Film Box Retrospective: ‘Gilda’ with Kathleen Ellison

November 15, 2012

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If ever you want a dark romance, “Gilda” is an excellent choice. They no longer produce movies with this tone and feel.  “Gilda” debuted in 1946 and was directed by Charles Vido. It stars the sensuous and elegant Rita Hayworth, alongside Glenn Ford and George Macready.

Deep in Buenos Aires, Johnny Farrell (Ford) is only looking for a place to escape his past and gamble, until he meets a mysterious man who sends him to a secret and very illegal casino. When he finds the mysterious man is the casino owner, Ballin Mundson (Macready), a man with a shady background and even shadier business investments, he manages to get a job working at the casino. Johnny has a good life at the casino until Mundson goes out of town and brings back a wife. Unknown to Mundson, the new wife, Gilda (Hayworth), and Johnny already know each other, which threatens to spill over into the present along with the growing dangers of Mundson and Johnny’s illegal activities.

Rita Hayworth is absolutely gorgeous (as always), and perfect in her acting. She manages to convey a character that is both fiery and vulnerable, all while keeping an alluring desirability. The movie should be watched, if not for the plot, then for her famous scene, “Put the Blame on Mame.” With her smile and smoldering eyes, it’s no wonder Johnny’s losing his mind.

Ford effortlessly portrays the hard hearted and angry Johnny, especially in the deep loyalty and trust between Johnny and Mundson. The tension between Johnny and Gilda is so palpable, the viewer is led to wonder if Gilda’s husband is a little slow at not noticing how strong their relationship is. Their every exchange is filled with an undercurrent of hate and love, and their warped, almost abusive, relationship makes the tension of plot all the more potent.

This cinematic legend should be watched by all. It is a classic that simply enraptures the audience with its dark twisted love and gripping criminal action. The plot is so elegant and the cinematography is artfully executed, easily emphasizing the tension in the scenes between Johnny and Gilda. This story of a femme fatale, a crime boss, and a casino is worth the time.

Posted in: A&E

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