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Nothing from our era seems to compare
scotty1221 June 2002
The 40s and 50s produced many alluring performances from beautiful and sexy actresses and Rita Hayworth's in Gilda is one of the most provocative of all. The film is good and quite deep, the male leads are better, but Hayworth's performance is simply stunning and unforgettable. She may not have been the most beautiful 40s actress (Gene Tierney and Veronica Lake were more classic beauties imo), but if you look closely her ability to show the sweet, the vulnerable, and especially the wanton, in women has not been bettered. Somehow her character gets under the male viewer's skin in the same way as it does to the male characters in the film.

Modern film femme fatales are a pale shadow by comparison, for example Linda Fiorentino or Sharon Stone. I'm not sure why. It could be either that nowadays allure is too much equated with sex or nudity (less tantalising than several dashes of suggestion) or maybe it's that present day equivalents are portrayed as hard as nails without the necessary mix of sadness and vulnerability.

Whatever, if you've never appreciated what the appeal of 40s noir is, this is definitely one to try.
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Put the Blame on that Dress
four_star_diva25 August 2002
And to think there used to be movies without graphic sex scenes that still got the point across, and how. The sexual tension between Ford and Hayworth in this movie is enough to make you run for the cold showers.

Hayworth is gorgeous and so is Ford. They are so good together and in this movie they are positively great. When great screen lovers are mentioned, I've often wondered why Ford and Hayworth aren't among them.

This is one of my absolute favorites.
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A fusion of sexual heat, jealousy, fear and hatred - terrific stuff!
stephen-35725 January 2005
Johnny is a small time, but talented, hustler who finds himself at the wrong end of a gun on the dark back streets of Buenos Aires. He is rescued by a mysterious and controlling stranger, Ballin Mundson, who ends up being the owner of a club/casino that operates under the radar of the law. Johnny and Ballin form a close partnership with Johnny being the "man who runs the joint" and Ballin the Master. When Ballin takes a short leave and comes back married to the gorgeous Gilda, a threesome develops that puts a strain on the partnership. There is a burning mutual dislike between Johnny and Gilda. When Gilda feigns ignorance over not remembering his name, she coyly replies, "Johnny. So hard to remember . . . and so easy to forget." Of course there's much more to their acquaintance than they are willing to acknowledge, and a fusion of sexual heat, jealousy, fear and hatred keep the tension tightly wound which fuels the film. And of course there is Rita Hayworth up front and center. All the accolades that have been showered on her sexy "striptease" interpretation of "Put the Blame on Mame" are true! And still this film has much more to offer; an economical but effective story line; a tight witty script loaded with innuendo; and superb acting all around, especially the overlooked icy performance of George Macready as Ballin Mundson.
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Rita Hayworth Was THE Movie Star of the 1940's...
Donald J. Lamb15 April 1999
You could not have come up with a better title for this seductive thriller. GILDA is what this film is all about and Rita Hayworth is so engrossing and beautiful, you sometimes forget what is going on and just stare. "Put the Blame on Mame" is one of film history's more memorable singing sequences and we get to see it twice. Look out for the famous "hair-toss" scene the prisoners in SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION cheer at. There is a film to talk about here but the alluring Ms. Hayworth is always on the tip of your tongue.

Glenn Ford is the anti-hero of this excellent Noir portrait of double-crosses, jealousy, and forbidden love. He has many flaws, not the least being his infatuation of Gilda. Director Charles Vidor looked as though he was trying to capture a CASABLANCA-esque feel with the casino in Buenos Aires and people of all walks of life toiling within. There are even some familiar head nods at a roulette table. This is no CASABLANCA, but the end of WWII is somewhere in the backdrop and the stoic "Ballin Mundson", played by George Macready (PATHS OF GLORY), seems to have some foreign matters happening on the side, like "Victor Lazlo". The crisp black and white cinematography is effective, especially in the casino where 2/3 of the film takes place.

GILDA is all Hayworth and, whether you are a male or female viewer, you see a good performance. She is great to look at, but her dramatic scenes are equally great to see. GILDA is an all-time classic that ranks with MALTESE FALCON and DOUBLE INDEMNITY. Throughout the picture, the blame is put on Rita for most of the plot's turning points. There may just be someone as sweet as her flowing red hair inside waiting to come out. Glenn Fords' Johnny Farrel (perfect name for Noir character) cannot look past her deceiving flirtation and realize that the bad guy is right in front of him. Another triumphant film of the 1940's that works every time, GILDA is Rita Hayworth's claim to fame and sent her into the stratosphere as a star. She was more than just a pin-up.

