Review: Gilda (1946)


Argentina really isn’t for me, neither was Gilda, but Rita Hayworth, now that’s a different story!

Screenplay By: Jo Eisinger, Ben Hecht, & Marion Parsonnet
Directed By: Charles Vidor

I know I have used this a lot lately in my criticisms of movies I don’t like, but Gilda was monumentally boring. A lot of stuff happens, but none of it means a thing. Tack on a convoluted ending and a wooden lead performance from Glenn Ford and you are left with one snoozefest of a picture. But, hey, that Rita Hayworth sure is nice to look at and can make the removal of her gloves into quote the sensual experience. Gilda has that going for it at least.

Around this time in history the noir was in full force, as film after film was churned out that was either a full-fledged noir or borrowed noir tendencies. Unfortunately Gilda is a film that is an obvious noir, every single tenet of the film noir can be seen coming from a mile away. That makes for a very predictable and burdensome film to watch. There’s no trick around the next corner, no fulfilling moment to come. There is only the preplanned and regularly routed course of a pedestrian film noir, but this noir features a terribly convoluted ending that leaves you shaking your head. There’s also the bland as could be acting of Glenn Ford, you never invest anything in his character or anything he says because he doesn’t make you care about him one way or the other. Love or hate a character, or an actor, as much as you like, but to be indifferent to one means that actor didn’t carry his performance.

Like I said above, Rita Hayworth is fine to look at and she does a tremendous job of being highly sexual, and sensual, in her performance of Put the Blame on Mame. But, that’s all that Gilda has to offer, for anyone. I’m sure some noir enthusiasts will love this film, to each their own. But I didn’t find myself caring about one element of this film enough for me to recommend it to anyone.



Bill Thompson

5 responses to “Review: Gilda (1946)

  1. Thank you for posting the article about the movie, Gilda. The only real substance to this movie, apparently, is that is was plugged in the movie, Shawshank Redemption. That was driving me crazy because they don’t mention it at the end of the movie. Thanks again. Let me know of any other older movies that were plugged in modern movies.

  2. The only thing boring about Gilda is reading this idiotic review about the film. Gilda is a wonderful film.

  3. Patrick – Not sure if I can help you out there as I am by no means an expert on the subject.

    Juan – Yes, thanks for such an insightful reply. Disagree with me all you want, but if you are going to comment at the very least try and bring something to the table that shows why you think it is such a wonderful movie. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, huh?

  4. Hi,

    Came across your Gilda review as I was doing research about the movie. I do agree with your previous comment in saying that if you are going to disagree, don’t just point fingers…Bring something to the table.

    Well, I would recommend to you to watch this movie again. Personally, I find this film fascinating and quite a breakthrough in film. Besides the fact that it was unheard of for a woman to get top billing in any feature and for a women to produce a film (Gilda was produced by Virginia Van Upp), the film is filled with sub context. It’s a tennis match of biting words and actions within the love hate relationship between Johnny and Gilda, while Gilda is constantly emasculating her powerful husband through her sexuality and independence. Also, the song that she sings in her famous striptease scene is also very telling of the role of Gilda and women in a male-dominated environment.

    Just my two-cents.

  5. Now that, is a comment I can get behind. 🙂

    I may give Gilda another chance someday, it’s not like I am opposed to the film. I do admit though, that it always takes a while for me to get back to films that bored me the first time, but it will remain in my constantly expanding lists of films that I plan to/might revisit at some point in the future.

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