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Surly Cinema: A Gilda Cage

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Rita Hayworth's hair tossing intro in Gilda is one of the sexiest moments in Hollywood film. I love Gilda, but it isn't a film where one loves the characters--with the exception of Uncle Pio, Steven Geray's sarcastic washroom attendant who calls Glenn Ford's character "peasant."

The film was shot by the great Rudolph Maté, and the scenes of Carnival in Bueno Aires recall those set in Seville's Carnival in Josef von Sternberg's The Devil is a Woman.

The entire film seems a perverse, sadomasochistic dance of punishment and thwarted desire, with a gay subtext that only the unimaginative dullards in the production code office didn't notice. But like many Hollywood films, Gilda lives scene by scene, in each glittering, shimmering moment.

Gilda (1946) Directed by Charles Vidor Produced by Virginia Van Upp Screenplay by Jo Eisinger, Marion Parsonnet, Ben Hecht (uncredited)

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