RATING: 9 of 10
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Steaming Up the Argentine
bkoganbing27 August 2006
Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth made five films together, but when they are talked of as a screen team, it's only Gilda that people are really talking about. Their first film was before World War II, The Lady in Question where both are young Columbia contract players who were in the same film and no effort was made to bill them as a team. The Loves of Carmen which was made after Gilda was a disaster for Glenn Ford, though Rita was at her sexiest. Affair in Trinidad was a good effort to recapture the magic of Gilda after Rita's storm marriage to Aly Khan and the last film The Money Trap was a Glenn Ford film where Rita has a brief role as an old girl friend. She was the best thing in that film by far.

Do you remember in Cabaret how both the Liza Minnelli and Michael York characters find out they are sex partners to the same German bi-sexual man? That's essentially what happens in Gilda though with the Code firmly in place it's not something we talk about. George MacReady, a man of many interests rescues Glenn Ford from the docks of Buenos Aires after he's won some money from sailors in a crap game. They hit it off and Ford becomes his right hand man in running the casino MacReady operates.

Then MacReady brings home a wife and lo and behold it turns out to be an old girl friend of Ford's, Rita Hayworth. Add to that some Nazi refugees have some business with MacReady over some tungsten mines.

The real emphasis in this film is sex and personified by the best embodiment of sex ever on the silver screen. This film raked in a lot of dollars for Harry Cohn and Columbia Pictures. Hayworth, voice dubbed as usual, had a big number here in Put the Blame on Mame. It became a signature tune for her the rest of her life.

One thing did disappoint me about Gilda. For a story that took place in Buenos Aires who many say is the most beautiful city in the world, it would have been nice to see some location shots, even if it was just some newsreels to establish the time and place. The film might as well have been in Albuquerque.

But when you've got Rita to look at, it could be at the South Pole.
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You gotta give this movie its due for style and sex appeal!!!
MartinHafer15 April 2007
This film is a great example of a very good film whose style and sense of sex appeal actually surpasses the plot. Now this isn't to say that the film has a bad plot--no, it's good enough. It's just that the wonderfully Noir-like dialog and Rita Hayworth's incredible sex appeal are what you are left with when the film is over--not the plot! Despite being a Rita Hayworth starring vehicle, she actually doesn't take up the lion's share of the screen. In fact, she doesn't even make an appearance until about 20 minutes into the film! This task of anchoring the film is given to a young and very effective Glenn Ford--who does a fine job as a street-wise but smart young punk wanting to make it to "the big leagues" and stop hustling for small change. When Ford meets up with George Macready, it's an incredibly memorable Noir moment. The crackling dialog between them and Ford's not even bothering to thank Macready for saving his life is so stylish and made the Film Noir lover within me happy! Later, in another great scene, Ford has just been worked over by a bouncer from a high class casino when he finds out this is Macready's business! Instead of being angry, both strike up a working arrangement--and Ford dispatches the bouncer is a brutal manner! Only later, after Ford has been Macready's right-hand man for some time does Hayworth enter the film. The reaction to her arrival indicates that there is SOME unfinished business between the two--but now Rita is Macready's new wife! Now this brings me to one problem about the film. It isn't an insurmountable problem, but supposedly Rita and Glenn had been lovers some time before and their meeting now was by pure chance. However, considering that they were in love in New York and the film takes place in Argentina, you are left wondering "what are the odds?". Despite this, you aren't left wondering for long because of the sparkling dialog and chemistry between Rita and Glenn. In other words, because of all the steamy moments on the screen, you tend to forget the occasional inconsistency of the plot. And, speaking of steam, there is a lot. Despite apparently being pregnant during the shoot, Miss Hayworth managed to create the sexiest portrayal on film from the era...period. Her languid singing, her amazing dresses that looked like they were glued on and the dialog between her and Ford all created an amazing atmosphere that just can't be equaled. Sure, the plot was fine, but the mood--that's what makes this an exceptional film.

By the way, it is rather fascinating to see that in many ways this film mirrored the real-life antics of Rita--especially in regard to how she had a devil of a time picking men! Both Gilda and Rita both seemed to have a lot of sex destructiveness within them.
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Red Hot Rita in Complex Film Noir Gem
dglink29 April 2006
Rita Hayworth positively sizzles as Gilda in this film-noir classic. From her initial hair-tossing scene to her near striptease while she sings "Put the Blame on Mame," Hayworth is captivating and more than convincing as the object of every man's desires. However, beyond the overtly heterosexual lures of Ms. Hayworth lurks a complex and ambiguous romantic triangle that provides more intrigue than the surface plot, which involves a gambling casino that is a front for shady operations that originated in a recently defeated, Fascist country.

