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.