Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Darkness #9: Showstopping (Scene from Gilda)

Recommended Posts

- What did you notice about Rita Hayworth's performance when you were watching this scene?


-- What are some of the deeper layers of meaning that are contained in this film noir musical sequence?


Gilda walked into this little stage nonchalantly, all smiles, carelessly. She acts like she was a bit drunk and having lots of fun. She came here to do a show. Gilda is confident, knows exactly how to make men crazy with those sensual moves and shameless glances. The thing she's doing with her hair – the ultimate fetish, she shows her neck and men go bananas. Does she care about it? I don't think so. I've always remembered those gloves, the way she slides them – it's really erotic, just like throwing back her head and tossing her long, red hair (great, sensual close-ups). Gilda's black satin gown looks like it was going to slip in a minute. This number is getting more and more frivolous and saucy, Gilda is seducing the audience and she is doing that on purpose. I consider her behaviour rather desperate. Desperately seeking attention, like she needed to prove something to someone. She knows Johnny's jelous, she wanted to humiliate him publicly with her shameless dance and did it very conciously. She is controlling the situation in this very moment and has the power to sting. Let the whole world to see how undecent she is, she does not care! It's his shame, not her's! He is to blame for her pain and humiliation! 


Now they all know what I am, and that should make you happy, Johnny. It's no use just you knowing it, Johnny. Now they all know that the mighty Johnny Farrell got taken, and that he married a..." and she gets slapped... (What a different kind of provocation comparing to Veda's in Mildred Pierce...)


It's a classic love-hate relationship with lots of sexual tension, jelousy, manipulation and emotional blackmail.


The song itself is about a woman like Gilda. Her deeds are not always bad, but she is always to blame, sometimes unfairly. Her only weapon is sex, but maybe Gilda wants something more? She and Johnny are much the same, they've been „stinkers” all their lives and are too afraid to simply trust each other, they are still playing those mind games, trying to keep their poker faces in order not to get hurt. So they hurt other people, sometimes badly. Isn't that like crying for help?


-- In what ways do you think music influenced and contributed to the development of film noir?


Film noir is full of emotions that are tearing people apart. And music is the best to complete this picture. Despair, fear, love, hate, suffering and pride – sometimes you don't need words. That's why opera is still so popular and touching, even when most of the viewers don't understand the Italian or German libretto. There would be no film noir without music.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen the movie in years so will only comment on the clip. Gilda seems to be a desperate woman- desperate for Johnny's attention and desperate to be loved and is willing to use everything she has to get it. She gets his attention and is then unhappy with what she has set him up to do. No one wins in this scene. The music of course adds to the excitement and desperate feeling of the segment.

Looking forward to seeing the movie with "fresh eyes"!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I can see that there is a lot of subtext happening with the performance of this song. (Another good example would be Hadda Brooks in In a Lonely Place.) I am 76 and I have never seen this film nor have I seen more than a few bars of the song in other clips. And I suspect I know why: of all the manufactured product that ever came out of Hollywood none was ever more manufactured than Rita Hayworth. For thirty years I worked in the film industry in NYC doing a lot of high fashion commercials. I can assure you it must have taken a couple of days to shoot this sequence. That hair had to be redone for every take. (Notice how it doesn’t quite match from shot to shot…flyaways, etc.) And every take had to do primarily with creating the product: Rita Hayworth. Maintaining the image of that hair explains all those short takes. None of it had to do with making a film noir: generally the direction on this film is considered mediocre.


  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone mentioned Rita's tight dress and the symbolic restriction of it. Notice the long slit in her skirt. That's definitely there as a means of escape for her.

 

It reminds me of The Shawshank Redemption. Rita's picture was in Tim Robbin's cell, covering the hole he was digging for his escape. Coincidence? I think not.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all.  This scene comes near the end of the film, Gilda.  Rita Hayworth struts onstage, swinging a fur and tossing it aside, like she doesn't care what it is or what it costs.  She's there to spite Johnny, who has put her down, ignored her, said mean things to her throughout the film.  She loves the guy but can't get a rise out of him.  They loved each other once.  Of course she was married to his boss, which Johnny can't seem to forgive her for that.  George McCready is such a good bad guy, evil personified, in most of his films.  I once met a character at a film festival several years ago.  I told him I enjoyed his work and it was too bad he always played the bad guy.  He smiled and said, "The bad guy pays the bills."  I agreed.

