dir. charles vidor
“Disaster to the wench who did wrong by our Johnny.”
There are a lot of things Gilda is, and a lot of things it isn’t. It’s a classic noir, with the beautiful Rita Hayworth in her finest hour playing a quintessential femme fatale. Rita, though, is perhaps the only reason to see the film: to witness the costumes she adornes, the songs she sings, the venom in her voice, and her introduction into the film. Without her, the film is pointless.
“I’m going to do exactly what I please, when I please. I was true to one man once, and look what happened.”
That’s why it’s so disappointing that, in a film called Gilda, Gilda seems almost like a subplot. It’s a crime drama (sort of–a weak one, if anything), and the characters and situations just aren’t that interesting. Kingpin marries mysterious woman, who has a weird connection to Kingpin’s right hand, and sexual tension pervades them all. There’s no reason to care about the characters or the situations; if the casino were to explode, there wouldn’t be much love lost. You watch for Rita, and maybe that’s enough, but maybe it isn’t.
Criterion Spine #795