Gilda (Charles Vidor, 1946). The defining role in Rita Hayworth’s career, and she’s playing a woman who gets between two men. It’s not clear that any of the threesome are actually having sex … Gilda gets accused of it a lot, but the plot shenanigans that close the film explain she was always good and faithful. I suppose Gilda and her new husband Ballin Mundson (George Macready) might have done it on their honeymoon, although if they did, it was off-screen. Gilda and Johnny (Glenn Ford) probably did it in the time before the movie begins, but once they get married late in the film, Johnny puts Gilda in a cage and turns his back on her. The most sexually-charged relationship is between Mundson and Johnny, and it is typical of the times that it’s subtext, not explicit. But for subtext, it’s pretty obvious, even if there will always be people who think others are trying to find queer elements in straight movies. I feel like Gilda’s legacy revolves around the tension in the Mundson/Johnny relationship, and if that’s true, it’s certainly a far cry from when the major selling point of the movie was Rita Hayworth’s sensuality. It was sadly downhill for Hayworth after this, professionally and personally … The Lady from Shanghai with her soon-to-be ex-husband, Orson Welles, came soon after, and Welles wasn’t kind to Hayworth or her character. She hadn’t even turned 30 yet. She left us with a famous quote: “Every man I have ever known has fallen in love with Gilda and awakened with me.” The success of Gilda rests on atmosphere, subtext, and your tolerance for confusing plots. #930 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 1000 films of all time. 7/10. Check out The Lady from Shanghai as well, or, on the brighter side, one of her 40s musicals: You’ll Never Get Rich and You Were Never Lovelier with Fred Astaire, or Cover Girl with Gene Kelly.
Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller, 1963). 7/10.
Baby Boy (John Singleton, 2001). 7/10.