 

​Back to Gilda:  The music brings out Gilda's sauciness and sexy dancing.  The trumpets blair up and she swings that beautiful red head of hair.  The band behind her is dark, almost indiscernible.  Rita is the focus, as she should be.  You can feel her spitefulness as she dances and sings (I was disappointed to learn that the song was dubbed.  However, earlier in the film she plays a guitar and sings the same song slower and softer, and that was her real voice.)  The lighting, costumes and the stage help add to the noir feel.  Great shadows, oglers when she's singing, and Johnny fuming, almost steaming from his face.

 

I recently watched Mildred Pierce and saw that Joan Crawford's face had a lot of lighting, while the rest of the cast and settings were shaded, as was Rita Hayworth's in this film.  I thought that maybe the director had the light bright on them, to show that they were good people in bad circumstances;  or, it was in Joan's and Rita's contracts to have their faces in the right light (their faces paid the bills).

 

She does act a bit tipsy as she is led off the floor, but I love that line to Johnny - "Now they all know what I am."  She's Gilda!
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone mentioned Rita's tight dress and the symbolic restriction of it. Notice the long slit in her skirt. That's definitely there as a means of escape for her.

 

It reminds me of The Shawshank Redemption. Rita's picture was in Tim Robbin's cell, covering the hole he was digging for his escape. Coincidence? I think not.

Good observation. In the movie there were several decades worth of hole coverings including the lovely Raquel Welch poster. I'm reading the original King story it was adapted from called "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" and have yet to touch on those details.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this scene reveals a lot about Gilda’s character, including her emotional and psychological state, the way she views herself, and the way she views her relationship with Johnny. She seems to embody the Mame character in the song – a woman so sexy that she’s like a force of nature, causing earthquakes, blizzards, and fires, and even the death of a man. And it’s very likely that the killing of the Dan McGrew character in the song might foreshadow the killing of a man later in the movie. Her choice of song here, and the sexy way she sings it – almost like a striptease, as others have already mentioned – is clearly meant as a message to Johnny. She seems to be taunting him, eager to make him angry or jealous, or perhaps just wanting his attention in a really desperate way. She seems like a very self-destructive person, and that type of person, of course, can be destructive and hurtful to everyone around them, too – just like the Mame character in the song. Not only is she completely brash in her sexuality, but she also appears to be slightly drunk – it’s obvious that this beautiful woman has some emotional issues, and she’s putting it all on display here in front of Johnny and everyone in the place. Not only is she letting herself be objectified by the men in the crowd, but she’s actively embracing that objectification – basically exploiting herself – through her exaggeratedly sexy actions, even to the point of letting one of the men come up and try to unzip her dress. It’s pretty clear that this is all for Johnny, though. It’s as if she’s saying to him something like, “You think I’m a ****, don’t you? Well, then, let me show you just how slutty I can be – watch this!” And maybe she’s not even that type of woman at all, but her point is that Johnny apparently views her that way, and she’s so angry about it that she embraces the role just to throw it in his face. Like the prototypical femme fatale, she’s beautiful, manipulative, and dangerous. But she also seems really vulnerable, almost like a child throwing a tantrum. And because of her self-destructive nature, she just might be more dangerous to herself than to anyone else. Either way, there’s one thing that we can be absolutely sure of: the beautiful Gilda is quite a handful, to say the least.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rita Hayworth is so stunning in this scene. My thoughts are it goes with film noir because of the sexiness, the pushing the limits. Film noir is dark but very sexy. So was this song...the lyrics, music, performance. Also though Gilda is both a victim and the femme fatale. Trying to get back at Johnny she was going to let any man who could undress her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-- What did you notice about Rita Hayworth's performance when you were watching this scene?

