Gilda, the noir classic by Charles Vidor, starts off exceedingly well. We are immediately introduced to a drifter making easy money by gambling at shady joints in Buenos Aires. And the movie reaches fifth gear when he hustles his way into a lucrative job as the manager of a gambling joint owned by a wealthy German guy. Soon enough enters the teasing femme fatale (played with sizzling effect by Rita Hayworth) as the newly wed wife of the owner; it is however obvious she once had a torrid affair with the drifter which didn’t end well, thus making him deeply embittered by her very presence. However, as the subject matter starts becoming heavier, with the added angle of international conspiracy thrown in, the initial chemistry starts wearing off. Only near the end does Vidor pull an ace up his sleeve with the innuendo-laden song “Put the blame on Meme”, followed by Hayworth’s famous striptease scene which might seem as an expression of her “loose morals” but in essence is indicative of the turmoil in her mind as well as her troubled life. Thus, though in my opinion the movie doesn’t rank among the best of this genre, it still does deserve a watch.
Director: Charles Vidor Genre: Film Noir/Romantic Noir/Mystery Language: English Country: US