Hayworth may either be the intruding wedge that comes between Glenn Ford and George Macready or the object of both men's romantic interests. From the initial meeting between Ford as two-bit gambler Johnny Farrell and Macready as Ballin Mundson the casino owner, an ambiguous, possibly homo-erotic, attraction is established between the two men. The lingering looks that they exchange can be read in several ways, but Bogie never looked into Cagney's eyes like Ford looks into Macready's. After Ford begins to work for Macready, his devoted care and slavish attention to his boss's needs exceed the bounds of employee and employer. When Hayworth moves into Macready's home as his new wife, Ford returns the key to the house as though he were a jilted lover. Ford's increasing jealousy becomes apparent after Hayworth's arrival on the scene, but it is unclear of whom he is jealous, Hayworth or Macready or possibly both. Perhaps Ford's character is as unsure of his own feelings as is the viewer, which makes the ambiguity even more intriguing. Macready's jealousy also grows as the heat between Ford and Hayworth intensifies, but, again, it is ambiguous of whom he is jealous.

With a dazzling performance by Hayworth, excellent black-and-white photography by Rudoph Mate, fine direction by Charles Vidor, and layers of psychological possibilities to ponder, "Gilda" is as golden as its title suggests.
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The Great Tungsten Cartel Caper
theowinthrop16 March 2005
George Macready is playing the role that most people remember him for - Balin Munson, nightclub millionaire in Argentina, and a man with pure ice in his veins. He has two friends...Johnny (Glenn Ford), who Balin rescues from some toughs, and a slick, sharp little chum hidden in his walking stick - ever ready to cut up people that Balin doesn't like. He also has bigger plans. Men like Balin are not satisfied with successful nightclub/gambling casinos (however successfully they are run). During the Second World War several German and axis industrialists found Balin a comfortable man to do business with. It seems they were not sure if Der Fuhrer would win after all, so they transferred various papers concerning their international holdings in tungsten manufacturing to Balin for him to watch. Big mistake, for Balin realizes that the documents actually put these interests into his fully capable hands. And since he has managed to bribe a local tungsten manufacturer to sell out his plant in Argentina, if Balin can leave without police interference he can put together a cartel that will control the manufacture of such things as light bulb filaments. Sounds preposterous, but that is Balin's goal. He only has two problems: Johnny and Balin's beautiful wife Gilda (Rita Hayworth) apparently know each other and can't stand each other - but he has to leave them in charge of his nightclub while he's away. The other problem is Detective Maurice Obregon (Joseph Calleia) of the Argentine Police Department. Obregon suspects Balin's involvement in this illegal cartel scheme, and is watching him like a hawk.

"Gilda" is the film that made Rita Hayworth a star, and (with "Paths of Glory") gave Macready his justifiable claims to being one of Hollywood's best villains. Ironically many people don't think of Macready as anything but a villain in movies. It is true that in films like "Lady Without a Passport" and "The Big Clock" he was a villain, but he also could play decent people. He tries to help Spencer Tracy escape recapture and execution in "The Seventh Cross", and he is the wise minister and reformer who helps thwart Ray Milland (a.k.a. the Devil) in "Alias Nick Beal". But his Balin is pure, malevolent ice. There has been some suggestion that Balin's relationship with Johnny is actually a homosexual one (the business with the knife in the cane possibly being a metaphor for a male sex organ). Perhaps, but it is a weird friendship of two cynics who (briefly) enjoy each other's cynicism.

Curiously enough the business of the tungsten cartel is rarely discussed in going over the film. Like "Notorious" which came out about the same time, "Gilda" reminded American audiences of the large numbers of Nazis and collaborators who fled to South America in this period. In "Notorious" it was Brazil, and the gang (led by Alex Sebastian - Claude Rains) was fooling around with uranium. Here the idea of such people controlling a useful metal's manufacturing was not probed as much, probably because Balin was set to double cross them. But it is worrying to think of them coming so close to it.

In a discussion of the Warner Baxter film, "Such Men Are Dangerous" I mentioned that (like that film) there is a hint here of the 1928 mysterious death of millionaire Alfred Loewenstein, who managed to fall out of his private airplane over the English Channel. Here, to evade both the Nazis and Calleia, Balin arranges his plane to explode over the ocean (although the audience and Calleia see a figure parachute before it does so). Not quite the same problem as the Loewenstein mystery, but one can see the seed of the idea was there.