 

The black satin dress clings and moves with her (the top was taped to her bust to avoid any censorable exposure and the front drape designed to hide that Rita had just had a baby). All Rita’s gowns had slits to show her gorgeous legs and enable her to dance. Rita had been dancing since childhood with her father and was one of the finest dancers of her day. The scene mostly alternates between close ups and medium shots. Rita/Gilda is doing this song/dance so deliberately and intentionally it almost hurts to watch it. You know it is directed only at one person. Gilda knows she has Johnny's undivided attention. The close ups show Gilda's face and hair, which she tosses around each time (considered very seductive in those days of “every hair in place” hair styles). The medium shots show her full figure, dancing, which consist of rather "mild" stripper/burlesque moves (pretty standard ones), and there are a couple shots where we see her only waist up, but you can tell she is doing "bumps" and "grinds". The lighting is mainly on her face and hair, keeping the band and audience, in shadow. One almost feels like a voyeur watching this performance.

 

-- What are some of the deeper layers of meaning that are contained in this film noir musical sequence?

 

This song takes place after Johnny and Gilda are married and he has locked her up and thwarted every attempt of hers to escape from him.

 

The song is Gilda's theme song throughout the movie. It's playing on the record player when Johnny first sees her. Rita/Gilda strums it on guitar (singing with her real voice) in the casino late at night. It would be interesting to know if that was Gilda’s "signature" song as a performer or a song with meaning only to Gilda and Johnny. At any rate, that song clearly gets Johnny's goat.

 

Another deeper layer is she is intimating through her behavior earlier and in this song that she is not a "nice" girl, and even more beyond that. She says to Johnny that "now everybody knows you got taken by a wh...." (slap). She led him to believe this was what she was, he was treating her as if she was, she did the song to reveal to the world that’s what she was.

 

Johnny Farrell can't believe his eyes or ears despite her virtue being the topic of their ongoing feud -- first, as Johnny attempts to protect Balin from it and next as he tries to "make her pay" for her behavior. It doesn't help that men fall all over themselves and each other just to get next to her. Gilda knows they do. Johnny should have known it but I think he has mistaken their attention as a direct result from encouragement from Gilda. He doesn't realize she attracts men just by standing still and doing nothing. However, she was, after the song, willing to go just so far and no further, as the men in the audience egg her on to strip. Was she drunk or was she pretending? I think she snaps out of it (so it’s an act) when confronted by Johnny, when she begs him to just let her go. Wouldn’t pretending to be drunk be another element of the “bad” girl image she is projecting for Johnny?

 

-- In what ways do you think music influenced and contributed to the development of film noir?

 

“Jazz” as we know it today was not the “jazz” of the Forties, Thirties or the Twenties when it originated. And they are all different from each other. One way to think of it is that it was the Rock ‘n’ Roll of its day. Anyone who remembers the reaction to Rock when it emerged would understand the reaction to Jazz when it came into being and the culture that it surrounded. However, “jazz” was always juxtapositioned against classical music – still held as the standard of measure for all other musical styles, including Big Band music. The music of film noir was very contemporary – stemming from the Big Band era and evolving into its own voice (or was that voice always there and it evolved along with the times). Music is a tremendous mood setter. These dark, moody stylings, usually played by a trumpet (as opposed to say, strings), belonged to the non-conformists, the “hip cats”, the dark underground, the world of noir. Drugs and jazz were inextricably tied (just as Rock and drugs would be) and so to play a few notes of jazz would conjure up images of a dark, seedy underworld in the audience’s mind. There was also the hopped-up “beat” of the drums (Gene Krupa comes to mind) which both tortured (“D.O.A.”) and obsessively drove (“Phantom Lady”) its listeners into frenzy. Then, the chanteuse, singing her sad bluesy ballads – the world of the wronged woman– is where Gilda lived. Jazz music contributed to the style of film noir, although it did not always accompany it. Sometimes the music leaned more to the blues side than the jazz side, or slipping completely over on its side and becoming downright raunchy.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-- What did you notice about Rita Hayworth's performance when you were watching this scene?

