Screen Goddess Collection: Rita Hayworth
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Six films from screen goddess Rita Hayworth. In 'Gilda' (1946), gambler Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is shocked when his boss and best friend Ballin (George Macready) asks him to keep an eye on his beautiful new wife Gilda (Hayworth), for the two were previously lovers. Gilda taunts Johnny and attempts to get him in trouble with her husband but when Ballin apparently dies in a plane crash, Johnny marries Gilda and treats her badly as punishment. 'You'll Never Get Rich' (1941) is a musical comedy and stars Hayworth alongside Fred Astaire. Robert Benchley plays theatre impressario Martin Cortland, whose wife finds a diamond bracelet and suspects him of having an affair with showgirl Sheila Winthrop (Hayworth). Choreographer Robert Curtis (Astaire) is caught in the middle, but fortunately the army seems to offer them all a way out. Orson Welles directs, produces, writes and stars in 'The Lady From Shaghai' (1948), a maritime film noir. When unemployed Irishman Michael O'Hara (Welles) saves Elsa Bannister (Hayworth) from some thugs, she obtains him a position on her invalid lawyer husband Arthur's (Everett Sloane) yacht, as a deckhand. It soon becomes clear that Elsa now has designs on O'Hara, and also wants her husband out of the way. O'Hara, although resisting Elsa's advances, finds himself becoming embroiled in a web of intrigue and murder. The famous hall of mirrors sequence is considered to be one of the greatest scenes in film history. In 'The Magnificent Showman' (1964), Matt Masters (John Wayne) is a circus owner who has to start from scratch when his ship sinks in the Barcelona harbour. Starting up a Wild West act, he takes under his wing Toni Alfredo (Claudio Cardinale), a trapeze artist whose mother Lili (Hayworth) has abandoned her. Seeking Lili out in a Hamburg bar, Masters obtains her a job in the circus anonymously, so that she can get to know her daughter. 'Miss Sadie Thompson' (1953) is a musical drama. Sadie Thompson (Hayworth) is a bawdy night club entertainer stranded on a tropical island during World War II, and loving every minute of it, until she encounters the Reverend Davidson (Jose Ferrer). When Sadie seeks her salvation through the hypocritical minister, she's met with a brutal assault. But, in spite if all he exposes about her past, Sadie manages to find someone who loves her. Finally, in the Biblical drama 'Salome' (1953), Hayworth plays the daughter of King Herod and Queen Herodias. The king and queen fear the preachings of prophet John the Baptist, and when Herodias begins to take notice of her husband's growing lust for young Salome, she sees a way to finally rid the kingdom of the turbulent priest.
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"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.