I would say this was certainly one of the better film noirs. It even was somewhat thought provoking.
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Uniqueness descending into the ordinary
Spondonman18 April 2004
This is one of my all time favourite films, much watched with all its faults. Even the best things can't be faultless but any faults can be more easily overlooked.

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.
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"Amado Mio Love Me Forever…"
Nazi_Fighter_David28 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Charles Vidor's "Gilda" opens to a noir world of gambling, shifting uncertainties with a crooked crapshooter whose self-made luck is about to change at the close of World War II.

Leaving with his winnings, Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is rescued by a nasty scar- faced casino owner Ballin Mundson (George Macready) with a dagger-cane…

The handsome gambler offers himself up as a croupier-manager to run Ballin's illegal joint… Promising to be faithful, Johnny is immediately accepted…

Unfortunately this included Ballin's dazzling new bride Gilda (Rita Hayworth), who happens to be Farrell's ex- girlfriend… Thus begins one of the most tortuous and hard to follow of noir's many twists and turns…

Rita captured everything about Gilda's character… She is extremely beautiful, malicious, provocative, greedy, vengeful, and awfully superstitious… And she makes it sound!

There is a heat that one could feel in Gilda and Johnny and its intensity is pretty high… The movie shifts into a tremendous struggle between temptation and loyalty, challenge and envy, suspicion and mistrust, passion and desire… This noirish thriller reunited a two legendary stars in a magical moment that reflected strongly a forbidden love…
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A cinematic version of Strawberry fields, where nothing is real.
jungophile24 April 2015
J.D. Salinger's famous protagonist, Holden Caufield, from Catcher in the Rye, would have hated this movie and for good reason; it is replete with tawdry phoniness. You might as well classify "Gilda" as science fiction rather than film noir since none of it has any resemblance to reality.

The characters are fake, the South American locale is fake, and the casino where most of the action takes place looks like something the Wizard of Oz's interior decorator came up with. And wait until you get a load of Macready's make up job; whoo, brother! Ballin Munson? What kind of ridiculous name is that? (Maybe to suggest Ballin' Munson?).

Welcome to Gilda's alternative universe, my friend, one which succeeds on an anthropological plane of investigation; helping we poor mortals of the 21st century determine what kind of escapist entertainment our ancestors found amusing.

In sum, "Gilda" is just a vehicle for Rita Hayworth to strut and dance around inher glittering designer gowns, waving her gorgeous locks of hair, and uttering lines of dialogue she would never be clever enough to come upwith on her own. And her guitar playing? Ha! Hayworth doesn't even bother trying to fake it, merely putting all four fingers over the strings and sliding them up and down like a spastic paralytic.

You may as well throw your suspension of disbelief out the window if you have any hope of getting through this overrated piece of schlock. Film noir? The only black thing about this movie is that so many reviewers here on are fooled by its utter submission to Hollywood studio period narrative conventions.

I can't help musing what John Garfield or Humphrey Bogart would have done with this "Johnny Farrel" character. Then again, THOSE leading men would never consent to playing a pussy-whipped simp as Ford does. Yessiree, ol' Glenn knows who the REAL star is in THIS picture; that's why he GOT this part. No mere man or mortal is going to upstage the bankable queen bee Rita Hayworth.

But by all means, "turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream" if you could care less about having an engaging story to sink your teeth into and just want an injection of dazzling, but ultimately vacuous, Hollywood glitz. It's well-produced for what it is, so I'll be generous and give it five stars; let's be charitable as well, and say it probably looked fantastic on the big screen. And for those of you who think I'm being a pedantic snob, I will be the first to cheer that "Gilda" is magnificent compared to the hyper-sexualized tripe being produced for the silver screen these days.

One final note: the copy I viewed from a torrent site had been been restored by the UCLA Film Archive, and it appears they put quite a bit of effort into their work. Such a pity they wasted their time and money on the cinematic equivalent of cotton candy.
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Hayworth Hot, Film Not
kenjha5 June 2008
Like "Casablanca," this film involves a saloon keeper in a love triangle, but that's about all this lackluster film has in common with that classic. Hayworth looks fabulous, especially when putting the blame on Mame, and she puts her considerable assets on display, but acting talent is not among them. Ford is the angry young man, although his anger towards Hayworth is never clearly explained. One would expect a flashback to their earlier relationship, but it never comes. Although it is a good-looking production, the script is anemic, with nothing interesting happening for at least the first half, and then some poorly contrived situations are presented.
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Less noir, more a star vehicle for Rita Hayworth's talents
nqure12 March 2002
Gilda is very much a star vehicle for Rita Hayworth's provocative sexiness and, in truth, she comes across, esp in the finale, as a vulnerable minx rather than an acid hearted femme fatale (Barbara Stanwyck in 'Double Indemnity).