 

The black satin dress clings and moves with her (the top was taped to her bust to avoid any censorable exposure and the front drape designed to hide that Rita had just had a baby). All Rita’s gowns had slits to show her gorgeous legs and enable her to dance. Rita had been dancing since childhood with her father and was one of the finest dancers of her day. The scene mostly alternates between close ups and medium shots. Rita/Gilda is doing this song/dance so deliberately and intentionally it almost hurts to watch it. You know it is directed only at one person. Gilda knows she has Johnny's undivided attention. The close ups show Gilda's face and hair, which she tosses around each time (considered very seductive in those days of “every hair in place” hair styles). The medium shots show her full figure, dancing, which consist of rather "mild" stripper/burlesque moves (pretty standard ones), and there are a couple shots where we see her only waist up, but you can tell she is doing "bumps" and "grinds". The lighting is mainly on her face and hair, keeping the band and audience, in shadow. One almost feels like a voyeur watching this performance.

 

-- What are some of the deeper layers of meaning that are contained in this film noir musical sequence?

 

This song takes place after Johnny and Gilda are married and he has locked her up and thwarted every attempt of hers to escape from him.

 

The song is Gilda's theme song throughout the movie. It's playing on the record player when Johnny first sees her. Rita/Gilda strums it on guitar (singing with her real voice) in the casino late at night. It would be interesting to know if that was Gilda’s "signature" song as a performer or a song with meaning only to Gilda and Johnny. At any rate, that song clearly gets Johnny's goat.

 

Another deeper layer is she is intimating through her behavior earlier and in this song that she is not a "nice" girl, and even more beyond that. She says to Johnny that "now everybody knows you got taken by a wh...." (slap). She led him to believe this was what she was, he was treating her as if she was, she did the song to reveal to the world that’s what she was.

 

Johnny Farrell can't believe his eyes or ears despite her virtue being the topic of their ongoing feud -- first, as Johnny attempts to protect Balin from it and next as he tries to "make her pay" for her behavior. It doesn't help that men fall all over themselves and each other just to get next to her. Gilda knows they do. Johnny should have known it but I think he has mistaken their attention as a direct result from encouragement from Gilda. He doesn't realize she attracts men just by standing still and doing nothing. However, she was, after the song, willing to go just so far and no further, as the men in the audience egg her on to strip. Was she drunk or was she pretending? I think she snaps out of it (so it’s an act) when confronted by Johnny, when she begs him to just let her go. Wouldn’t pretending to be drunk be another element of the “bad” girl image she is projecting for Johnny?

 

 

-- In what ways do you think music influenced and contributed to the development of film noir?

 

“Jazz” as we know it today was not the “jazz” of the Forties, Thirties or the Twenties when it originated. And they are all different from each other. One way to think of it is that it was the Rock ‘n’ Roll of its day. Anyone who remembers the reaction to Rock when it emerged would understand the reaction to Jazz when it came into being and the culture that it surrounded. However, “jazz” was always juxtapositioned against classical music – still held as the standard of measure for all other musical styles, including Big Band music. The music of film noir was very contemporary – stemming from the Big Band era and evolving into its own voice (or was that voice always there and it evolved along with the times). Music is a tremendous mood setter. These dark, moody stylings, usually played by a trumpet (as opposed to say, strings), belonged to the non-conformists, the “hip cats”, the dark underground, the world of noir. Drugs and jazz were inextricably tied (just as Rock and drugs would be) and so to play a few notes of jazz would conjure up images of a dark, seedy underworld in the audience’s mind. There was also the hopped-up “beat” of the drums (Gene Krupa comes to mind) which both tortured (“D.O.A.”) and obsessively drove (“PHANTOM LADY”) its listeners into frenzy. Then, the chanteuse, singing her sad bluesy ballads – the world of the wronged woman– is where Gilda lived. Jazz music contributed to the style of film noir, although it did not always accompany it. Sometimes the music leaned more to the blues side than the jazz side, or slipping completely over on its side and becoming downright raunchy.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Under the angry glare of Johnny Farrell, Gilda performs her striptease-like dance in a dress that's almost not holding on.  Every bump and grind to the beats of the song, the flipping of the hair, the facial expressions are sexy and purposeful.  She may be beautiful and soft looking, but tough, in that she's not afraid of what's coming after that very seductive performance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me the finest use of jazz in film noir is the music in "Sweet Smell of Success," which unfortunately isn't on the TCM schedule. Elmer Bernstein's score and jazz by the Chico Hamilton Quintet underline both the brightness and the sleeze of the characters who occupy nightlife in New York. This is not to overlook the comments on the jazz sequence in "Phantom Lady" which has more to do with Elisha Cook drumming himself into an **** frenzy than what little hope he might have in bedding Ella Rains with the music.

