Time: 110 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Film Noir/Romance
As one of Hollywood's classic screen sirens, Rita Hayworth is a force to be reckoned with. I've been trying to watch GILDA for some time now, since it is the role that made her famous and the one no man could ever forget. After soaking up this movie, it's not hard to understand why men wanted her. She's beautiful, talented, sympathetic, flirtatious and downright sexy. She claims this movie ruined her personal life because men wanted to marry Gilda and woke up with Rita. That may be, but that's only because she takes this role and makes it shine. Gilda could have been like every other female part in a film noir of that era. Hayworth makes Gilda the only character you care about, the one you just can't take your eyes off of. I wanted to go home with her and I'm resolutely heterosexual.
She's the tough girl who makes her own way in the world without shame or remorse. That is until she re-encounters her one true love. From their it's a battle of wills to see who's going to blink first and betray the other to her new husband, who just happens to be his boss. Make no mistake, this may be a film noir on the surface, but underneath it's all desperation, hatred and uncontrolled passion. Everyone instantly falls for Gilda, a woman who's not ashamed by her love for men or the way she controls them. I don't really understand why Gilda would get her panties in a twist over a nobody like Johnny Ferrill, played by Glenn Ford, but he's the best choice when one considers the options. I guess when you come from the wrong side of the tracks you can't be too choosy...even if you're drop dead gorgeous.
Unfortunately for Gilda, though all men desire her, no one ever wanted to marry her before she met Ballin Mundson, played by George Macready. He wanted her from the moment he laid eyes on her and married her the next day. Gilda knew a good meal ticket when she saw one and decided to take the chance. If anything it got her out of America, away from a job with no future they allude later in the film to a sordid past, I'm thinking stripper and into the upper classes of society in Buenos Aires. So what if she doesn't love her husband. At least her quality of life has improved. Besides one can always find love. Money on the other hand doesn't grow on trees. In the case of Mundson he launders it through his illegal casino for an international cartel of which he is the head. Their prime directive seems to be to corner the market on tungsten, forcing the rest of the world to pay their outrageous prices for this necessary metal. It really doesn't matter. This isn't the interesting part of the story.