In my more lucid moments I like to close my eyes and go to my happy place - a minx-off between Bridget from The Last Seduction.....and Gilda.
Ah, Gilda. In most films, there's a dame. In the great films, the dame is a rotten, saucepot, who twists men round her little finger. And in Gilda? Well Gilda is this but turned up to 11. Rita Hayworth in this is like raw, unadulterated sexuality and sensuality rolled into one complete package. While the film itself is fantastic, the star here IS Gilda, IS Hayworth. My word, you literally cant take your eyes off her. From the minute she makes her infamous entrance - "Gilda, are you decent?" and the worlds most famous hair toss - you cant look anywhere else. You can see why Andy Dufresne would burrow through a prison wall with a spoon for her......
The film? As I said, its a cracker too. Its like the dirtier, grubbier Casablanca - American ne'er do well in a foreign country (this time its Argentina), winds up running a bar, until a dame from his past comes a calling. The beauty of this film is that it slowly introduces just enough characters, slowly enough to make you wonder just who they are, and drip feed just enough of a convoluted plot to make you think the plot is the machinations of these shady scoundrels.......when we all know the plot IS Gilda and her and Pa Kent's previous and current relationship. Characters introduced in the first 5 minutes you think are there just to add flavour wind up being central to the final few frames....its a brilliantly structured piece, laced with cracking dialogue that sizzles with implication: "You're out of practice aren't you - dancing I mean. I can help you get in practice again Johnny - dancing I mean"....blimey......
A wonderful film, and a brilliant noir that for once, instead of a dame taking the men of the piece for a ride, we get the dame AND the guy trying to out bar steward each other. If you love the biting wit of Sunset Boulevard or Sweet Smell of Success, this is right up your alley. Totally freaking brilliant.
The disc is another belter from Criterion - a lovely transfer, that appears at first a bit soft, but is just lovely to look at. Great blacks, whites and every shade of grey in between, some nice detail and a crystal clear audio track - its a great transfer for a 70 year old film. The extras aren't loaded but interesting - 16 mins with Baz Luhrmann and Marty Scorcese trying out love each other in their admiration for the film (Luhrmann coped Gilda's hair for Kidman in Moulin Rouge fact fans), a nice 22 min look at the film with a critic that thought Gilda was the 1946 equivalent of Mulholland Drive for audiences!!!! And an older piece on Hayworth that goes into detail about her career.
Summary - a steamy, saucepot of a film, with the greatest film siren ever to grace our screen. A cracking film around her makes this the complete package. Add in the great disc and this is the easiest recommendation since Alien. Everyone should watch this.
Oh and who wins? Well.......the minx-off goes the full distance and I have to arrange a rematch.......
Gilda User Review
The minxiest minx since Minnie the Minx became mayor of MinxtownReview of Gilda Blu-ray by Coz22998, Jul 23, 2016.This item was purchased for £17.99 from HMV in 2016. The reviewer still owns this product.