Works of JOY: Rita Hayworth in GILDA 1946

Ted Keer's picture
Submitted by Ted Keer on Sun, 2006-10-01 17:09

GILDA 1946 Glenn Ford, Rita Hayworth
Showing on TCM 8PM EDT Oct 28

A romantic Drama in the best sense of the word, this film forever secured for Rita Hayworth the title of "sex goddess," a title which, in real life, she found a tragic personal frustration.

Directed by Charles Vidor, Gilda stars Glenn Ford, (recently deceased,) as Johnny Farrell, a handsome, streetwise adventurer and romantic lead who "makes his own luck." Having just ended a relationship, our hero moves to Buenos Aires as the war in Europe is coming to a close. He Meets Ballin Mundson, a German expatriate with a dueling scar, who rescues him from a mugging in the opening scene. The classy and witty dialog and reparté is reminiscent of such films as the romantic comedy
His Girl Friday
, and the romantic drama To Have and Have Not. Originally cast for Humphrey Bogart who turned the role down, Glenn Ford's Johnny becomes the right hand man at Mundson's illegal Buenos Aires casino. Mundson, driven and unhappy, goes away leaving Johnny in charge. He returns, grinning like a fool, wed to Rita Hayworth's glorious Gilda, one of the most famous screen roles ever played. Unbeknownst to Mundson, Johnny and Gilda have a past. The three toast "Disaster to the wench that did our Johnny wrong," and murder ensues. The film is well plotted, and slyly written. Hayworth is at her best, singing in the nightclub, and, by removing just one glove, performing perhaps the most seductive striptease in cinematic history. I first saw this movie a year ago, and have watched it more than six times since. It cannot recommend it more highly. Hayworth also shines in The Lady from Shanghai, written and directed by, and starring Orson Welles, who was married to Hayworth at the time. Sadly, Hayworth found it impossible to live up to the fantasy ideal of Gilda in her life off stage. After several failed marriages, she complained that men "went to bed with Gilda, and woke up with me." Above, (click image for full size) Gilda removes a glove; Below, Welles & Hayworth in The Lady from Shanghai 1948.

Ted Keer, 01 Oct, 2006, USA

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