 

An earlier posting mentioned the difference between the sedate Rita Hayworth and the overt Gilda. Ms Hayworth herself once commented is that the problems she had with the men in her life were because they went to bed with Gilda and woke up with Rita Hayworth. Rather a sad analysis but probably true.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Definetly agree. She intentinally shows off her figure, but also thorugh her lyrics, reveals that she is confident and expects something to happen afterwords. Most of the men present may not know of her intentions, however, she hints throughout her "show offy " get up. Her taking off the glove was sexual, but almost like a way of her letting him know that she is not just a pretty face.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gilda is a classic film Noir…..the story has so many twists and turns it’s hard to keep up with them all!  In this scene we see our femme fatale has already brought down her man (Glenn Ford) from a long time ago…..and the fireworks have been going on since they encountered each other again.

 

This particular scene is full of steam and sexiness there is no doubt, but there is so much more to this scene.  Gilda is absolutely in a full state of rebellion during this performance, she is a caged bird, and she doesn’t like it, so she is going to get back at her captor.  Richard has asked us to take a look at the music in this film, which adds to the steaminess of the scene and fits perfectly in this sexually charged film. 

 

This music is completely trashy and akin to a strip club….is trash though, what we are really viewing in this scene?  The music played in this scene and the manner in which it is played is that of a stripper-type act, the act of a seriously trashy woman….or perhaps one who believes she is just trash or feels like she is trash because of what she has done in the past to herself and others. She is a quintessentially a dark character and self-destructive person lashing out at others to deal with the confrontation inside and to get the attention she craves from the target, in this case, Johnny.  Well it works and when Johnny discovers what is going on his emotions go from zero to absolute rage in about 10 seconds. 

 

Glenn Ford is a powerful actor, he always was and he is quite believable in this scene….fantastic engagement of his emotions…..

 

Gilda plays the part knowing she will get the attention of Johnny …and not in a good way.  She acts as if she is drunk-she is not. Gilda is fully aware of what she is doing to him and the men in the audience.  This is a dark scene, full of dark men who if they could have accomplished it, would have stripped her naked right there on stage, and then who knows what…. there is no doubt about their intentions when they begin running toward the stage after her naughty zipper remark.  There were no “rules’ in play here on how to treat a woman who may be slightly or seriously incapacitated…another serious look into dark behavior and as I have mentioned several times in my discussion, the alarming rate at which a person can descend into deviant behavior.

 

I was struck at how quickly the men in the audience were reduced to animal status as several of them ran to the stage to “help” her undress, the way so many of them were pawing at her as she was escorted out of the room.  Our civilized society expectations are that these men would have expressed shock at her behavior rather than open and violent lust….

 

There were plenty of other women in this room yet I never heard protest or shock from them nor were there any attempts by their accompanying men to protect them from this potentially horribly violent scene.  Were these men so overcome with the entire situation that they forgot about the women they were with?  Given my fascination with the psychological aspects of noir, this entire scene is of great interest to me and I see new things every time I watch this film.

 

No doubt it was hard not to be reduced to this very animalistic status even for the most moral of men, Gilda is a breathtakingly beautiful woman and what a sexy performance!…..however those eyes in the dark were not the eyes of admirers, they were the eyes of predators.  This scene directly addressed not only the raucous behavior of our rebellious femme fatale, but gave us a quick look at deviant and violent sexuality.

 

Might this scene sexually excite or scare the absolute Hell out of a man who secretly harbored such tendencies? Maybe this scene makes average men think about how low they themselves could have gone in such a situation.

 

That bright spotlight on Gilda as she performs only highlights the darkness around her psychologically and physically, both the lighting and the very dangerous position she into which she has actually inserted herself.  It is a very childish act and could have resulted in a horrible outcome for her.

 

Ford’s character however, when he enters causes instant silence across the room, this is a powerful moment and tells the viewer that he is a man to be respected and feared, his anger is lethal.  The spotlight is gone now, it is Johnny that now creates the lightning (and I do mean lightning).  If we are able to pull ourselves away from this incredible piece of acting and study the scene at this point, we see that the room is now fully lit, but it doesn’t feel that way. 

