Just arrived in Argentina, small-time crooked gambler Johnny Farrell is saved from a gunman by sinister Ballin Mundson, who later makes Johnny his right-hand man. But their friendship based on mutual lack of scruples is strained when Mundson returns from a trip with a wife: the supremely desirable Gilda, whom Johnny once knew and learned to hate. The relationship of Johnny and Gilda, a battlefield of warring emotions, becomes even more bizarre after Mundson disappears...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Farrell asks to cut the deck at the blackjack table, he is shown shuffling the deck. See more »
To me a dollar was a dollar in any language. It was my first night in the Argentine and I didn't know much about the local citizens, but I knew about American sailors, and I knew I better get out of there.
See more »
You're out of practice, aren't you? Dancing, I mean... I could help you get in practice again, Johnny... Dancing, I mean."
As tawdry a film noir could get in 46. Not sure if it needed narration - or if they had to to have more of it - and then it gets too much in the second half. It also helps to check out the special features on the Criterion disc, in particular the segment with Eddie Muller. I had a sense that some thing is sort of 'off' with Farril and Ball in, which is what their connection is in this love triangle.
At first you think it is just the 'employee has a thing with his employers gal who used to date the employee, what are the odds'- but the pull from Johnny to this guy who *sounds* immediately like a Nazi (the actor was later in Paths of Glory) had the air of salacious tension. That it got by the censors or Hayes people is extraordinary; it's classy and steamy at once. It's also produced and co-written by women, and that gets reflected in how Hayworth is depicted: she's powerful and sexy, But her vulnerability and conflicts are even stronger and grow in pofundity; who is Gilda to Ballin, what is he to her, how is Johnny keeping his composure not exploding as he looks at her in every scene? Its not just eye candy, it's a real performance with depth. Ford matches her beat for beat in his own, and made his breakthrough by creating a performance with a ton of subtext and pain.
But goddamn does Hayworth make an all time masterpiece of a dame here, with an intense, mostly hot but almost nasty connection. Gilda also has the added benefit of getting more twisted and (for its time) sordid in the melodrama as it goes on, and Macready as the cold-blooded husband. All three work so well together, and this coupled with the whole sensual/dangerous mood to it all, how it is photographed by the great Rudolph Mate, and those songs that are fun cinematic set pieces first, like any good dance number, and iconic for their sexy allure second (the acoustic Blame on Mame is sweet too), and you got a minor classic.
Shame the end tops Woman in the Window for 'whaaaa?'ness
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this