Top critical review
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A real beauty.
on 16 May 2015
The value for money is there with the number of films. BUT several of the films are so poor that you would rather not have them.
"SALOME" - I bought the set to see what Charles Laughton made of Herod - oh dear, what a wan attempt at a great story. A story of extremes - in religion and love and vengeance - which was cast aside for a made-up love story filmed on a low budget with poor sets and even poorer costumes. Rita hayworth as always looked stunning and did a professional job with the rotten script. Laughton barely concealed his contempt for what he was doing. Even Stewart Granger couldn't make much of his spurious Centurion. All in all it was work-a-day stuff and a waste of talent.
"YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH" - I was looking forward to the Fred Astaire movie , and certainly Hayworth danced beautifully. However this was a real turkey as a film , with a typical wartime plot about the army and show-business. Astaire was far too old to play the hero and the choreography was poor stuff compared to his work with Ginger Rogers. I whizzed through it anxious to end my embarrassment.
"MISS SADIE THOMPSON" - The other embarrassment was the remake of Bette Davis' 'Rain'; supposedly full of sex and sin. Oh what a mess. Hayworth is not up to this kind of sleaziness, and the whole film seemed to shy clear of real sex and real pain. In what seemed to be a 'Star among
the soldiers' kind of musical comedy, the suicide of the dead-pan clergyman [Jose Ferrer] fell flat . It was as though the real story of Rain had been set aside. Another slow & embarrassing film.
The 3 other films in the box were all excellent.
"THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI" - Wonderful to see an Orson wells film with Hayworth playing a very sexy & mysterious character against Welles' Irish brute [Pity about the Irish accent - not his forte] This film had a real menace, moved swiftly from one mystery to another and left you totally confused at the end. Wonderful stuff.
"MAGNIFICENT SHOWMAN" - I am no fan of John Wayne, but in this film he was playing somewhat against his usual character. There was real tenderness and romance in his portrayal of a lover meeting up again with a tragic heroine. Hayworth was filmed without close-ups and was scarcely given the screen time her character deserved; which may be due to her failing looks and memory.
"GILDA" - Finally Hayworth's most prestigious film, in which she smouldered all through. Good plot good acting and great pace, with the feel of Casablanca without its charm. Well worth a watch!
i was amazed at how often she was given songs when she was always dubbed. Strange.