The plot's noir elements initially hold your interest - the downbeat narrator, the love triangle, Mundsen's shadowy dealings with Germans/Nazis, double-crossing - and the dialogue fizzes brilliantly at times especially when Gilda & Johnny, her former paramour, encounter one another again (the talk on hate as an emotion).

Yet one gets the feeling that plot & character development are secondary elements and I found my attention wondering now & again due to the uneven pace of the plot.

I did like the idea of Farrell (Glenn Ford) becoming insanely jealous of Gilda - like Mundsen before him - after their marriage. She looks at a portrait of her supposedly dead husband and Farrell suddenly remembers her apparent faithlessness. Their love quickly turns again into mutual antagonism.

The ending is underpowered and appears tacked on. We've been waiting for Mundsen's return to settle an outstanding matter. This just highlights how far removed from standard noir films Gilda really is.

Some critics have read a gay subtext in the relationship between Johnny and Mundsen, but I think whatever nuances, if any, are quickly subsumed by the film's attention on Hayworth & her charms. Besides the character of Mundsen is simply not developed enough to cater for such emotional complexity.

Later generations like mine are perhaps not so aware of Hayworth's allure, so, in some ways, the film's mystique has diminished over time. Still, I can imagine the film's attraction especially for those returning from the grim battlefields of WW2. It is easy to understand how so many found this film captivating. I read somewhere that the film's chereographer actually based Hayworth's dance to 'Blame It On Mame' on a professional stripper he knew. Little wonder then that she became a pin-up on the first A-bomb dropped in peacetime. But it would be wrong just to class Hayworth as merely a pin-up. Her Gilda is also a vulnerable figure, hurt in the past, and on the rebound.
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Mmm. Mmm. Isn't She Lovely!?
Fuzzy Wuzzy23 September 2014
With our very first glimpse of the ever-elegant Rita Hayworth in Gilda it's so easy to understand why this beautiful woman was voted, time and again, one of Hollywood's #1 Pin-Up Girls of the 40's. Rita Hayworth is absolutely radiant in this flick. At the age of 28 Rita never looked sexier, or more alluring than this. Just her, alone, in this picture makes it well-worth viewing.

The location for Gilda was Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gilda was a picture that was, unfortunately, shot almost entirely indoors. The usual setting for Gilda was either the interior of a large, grand, and always over-crowded, casino, or, the interior of a large, pseudo-elegant, and very tacky, mansion. Because of all this indoor shooting we, the viewer, never really get any feel for actually being anywhere near South America, at all.

Rita Hayworth plays the title character, Gilda, in this rather screwy (weren't they all?) Romantic/Comedy from 1946. Gilda is the mega-pampered, American wife of a mysterious, Argentinian-born, casino owner named Mundson. (Now, how's that for a real, authentic-sounding, Latin-American name?)

It's hard to imagine that Gilda is actually a comedy, but it is!! I must say that I found it to be pretty lame when it came to the chuckle and laugh department. But Gilda was entertaining. And, of course, Rita Hayworth never failed to be anything but a stunning eyeful.

The big highlight in Gilda is watching Rita Hayworth do her sensational 'Put The Blame On Mame' number.

*Special Note* - Rita Hayworth was married, in real-life, to director/actor Orson Welles at the time of Gilda's production. Welles was a jealous and possessive bugger when it came to Rita.

If you look closely, amongst the crowd at the casino, during Rita's big 'Mame' number, you'll catch a super-brief glimpse of Welles sitting at one of the ring-side tables, smoking one of his mega-stinky, trademark cigars. Hayworth divorced Welles one year after the release of Gilda.
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Two jealous guys and one ditsy lady
Turfseer13 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
'Johnny' Farrell is a small-time gambler/card cheat who finds himself being robbed at gunpoint just after leaving a game of dice with some soldiers in Buenos Aires. A weird guy with a German accent, Ballin Mundson, just happens to be strolling along down by the docks and saves Johnny by whipping out a sharp knife hidden inside his cane. Thus begins the very strange and not all that entertaining pseudo-noir, 'Gilda'. Mundson hands Johnny his card and invites him to play at his casino. Before you know it, Mundson hires Johnny as the manager after Johnny convinces him that he can use his skills as a crooked gambler to ferret out customers bent on cheating the house. Mundson introduces Johnny to his wife, Gilda, played by Rita Hayworth. Gilda can't stand Mundson but obviously married him for his money.

