One of the most appreciated and talked-about films noirs in history, Gilda (1946) became the best known film in Rita Hayworth’s career. The character she played here was considered, at its time, the definitive femme fatale, and many people have seen a perfect resemblance between Rita and Gilda. Moreover, this film established a successful partnership between Rita and Glenn Ford, with whom she appeared in other four motion pictures.
“Gilda” is a story about love and hate. The characters come to life so realistically, that one might be tempted to believe that the gambler and, later, the casino manager Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) exists in real life, too. The iconic and ethereal character of the film, who is also the star who dominates the entire plot, is the one and only Gilda. You will get to see some wonderful musical numbers of Rita Hayworth; but the most discussed of all is the controversial “Put the Blame on Mame”, where Rita is stripping off one of her gloves while dancing and singing in a very sexy way. It was a decent, but typical striptease scene – maybe the most famous in the history of classic movies. She also wears for this scene the splendid black strapless dress, designed by Jean Louis.
I might as well mention the sinister character Ballin Mundson, the owner of the casino in South America and Gilda’s husband. George Macready’s performance here reminded me very much of Erich von Stroheim’s performance in “As You Desire Me”, with Greta Garbo.
All in all, I highly recommend you to watch “Gilda”, not just because it is one of the most famous old films in Hollywood, but also because it is a very interesting and a very good production, directed by the gifted Charles Vidor, who also directed other two great films with Rita Hayworth, and that I recommend as well: “Cover Girl” and “The Loves of Carmen”(a production of Rita Hayworth’s own company).