Film – Gilda
Director – Charles Vidor
Writer – (Story) E.A. Ellington (Adaptation) Jo Eisinger
Stars – Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready
Category – Film-Noir
During the 1940s and 50s, Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford starred together in half a dozen or so films. Quite honestly with Hayworth being married five times, and Ford married four times, it is a bit surprising that they never found themselves at the altar together.
They did make quite the duo on screen however. Gilda is the story of a small time gambler Johnny Farrell (Ford) being hired to work for a new boss Ballin Mundson (Macready) in Buenos Aires. The crime boss is married to Gilda (Hayworth) with whom Johnny Farrell has a past with.
This is one of Rita Hayworth’s best roles, and perhaps even her signature role. There is enough intrigue with the palpable tension of the love triangle with Hayworth, Ford, and Macready. It is a stunning performance by Hayworth, and the direction by Charles Vidor, and cinematography by Rudolf Mate, give this film a memorable and fantastic look and appeal.
While it can be argued that Vidor was trying to capture the feel of Casablanca, with the casino and seemingly familiar feel, it is the characters of this film as portrayed by Hayworth and Ford that give this film its complete depth.
This film is what put Hayworth into the stratosphere; in fact she renegotiated her contract with Columbia Picture to get a percentage of the film sales.
I do not want to give away to much of the plot, because I think that most have not seen this film. I would bet that most people’s only brush with this film is the fact that the scene where Rita Hayworth is introduced to Johnny Farrell is reused in the film The Shawshank Redemption.
A couple of bits of trivia from this film, as it was obviously a different time, the scene where Rita Hayworth slaps Glenn Ford, she actually hit him so hard that it broke two of his teeth, but he maintained the scene until it was over. There is another scene where Ford slaps Hayworth, and he did not want to do it, but both Charles Vidor and Hayworth convinced Ford to do it. Even though she was fully expecting it, she was still stunned by the effect of the slap.
Although Glenn Ford was the leading man of this film, he does not appear in any of the film posters, they were all focused on Hayworth. This is a very entertaining and interesting film. I hope that you find the time to take a look at it.