The only thing that is truly understandable in this movie is Gilda's disdain for Mundson who is continually trying to suck up to her acting like a besotted 16 year old wuss. Mundson's jealousy knows no bounds and it's this jealousy that defines his character—so much so that the character becomes totally one-note. There is so much of Mundson's jealousy we can take before saying, 'enough already'. Fortunately for the film-goer, Mundson disappears halfway through the movie, only to return at the end.

Meanwhile, without providing any back story, Johnny and Gilda knew each other before. When they meet again they have a thorough disdain for one another. Johnny tells Gilda, "I hate you", Gilda tells Johnny, "I hate you" and one of them (or maybe both, I can't remember) slaps the other in the face. Like Mundson's jealousy, the disdain is unrelenting but at a certain point they declare their love for one another, end up in a passionate embrace and before you know it, get married. Finally, closet nice-guy Johnny starts morphing into Mundson (after Johnny takes over the casino following Mundson's apparent suicide, nose-diving his single pilot aircraft into the ocean)and becomes jealous of Gilda's new singles life. Gilda tells Johnny that dating other men is just an act for Johnny to pay more attention to her but Johnny won't buy it. He becomes so jealous that he has one of his henchmen at the casino physically remove every new date from Gilda's proximity causing her to flee to Montevideo where she meets a new man, a lawyer who convinces her to return home and get an annulment. When she returns, she finds out that her new boyfriend, the lawyer, was paid by Johnny to get her to return. Gilda is shattered when Johnny tells her that annulments are not legally valid in Buenos Aires (unfortunately Gilda is not a law school graduate!).

Just like Mundson, Johnny's jealousy toward Gilda becomes tiresome. But unlike Mundson, Johnny's 'true feelings' toward Gilda cannot be kept down. He somehow realizes that he's been the biggest heel all along and once again falls for Gilda (please don't ask me what motivates these sudden reversals in the characters' behavior). Just as Johnny changes his mind about Gilda (again) Mundson returns and in a jealous rage attempts to murder both Johnny and Gilda. Mundson is struck down by the kindly bathroom attendant who presciently has referred to Johnny as a 'peasant' from the beginning of the film. The police inspector does his Captain Renault imitation from Casablanca by stepping in and hinting that Johnny and Gilda will not be charged for Mundson's death, that the official cause of death is still a suicide and not to matter anyway, it was a justifiable homicide.

There is also a subplot in 'Gilda' that is just as confusing as the love triangle. Mundson has cornered the Tungsten market and double-crossed two Germans he knew during the War who show up at the Casino claiming they are the rightful leaders of a cartel. We never find out anything about the Germans except that Mundson ends up killing one of them and that's why he has to flee (oh there's another weird guy, a businessman who attempts to shoot Mundson at the casino after Mundson won't let him do business with a member of his cartel. The weird guy is unable to kill Mundson so he ends up shooting himself). As one poster aptly put it here, Gilda is a 'poor man's Casablanca'. In some ways, Gilda is so bad that it's actually somewhat entertaining. One can actually sit back and enjoy all the full blown histrionics. But ultimately none of the jealous machinations of the characters are ever sufficiently explained nor are the reversals—the odd changes of heart where the lovers are reconciled. Gilda is a story where the characters don't earn our respect—they're locked in a pointless battle simply designed to titillate the masses of people soon to become addicted to daytime soap operas on television in the 1950s.
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Great visuals and characters but lacking in plot...
gaityr8 October 2002
Rita Hayworth is GILDA, the mysterious sex-bomb who slinks into the life of casino owner Ballin Mundson (George MacReady) and his right-hand man Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford). It's pretty evident that Gilda and Johnny share a turbulent past, and their love-hate relationship (there has probably never been a screen relationship since that so perfectly encapsulated both sides of that equation) traps them both in a web of mutual brinkmanship... both trying to prove they 'hate' the other more. There is the complication of Gilda's marriage to Mundson, of course, as Johnny tries angrily to keep her faithful to Ballin, and the plot twists that unfold, leading Gilda to marry Johnny after Ballin's 'suicide' and his subsequent psychological tormenting of her. All in all, GILDA is a film-noir whose plot is almost an open book--the foreshadowing that goes on here is hardly what one would call subtle. You're hit on the head with the plot twists to come and know what to expect. It's the psychological creations of Gilda and Johnny that are interesting, with Gilda especially being an intriguing character.

