Synopsis: When he is caught cheating in a casino in Argentina, a gambler agrees to clean up his act and, instead, goes to work for the casino owner. However, his loyalties are tested when his boss returns from a trip with his new wife, Gilda, a woman the gambler once had a love affair with and isn't completely over.
Movie Review: Gilda (1946)
A review of the 1946 classic movie starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford.
I had heard of this movie quite a few times but, up until a couple days ago, had never actually taken the time to watch it. This changed, however, when I had some free time and was in the mood for something a bit different from the films I normally watch. And, as it turns out, it was a movie that was well worth it.
I haven't seen a lot of Rita Hayworth movies but, after seeing her in this film, can understand why she was a 1940s sex symbol. Not only was she gorgeous, she was really good at pulling off the whole seduction thing. The strip tease she does in front of that crowd easily caught my attention and, when I realized she managed to be so sexy while only taking off her gloves, I have to admit, I was very impressed.
The plot of this movie was also somewhat intriguing. Hayworth's character was obviously a free spirit that didn't have any real feelings for her husband and Ford's character, Johnny, had the tough task of remaining loyal to his boss while "guarding" a woman he has an obvious love/hate relationship with.
This did lead to some interesting interaction between the two, ranging from fights that ended in kisses to a relationship that, thanks mostly to his loyalty and guilt, was somewhat abusive. As a result of the ongoing twists, the movie just wasn't as predictable as I thought it would end up being. There was an obvious romantic and physical spark between Gilda and Johnny. But, because of the variety of circumstances and obstacles surrounding their relationship, it was unclear whether or not the movie would have a happy ending or would be more of a tragedy.
For his part, Macready did an excellent job as the casino owner. He played his character in a way that didn't really make him all that likable. But, at the same time, he also didn't do anything to justify having a wife that wasn't loyal to him.
And, while it could be argued he treated Gilda like his property, I do think he was just acting like a jealous husband who was desperate to save his marriage. Plus, those extreme measures went a long way toward making this movie as good as it was.
As I said before, this isn't the kind of movie I normally take the time to watch. But, after seeing the excellent job Hayworth did in the title role, I will likely be watching more of these films (especially movies that star her) in the future.
My Grade: A
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