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Gilda (1946).

February 23, 2010

The Scoop:
After knocking around Hollywood in bit parts for years, Rita Hayworth’s career finally exploded after playing the title role in “Gilda.”

A small-time American hood (Glenn Ford) finds work in a South American casino only to come between the crooked owner (George Macready) and his singer girlfriend (Hayworth). Then the fireworks begin. There are a lot of plot shenanigans going on, but the real meat of the film is the explosive love triangle centered on Gilda.

Director Charles Vidor and a small handful of screenwriters put together a sultry, vaguely noirish cocktail with this one. Ford and Macready hit all the right notes as the lusty men brawling over Gilda, but Hayworth is the one who steals the show. She didn’t have much range, but she definitely had a lot of presence. Her performance is still one of the sexiest of all time, making this much more erotically charged than most films of the period. It’s a little slow in stretches, but still a good watch.

Best Bit:
Hayworth’s hair toss while performing “Put the Blame on Mame.”

Side Note:
Hayworth and Ford had so much quickie sex between takes that the Columbia Pictures executive in charge of the production not only had to keep them apart when not doing scenes, but also had to bug her dressing room in order to enforce the punishment.

Companion Viewing:
“Casablanca” (1942).

Fan site.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

Gilda sure knows how to make an entrance:

“Put the Blame on Mame” (Hayworth’s vocals were dubbed by Anita Ellis):

“Amado Mio”:

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