Rita Hayworth is without a doubt the best thing about the film: she's sexy, gorgeous, and sizzles whenever she's onscreen, from her guitar-strumming rendition of 'Put The Blame On Mame' through to that famous reprisal in the black dress and elbow gloves. (Her not-quite-striptease is hotter than most sex scenes in films these days!) It's not just about the looks though--her dramatic moments are a treasure to watch as well, particularly when she discovers that she has been tricked into returning to Buenos Aires. The moment when she breaks and slaps and scratches and screams at Johnny before sliding down to his feet, defeated, is an amazing emotional display. (Given more impact by her immediate reappearance onstage in the casino's club.)

An interesting film for the characters (though Mundson turned out to be too one-note to be anything other than a caricature), and an excellent performance from Hayworth. You might want to look elsewhere for a better plotline though!
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Hollywood hatchet job
cmeneken-123 February 2011
The most amazing thing about this film is the number of excellent reviews. Granted its fun to watch Rita do a few numbers, and there are some nice noir touches. But the dialog is so incredibly lame, with Gilda mouthing Freudian nonsense and the threesome repeating ad nauseam that they hate one another, but love one another, then hate....The plot is imbecilic, the acting absurd, the love triangle preposterous, and the editing almost non existent. One could list these missteps but to what avail? If its film noir, you expect a lost of this B type stuff. But lets call a dame a dame, and not make more of her than she's worth. Its possible the film could have been redeemed somewhat if the ending had gone the way the film was heading, but I'm sure the Hollywood moguls stepped in to give it a happy ending, which finished off whatever merit the film had up to then.
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Half A Good Film Plus Rita
ccthemovieman-124 December 2005
This is one of those films I never think is all that good, but I keep going back to it every four or five years. Perhaps it's just to get another look at Rita Hayworth while she was still THE glamor woman of the period (1940 to about 1948). At times, she is just jaw-dropping stunning.

Glenn Ford provides some narration and does his normally-competent job as the lead actor but I really liked George Macready's performance more. He is really good as the rich husband, just fascinating to watch.

This film would have been so much better had it been cut about 20 minutes. It bogs down a little over halfway through (but recovers). The dialog is what makes this story interesting for the most part, particularly in the first half of the film which is far better than the second half, and that includes the cinematography. The second half is a lot more melodrama than film noir.
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It has aged smoothly.
gridoon17 June 2003
"Gilda" is a tense, engaging melodrama with surprisingly snappy, suggestive dialogue and a still-steamy Rita Hayworth....but the final 30 minutes are inconsistent with everything that has gone on before, and the ending appears to be somewhat compromised. So, the movie falls short of "classic" status...but it's still worth seeing and has aged very well. (**1/2)
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Dated Drama banking mainly on Hayworth's Sex-Appeal
mdm-1111 July 2006
Rita Hayworth never photographed better than in this dated love-triangle, set in the sultry post WWII Argentines. Clearly in a marriage of convenience with a much older, sophisticated and powerful casino owner, Hayworth runs into her old flame, Glenn Ford, who has grown loyal to her husband, who also is Ford's employer.

There are a few twists to this story, while the highlight will always be the stage appearances of "Gilda", singing the legendary "Put The Blame On Mame" number better than Marilyn Monroe could have ever done it. For fans of 1940s film noire, the youth and sex appeal of the leads may not be enough. "Gilda" is no match for other films in the genre, clearly barely average.
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A thin line between love and hate
krorie6 May 2006
"Gilda" may very well be one of the most unusual Hollywood films ever made. What exactly is the relationship among the three lead characters, Gilda, Johnny, and Ballin? How is Uncle Pio a key figure in the story? If you can unravel the threads to discover the answers to these two questions, then you're on your way to understanding this extremely complex, intriguing, yet highly entertaining cinematic gem.

The three leads, Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, and George Macready turn in what should have been award-winning performances. Rita is at her most seductiveness. She danced in a natural way that left little to the imagination. She understood her every movement and made every twist and turn tell a story. One of the most enchanting scenes in the entire film is when she strums the guitar and sings "Put The Blame on Mame" to a hypnotized Uncle Pio. The camera work under the direction of Rudolph Maté, dazzling throughout, is particularly noteworthy in this scene with just the right zooms and angles to capture the essence of the magic moment.

