|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.33:1, non-16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono|
|Year Released||1946||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||105:44 minutes||Other Extras||Biographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette - The Lady With The Torch excerpts (8 mins)
|RRP||$34.95||Music||M W Stolorf|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||No||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192 Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
And whilst Gilda is undoubtedly a Rita Hayworth vehicle, the story actually starts out very much with Gilda (Rita Hayworth) as a supporting role. Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is an American loose in Argentina, scraping together a dollar from hustling American sailors and locals with his funny dice. After a particularly successful game, Johnny is saved from robbery by the timely intervention of Ballin Mundson (George MacReady), a local business man. Ballin suggests that Johnny should turn his attentions to the local casino (albeit an illegal one) where he would not only do better, but also do so more legitimately. Naturally Johnny agrees and heads off to the casino, makes a few bucks through some fancy card play and attracts the attention of the casino owner - the self same Ballin Mundson - who suggests that he should join the team. Johnny hitches on for the ride and works his way up to being Ballin's right hand man, with everything running smoothly until Ballin returns from a trip with a new wife - Gilda. Things then start to get complicated as Johnny and Gilda were once an item, had parted under obviously strained circumstances but also obviously have the hots for each other. What follows is a most interesting chain of events as Johnny and Gilda play off each other to some rather twisting ends, involving love, deception, greed - you know, the usual things to spice up a romance!.
Even in the light of fifty plus years of film history, there is no doubt that this positively sizzles once Rita Hayworth makes an appearance. This woman had it all and knew damn well how to use it too. Whilst the story is not exactly great, although it is reasonably intriguing, who cares about story when you have Rita Hayworth squeezing every sexual innuendo out of the material for all its worth? If one film today epitomizes the legend of Rita Hayworth, then this is it, which is not to demean the performances of the rest of the cast. A very youthful looking Glenn Ford is a wonderful foil, and carries off the spurned, bitter ex-lover well., and George MacReady is most convincing as the entrepreneurial businessman benefactor, and slightly narked husband. The featurette makes mention of the chemistry between Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford, hinting that perhaps it extended beyond the screen, but there is no doubt that the film benefits from it. But there is one gem of a little performance here from Steven Geray as the very droll Uncle Pio - the washroom attendant at the casino. Nicely paced and well filmed piece of work under the direction of Charles Vidor, and arguably amongst his best work outside of A Farewell To Arms. Overall, this is a good film, well worth a look if only to see the legendary Rita Hayworth at her very peak of sensuality.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
Apart from some minor lapses, somewhat expectedly in a fifty three year old film, this is in general a quite clear and sharp transfer throughout. There is some lovely detail in the transfer at times. Shadow detail was fairly good all the way through the film, and in general this has avoided the murkiness of a lot of black and white transfers, as well as avoiding the pitch black scenes that reveal nothing in the way of detail.
The black and white is in general very clear and quite vibrant. There is a nice depth to the black tones, which really help give this transfer a degree of vibrancy that I was not expecting. There were the odd moments where the transfer dipped in the quality of tones, but nothing that I found overly annoying.
There appeared to be no MPEG artefacts nor film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. Despite the generally excellent restoration, this is well affected by film artefacts (mostly dirt marks, but the odd scratch too). However they were never really a distraction to the film and at times you almost filter them out of your perception, such is the magnetism of the onscreen performance.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.
There did not appear to be any problems with audio sync, other than some very minor ADR sync problems where Rita Hayworth was lip synching her songs (actually sung by Anita Ellis).
The music is uncredited, although M W Stolorf is credited as Musical Director. Since the songs are what the film is almost famous for (notably the famous Put The Blame On Mame, no clothing removed striptease), the music is obviously of great importance to the film and makes an enormous contribution to the film.
Since this is a straight mono soundtrack, we get no use out of the surround or bass channels at all. The sound is very much central, but is for all that actually pretty good. It is a quite believable sound picture and you really do not notice that there is no action apart from the centre speaker. I have to say that I am glad that it has remained a mono soundtrack so that the integrity of the film is not destroyed.
A very good transfer for a film of its age.
A nicely effective enough mono audio transfer.
An extras package that is reasonable enough for the age of the film.
© Ian Morris
2nd December 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|