiere of “The Barefoot Contessa” with her press agent, David Hanna in view of the fact that Edmond O’Brien’s savage portrayal of a press agent is a highlight of the picture.  But then she had her hose on and was gorgeously gowned besides.  

Lauren Bacall, David Niven, and Mrs (Hjordis Tersmeden)

Humphrey Bogart, one of the stars of the picture, caused raised eyebrows by not appearing at the premiere.  Wife, Lauren Bacall, showed up with the David Nivens, explaining that Bogie had an early studio call the next day.  That was a lame excuse, because Humphrey is noted for staying up to all hours.  And you can bet that he was wide awake enough to discuss audience reaction with Lauren when she got home.  Trouble?

[Source: Movieland Feb 1955]

Bogart and Bacall return from "Barefoot" shoot

It is widely disputed that Bogart had an early call.  From what I was able to find out, the "no show" could be from one of several reasons:
  • Bogart rarely saw his own films.  This included premieres.
  • He thought Ava Gardner unprofessional and did not enjoy working with her
  • Gardner had recently broken up with Bogart's friend, Frank Sinatra
  • He had a huge argument with Bacall, who found Bogart with his secretary/toupee and hair stylist/self described mistress, Verita Thompson.  Bogie's solution?  Let Lauren go on a wild European shopping spree.
Bogart with Verita Thompson

The Milwaukee Sentinel dated November 21, 1954 had some fun commentary on the premiere:

"Ava was in a rosy-pink, body-molding sheath designed with a halter neckline, the full-length gown completely embroidered with matching pink sequins.  She wore a matching tiara, pink crystal earrings, long pink kid gloves, pink slippers, and carried a long pink fox stole.  It was a magnificent costume."

Ava looking Stunning

"Mrs. Robert Mitchum wore white lace, the dress embroidered with sequins with matching ful-length coat trimmed with white fox."
Ava Gardner

"Much longer hair was seen here than on smart women in the East - the longest ponytails in the world, and more red heads and white blonds than any other shade."

Ava Gardner

"Joan Crawford wore a stunning deep brown fallie gown with an elegant sable stole."

Charles Coburn

"Among the well-dressed men were Charles Coburn with a monocle, Edward Arnold, Victor McLaglen, and producer Jerry Wald."

Edward Arnold

"Lauren Bacall was in red and black brocade embroidered with gold coin dots."

Lauren Bacall

"Louella Parsons, who came with James McHugh, was in an orangey-red gown with a beautiful mink stole and a magnificent diamond necklace and diamond earrings."

Louella Parsons

"Red-harired Abbe Lane arrived with her husband Xavier Cugat, in a bright green lace gown embroidered with sequins."

Abbe Lane and Xavier Cugat

"Doris Day was in navy tulle and silk jersey with a mink cape."

Doris Day

""Marla English was in gold lace with a white fox stole"

Marla English

""Mrs. David Niven, who came with her husband, wore a white beaded net gown with a great skirt with swags of net and a white fox fur stole."

Lauren Bacall, David Niven, and Mrs

"Janice Wells, TV actress, in a white brocaded shirtwaist type gown girdled with a gold cummerbund, posed barefoot in front of the theater."


Guernsey Girl said...

When stars were really talented - wow! Can anyone lend me a time machine?

Desiree said...

Swoon! How glamorous.

Desiree, Pop-o-matic Deluxe!


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