Gilda (Vidor, 1946): BFI Southbank NFT1, 6.15pm
King Vidor's steamy 1940s noir got the re-release treatment from the
BFI in 2011 and is on here as part of the Rita Hayworth season. It is also being screened on 23rd and 28th June and David Benedict introduces the film tonight. More details here. The
film is perhaps most famous for Hayworth's central performance and
John Patterson has written about her smouldering display here in the Guardian.
Time Out review:
'When Gilda was released in 1946,
striking redhead Rita Hayworth had already starred in a series of
musicals that made her America’s pin-up, yet here she delivers the same
va-voom (in sundry shoulderpad-tastic Jean Louis outfits) while always
hinting at the anxieties beneath the ‘love goddess’ surface. It was
the defining role of her career, yet it says a lot about the rest of
the movie that Hayworth’s fire never overwhelms it.
There’s an element of ‘Casablanca’ exoticism in the Buenos Aires setting, where moody leading man Glenn Ford plays a drifter taken under the wing of casino owner George Macready
– a silky-voiced character actor who always brought an element of
sexual ambiguity to the screen. When the latter marries Hayworth on the
spur of the moment, Ford bristles because he has previous with this
femme fatale and is still feeling it. ‘Hate,’ as the pearly dialogue has
it, ‘can be a very exciting emotion.’ From then on, homoerotic
undertones, atmospheric black-and-white camerawork, Ford’s fight not to
let bitterness get the better of decency and Hayworth’s ever-present
heat combine in one of the great films noirs, softened just a little by
the moralising censorship strictures of the time. See it.'
Here is Hayworth's extraordinary first appearance in Gilda