Gilda [DVD] [1946]

Up until November of 2000, Charles Vidor's Gilda had not been served well, except by history. One of the most stylish examples of '40s film noir, it had a reputation for decades of being essential, as well as utterly entertaining viewing. It was Rita Hayworth's defining role, and featured Glenn Ford's cockiest portrayal ever, as well as a fascinating performance by George Macready. The problem was that from the '60s through the mid-'90s, viewing the movie was a genuine chore. Existing prints seemed flat in both image and sound, and the RCA/Columbia laserdisc, theoretically the best way to screen the film, was so soft as to seem out of focus much of the time. This DVD from Columbia-TriStar makes up for that multitude of sins committed against the movie, which is now a joy to look at. The UCLA film department has done a superb job of restoring the film to its original luster, and when Rita Hayworth's character pops into the shot 18 minutes into the movie, her hair, skin, and smile are all seemingly aglow, while every puff of smoke from her cigarette is visible, even in the wide shots. The audio track has also been improved significantly, with much higher volume levels and more distinct resolution. The film would be enjoyable enough to watch in this condition, but the producers have seen fit to append an enjoyable if very sketchy documentary, "Rita Hayworth: The Columbia Girl," which includes shots from some of her best movies, including Cover Girl and The Lady From Shanghai (the film is too short and ends much too abruptly to be taken seriously). Trailers are included for this film and a handful of others currently in release from Columbia-TriStar. More informative is an uncredited essay on the insert that tells of the film's production history and how the producers only added the musical numbers (i.e. "Put the Blame on Mame") after the film was completed. Gilda is divided into 28 chapters that break it down very nicely, identifying all of the key plot events and highlights.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 5 out of 5 stars.
5.0
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered audio and video
  • Full-screen presentation
  • Audio: English [mono], French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai
  • Exclusive featurette: "Rita Hayworth: The Columbia Lady"
  • Vintage advertising
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Talent files
  • Interactive menus
  • Prouduction notes
  • Scene selections

Synopsis

Gilda
When wealthy Ballin Mundson (George Macready) rescues down at his heels gambler Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) and invites him to the Buenos Aires casino he owns, both men get more than they wagered on. Farrell convinces Mundson to hire him as casino manager, but is shocked when Mundson introduces his new bride, and Farrell's old flame, Gilda (Rita Hayworth).Though Farrell is unwavering in his loyalty to his employer, and he and Gilda treat each other with contempt, Mundson realizes that the torch never died for either of the former lovers. Ordered to guard Gilda, Farrell tries to convince himself that he's protecting Mundson's interests, but Gilda sees through his self-deception. Meanwhile, Mundson reveals to Farrell that his primary business is control of an international tungsten cartel that he plans to use to further his fascist ends. With the police closing in on the cartel, Mundson fakes his death, apparently leaving Gilda and Farrell free to marry. They do so: Gilda for love, but Farrell to punish her for being unfaithful to Mundson. When Mundson returns to kill them, it is he who dies, thereby freeing the lovers to apologize to each other and return to the U.S. Charles Vidor's Gilda is a voyeuristic film noir treat that engages the viewer in a complex web of sado-masochistic triangles. When, for example, Gilda performs her signature number, "Put the Blame on Mame," she is not simply enraging both Mundson and Farrell with her open sexuality, she is also crying out in pain for the love she is being denied. ~ Steve Press, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Rita Hayworth
    Rita Hayworth - Gilda Mundson
  • Glenn Ford
    Glenn Ford - Johnny Farrell
  • George Macready
    George Macready - Ballin Mundson
  • Joseph Calleia
    Joseph Calleia - Obregon
  • Steven Geray
    Steven Geray - Uncle Pio

Overall Customer Rating

5 out of 55.0
2 Reviews
100%of customers recommend this product.

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