I love The Shawshank Redemption with all of my heart and there’s a scene in that film where Andy goes to visit Red for some supplies and Red is watching Gilda with a bunch of other inmates, howling at the screen when Rita Hayworth shows up. I have read and heard plenty of things about Gilda being a classic from the 40’s, but it took Shawshank referencing it for it to really be in my stream of consciousness. It’s not how I typically choose something to watch but it’s a cool way of finding new films and watching new films. Directors and writers will forever pay homage to things they love and I appreciate that as a fan and someone who is just trying to grow and see more stuff.
Johnny Farrell is an American gambler who travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina to make some cash. Right away, he gets into some shit and cheats at a craps game and then gets rescued by a mysterious man during a stunt he pulls at a blackjack table. The mysterious man winds up being Ballin Mundson, the owner of the casino that Johnny is messing around at. Johnny convinces Mundson to hire him and he quickly becomes his right hand man, but his loyalty is challenged when Mundson introduces him to his wife, Gilda. Johnny knew Gilda in the past and him working for Mundson causes a very strange and lie ridden love triangle.
The first thing I fell in love with while watching Gilda is the gorgeous cinematography provided by Rudolph Mate that feels like it only exists during the 40’s and 50’s. Glenn Ford is damn good as Johnny Farrell, whose emotions are whipped around throughout the film. George Macready is borderline scary as the casino owner, Ballin Mundson and Rita Hayworth is an absolute superstar as Gilda. She completely owns the screen when she is on it and this film would be worth watching just for her performance, but there’s a solid story within and some dazzling cinematography along the way.