21 June 2016



What a film! What a woman! Was there ever a woman like Gilda before? The original movie poster certainly didn't seem to think so and you know what? Neither do I. I don't think there's ever been such a blazing, smouldering display of female sexuality committed to celluloid either before or since.

Rita Hayworth as Gilda is the ultimate woman. She's sex on two long lissom legs and it would take a real man to hold her attention. Are you man enough for the job? If so, please read on. Well sure, read on anyway. I don't mind if you're a man or a mouse as long as you can read, haha.

Now, I need to ask you this. Do you like film noir? In other words, do you like dames with gams that won't quit and guys who speak in clipped, terse sentences before they whip a gun out of their inside pocket and point it right in your kisser? If you do, then you most likely dig film noir.

I do like film noir, but being a chick I always prefer the romantic element to the business or political storyline. GILDA, one of the most iconic examples of film noir ever made, is no exception to this, my self-made rule. The love story in it far surpasses the sub-plot, in my humble opinion.

Anyway, who could think of anything else when there's Gilda to look at? From her legendary first appearance on screen, her hair flying and that mischievous smile on her beautiful face, the camera is captivated by her. She's utterly gorgeous. Ravishing, in fact.

Her hair would most likely have had its own choreographer. It has a life of its own in this film. It bounces and swirls and dances and it crackles with life and vitality every time Rita Hayworth moves her lovely head. It's long and lustrous and infinitely touchable-looking and I can't remember a female movie star, either before or since, ever having such marvellously feminine hair.

Her outfits too are more than worthy of a paragraph to themselves. They were designed by Jean Louis and every single one of them makes Gilda look dazzlingly, achingly sexy. She's a sex-bomb. A hottie. A bombshell. A sex kitten. A screen goddess with a riotous crown of tumbling curls and a face that would quite easily launch a thousand ships any day of the week. Quite honestly, she makes some of the famous sex symbols who came along later look like a sack of crap. No offence, ladies...!

From her extraordinary sheath of an evening gown to her glittering sequinned coat through to her belted dressing-gown and back again, everything she wears simply oozes glamour and sex appeal. People who bemoan the passing of Tinseltown's 'golden era' are really mourning the lack of any real glamour in the films that came later. That's because the glamour, sadly, is mostly gone.

I'll probably be lynched for saying this, but which would you rather have? One of the fake-tanned, selfie-snapping ass-revealing skanks who pass for 'celebrities' nowadays or a genuine 'Forties bombshell? If I were a guy, I know which I'd prefer. Okay, rant over. Let's take a quick squint at the plot, shall we? Before I get myself in trouble, I mean...!

The gorgeous Gilda turns up in Buenos Aires married to wealthy businessman and casino-owner Ballin Mundson, much to the surprise of Johnny Farrell, Mundson's henchman and casino-manager. Johnny, played by a devastatingly handsome Glenn Ford, is Gilda's ex-boyfriend. They obviously had a turbulent relationship that ended badly, because the sparks fly the second they meet again.

The quickfire dialogue is witty and razor-sharp. Gilda's and Johnny's conversations positively crackle with energy and electricity.

 'Pardon me, but your husband is showing...!'

There's a sub-plot involving tungsten, of all things, some German gangsters and a faked death, but I mostly was glued to the relationship between Gilda and her husband's petty thug of a henchman. It simmers along for a bit, like water in a pot coming to the boil and then bam! The whole freakin' kit 'n' kaboodle explodes all over everybody. Who'll survive the fallout? Watch the film and see, film fans.

Just to add, I know that smoking is terribly politically incorrect these days but those old films from the 'Forties really do make smoking sexy. Is there anything more glamorous than a gold cigarette case or any gesture sexier than a beautiful woman with great cheekbones cupping a man's hand while he lights her cigarette? 

It's not hard to guess what a guy is thinking about when he sees those smoky eyes raised to his and those ruby lips wrapped suggestively around the old cancer stick. Oh dear. If I wasn't in trouble before, I certainly will be now for glamorising and sexing up smoking, heh-heh-heh.

Best scenes? Well, for me, it's got to be the two renditions of PUT THE BLAME ON MAME. Yes, I know that it's not Rita Hayworth's own voice singing in the version that Gilda's belting out for a drunken audience, but what does that matter when she's so drop-dead sexy in her dress?

The first version of the song, the acoustic version in the empty nightclub at five in the morning, is so sexy that it's hard to describe. It's sexy but it's also achingly, painfully bleak and you get the feeling that the woman behind the guitar has a lot of secrets and a long and tumultuous past behind her. Check out the carnival too if you want to see what real Hollywood glamour looked like.

The wonderful people at THE CRITERION COLLECTION are teaming up with SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT to bring you this marvellous film on Blu-Ray this June.

It comes with a host of extra goodies including an interesting appreciation of the movie from 2010 featuring Martin Scorsese and Baz Luhrmann. I never actually knew what Baz Luhrmann looked like before I watched this extra feature. He's kind of cute...!

Anyway, for those smart, clued-in people thinking of buying this Blu-Ray, I have only these two words, possibly the sexiest in the English language. Femme fatale...


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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1 comment:

  1. Loved this film myself, Rita Heyworth the original 'Love Goddess' she's probably who Jessica Rabbit in who framed Roger Rabbit is based on. That song she plays is very catchy