A blisteringly subversive mesmerizer. The psychosexual business on display here is sordid and true. Nobody is in love (and look at that ending carefully please). There is sexual desire, fear, resentment, power, and cruelty. The writing in the first half is as brilliant as anything Hollywood put out in the 40s. The best screenplays of the Hays Code days excelled at saying things without saying them. Unhinged gold.
Probably my absolute favourite Queer classic. Wonderful George Macready at his most sinister and insinuating, Glenn Ford at his most boyishly handsome and Rita Hayworth burning up the celluloid in her most glamorous (and filthiest!) role.
It does lose some of it's vitality when Macready disappears from the proceedings - and, inevitably, it's gay subtext dims a little, but this is only a minor flaw to be endured.
Has there ever been an entrance like Rita Hayworth's in this movie? Flipping her hair back like that! It's just not fair. That's love at first sight. Of course she's always being mistreated and slapped around, but at least she knocked out a couple of Glenn Ford's teeth!
An ace noir psychodrama loaded with sexual and political meanings, as manly-man machismo encounters unrestrained female sexuality and loses quickly. In the end, we're fed a story that Rita was never really wild, it was all just an act. A compromise to the censors? Maybe. I like to think she's just telling Glenn Ford (and every man) what he wants to hear. It's the only way a battle of the sexes can end amicably.
When it came to star persona, Hayworth was unstoppable - with the intellectual pluck of K. Hepburn and the magnetic charisma of Monroe, she was one of the leading lights of the Studio System era. 'Gilda' was a seemingly conventional Hollywood-devised tale with wonderfully progressive feminist undertones. Vidor's best film by a mile - 3.5
Rita is delicious to watch. Her magnetism and expressiveness gave to Gilda a identity of her own, the strong, beautiful and untamed woman, and makes it impossible to imagine anyone else playing her. The dance scene at the end proofs that being sexy is possible without taking your clothes off. Great songs. Great movie.
I love this. Many classic noirs treat women as cold agents of ruin. Here, Gilda is a sensitive, independent woman who inhabits a world of cruel men. Right up until the imposed happy ending, this is a great feminist film. I can of course sing songs about how wonderful Rita and Rudolph Mate's cinematography are.