Glenn Ford as the sexually frustrated Johnny delivers one of his best acting jobs ever. Most viewers have experienced relationships that began with doubt and ambivalence but led to love. Johnny perceives Gilda at first as a dangerous rival and as a threat to his position of power and prestige provided him by Gilda's new husband, Ballin. Johnny was nothing but a two-bit hustler, a small time gambler, before Ballin saved him with his "Little Friend" from being robbed and maybe killed outside a gambling dive in Buenos Aires. Made his casino manager and possible successor, Ballin takes Johnny into his confidence, even giving him the combination to the safe in his office. Johnny sees Gilda as an interloper. Gilda views Johnny in much the same way, a threat to her new found wealth with her sugar daddy.

Ballin Mundson is arrogant and ambitious, seeking to actually rule the world through a business cartel involving the Germans. Set up during World War II, it is not quite clear if Ballin was in collusion with the Nazi's or if it was all just a business deal. Since he is now hiding out in South America, collaboration with the Nazi's is a possibility. Though he uses Gilda for decoration and exploitation, he obviously loves her to the point of obsession. She is his possession, not to be touched without his consent.

When it seems that Ballin has committed suicide, Johnny takes both the casino and Gilda. What seems to be mutual hate contaminates Gilda and Johnny's relationship to the point that Gilda becomes his prisoner. The viewer cannot imagine a happy ending for all this, but one does take place.

This cinema classic invites repeated viewings to unravel the motives and intentions of the three leading characters. At one point, Gilda hisses, "Hate is a very exciting emotion." But then so is love. While trying to understand exactly what is going on, savor the sensuous, titillating movements of a true screen goddess, Rita Hayworth.
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Perfect vehicle for Hayworth
rosscinema23 January 2003
This classic film noir is a very entertaining film and the casting is good although I do think Glenn Ford could have been played by any of a number of leading men. Ford was always a solid actor but opposite the incredibly sexy Rita Hayworth the audience is forced to some degree to forget logic and common sense. Great use of shadows that you come to expect in this genre and they photographed Hayworth beautifully. How can you forget the first time Hayworth pops up with her beautiful red hair flowing? There are several great profile shots of her throughout the film. And that great shot of her leg pointed up! The script is entertaining although I do believe its a notch below "Double Indemnity" and "Laura". The last half hour I thought was a little tiresome and the ending really surprises no one. I know others think this is one of the all time classics but I do not. I understand the mass appeal and it is a well made drama but like I said, its a notch below others in this genre. Also, Hayworth was pregnant during filming and in certain shots you can notice it. And her singing voice during the big number is dubbed. Good cinematography and shadowy characters make up for the shortcomings in the last part of the script. Fun film.
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Love and Hate in Argentina
Claudio Carvalho22 July 2003
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the smalltime crook and dice gambler Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) has just cheated American sailors and wins a great amount of money. Soon a thief tries to steal his money but he is saved by the stranger Ballin Mundson (George Macready). Mundson tells him about an illegal casino and Johnny cheats at the blackjack table and is forced to go to an office where he finds that Mundson is the owner of the casino. Johnny starts working for Mundson as his right-man in the casino. Their relationship changes when Mundson returns from a trip bringing his new wife Gilda (Rita Hayworth) that has a past with Johnny. When Mundson is presumed dead in a plane crash, the hatred of Johnny and Gilda grows with the behavior of the easy Gilda that is always dating different men.

"Gilda" is a movie with wonderful cinematography, good performances and a story with romance, murder, double-cross and jealousy and would be a great film-noir like many others from the 40's. But the splendorous, gorgeous, wonderful, marvelous, sensuous, beautiful, sexy and lovely Rita Hayworth that makes the difference. The sentence "There never was a woman like Gilda!" is perfect to describe this actress in the role of the femme-fatal Gilda. Last time I saw Gilda was on 22 Jul 2003 and today (17 February 2014) I have just seen it again maybe for the fifth or sixth time and I never get tired of "Gilda". My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Gilda"
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Poor man's Casablanca
hoosierwood2 March 2003
This is a bit of a copy of Casablanca. A gambler meets a casino owners that is secret deals during WW II. The owner marries a woman that somehow has a past with the gambler (small world). The woman still loves the gambler but says she hates him. The gambler hate the woman but still loves her and he does everything to protect the casino owner from the truth. Every body is mixed up. The famous clips of Rita beauty (sweeping her hair back and the black dress "Mame" song) are to quick. The best part is of the men's room attendant that watches and knows the secrets but it is not clear why he is at the casino all the time.
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