A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino discovers his employer's new wife is his former lover.A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino discovers his employer's new wife is his former lover.A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino discovers his employer's new wife is his former lover.
There is no golden age film I've seen quite like Gilda, full of strange people with highly-charged emotions saying and doing odd thought-provoking things in semi-comical ways - if you include violence and swearing you could say that's 90% of modern movies though! The subject of hate = love has been explored better since Gilda, but with me the first cut is always the deepest - I first saw this when I was a more impressionable youngster. What we have is a scintillating four way love/hate relationship between Ballin, Johnny, Ballin & Johnny's little friend with no name, & Gilda that ultimately becomes the "usual" tawdry tangle, resolved by their nightclub's toilet-attendant. Huh? When you're in the middle of this fantasy world you can swallow all of this and more.
Probably the second best B picture ever made it only starts to feel like one during the last 30 minutes down to the metaphorical walking into the sunset ending. There's so many good bits: The inventive and relentlessly snappy dialogue between the main characters throughout the film; Johnny quoting statistically that there are more insects in the world than women; Johnny waking up at 5am to the sound of Gilda singing to Pio the toilet-attendant; Pio's reaction after the midget industrialist killed himself in the toilets; Ballin describing his little friend's attributes to Johnny who claims he's just as good; Ballin asking Gilda if she was decent when she was; Johnny telling Ballin categorically that he taught Gilda ALL she knew; Gilda's little striptease - what creeps there were in that club - and fancy stopping her!
Not quite as good as, but a worthy bookend for Casablanca, THE best B picture ever made.
- Apr 18, 2004