 

Johnny’s rage is unvarnished as he violently grabs her and almost drags her out of the room, during the ensuing confrontation all viewers feel that slap to the face he gives her. Ironically it is at the point where Johnny drags her out of the room that the onlookers in the room express shock.  It is almost as if they have been awakened to their own horrible behavior by his smoldering anger… (Glenn Ford can most definitely pull that smoldering anger thing off…LOL…. I sure wouldn’t mess with him!!)

 

It is interesting and I think correct that they picked Ford for this character.  He has such a respectable face, a face that says, “once I pick my lady that’s it, I’m with her for life”.  When this type of man is hurt emotionally by his lady, that pain runs deep and in Ford’s case results in anger, rejection of the woman and a mind to get revenge on whoever was involved in causing that pain…..a man in love scorned who descends into the behavior we see in this dark and gritty film.  

It is this type of film that truly strikes me as noir…..Gilda happens to be one of the films that got me truly interested in the world of noir.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gilda glows with energy and unbridled exuberance in this number.  I hadn't previously noticed how she removed her glove like an experienced stripper.  She's brassy and so is the music.  All the men love it, even the bouncer, but Johnny's jealous and enraged.

 

He pulls her away and she rebels at him stopping her from being honest with the world.  She's not proud of what she is, but she doesn't want to hide it.  If she was a hard-boiled detective she could be proud or at lease blasé about her experience with the low life.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, love the multiple characterizations in this scene ... what seems to be a light-hearted show turns into something much darker when she begins stripping and her husband starts in on her. At the end of her show when she was being dragged off I thought she might be drunk, the way she was acting.

 

Some great writing here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my memories of Rita Hayworth was when she appeared on "The Carol Burnett Show" in 1971.  Carol asked Rita how she held up her dress during the "Put the Blame on Mame" number.  Her response, "Two good reasons."

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me the finest use of jazz in film noir is the music in "Sweet Smell of Success," which unfortunately isn't on the TCM schedule. Elmer Bernstein's score and jazz by the Chico Hamilton Quintet underline both the brightness and the sleeze of the characters who occupy nightlife in New York. This is not to overlook the comments on the jazz sequence in "Phantom Lady" which has more to do with Elisha Cook drumming himself into an **** frenzy than what little hope he might have in bedding Ella Rains with the music.

 

An earlier posting mentioned the difference between the sedate Rita Hayworth and the overt Gilda. Ms Hayworth herself once commented is that the problems she had with the men in her life were because they went to bed with Gilda and woke up with Rita Hayworth. Rather a sad analysis but probably true.

Sweet Smell of Success was the first film I thought of when music and Film Noir was discussed .  The music itself was a strong element of the story as was jazz and jazz musicians as part of the underworld.  Martin Milner was a straight-laced guy but no one would question a jazz musician being busted for possession.  Made him an easy mark.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I was struck at how quickly the men in the audience were reduced to animal status as several of them ran to the stage to “help” her undress, the way so many of them were pawing at her as she was escorted out of the room.  Our civilized society expectations are that these men would have expressed shock at her behavior rather than open and violent lust….

Not only did these men rush to her, they came out of the shadows of the club to do so.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The beautiful Gilda is desperate.  The lyrics say 'Put the blame on Mame,' but perhaps she means that blame has been put on her that is not justified.  With her performance, she is saying-- So you think I'm a ****.  So I'll show you a ****!  She is really bringing her problems with Johnny to a head.  And is Johnny furious!  She certainly did a great job.  She is wearing a great noir dress-- black!  She really seems to be enjoying herself in her number, and throwing herself into it.  Perhaps she's throwing everything into this exhibition.  She has made a very strong statement to Johnny; the ball is now in his court.  About the lighting and closeups-- Rita was a big star, and naturally her fans would want to see her lit well, and with lots of closeups.  I didn't read much more into it than that, and the fact that the nightclub star always has a spotlight.  I like the fact that Johnny first sees her through the slats in the blinds-- very film noir! 

Film noir is enhanced by music.  In this scene, the song advances the plot.  Gilda is announcing that she has been wronged, and throwing it in Johnny's face.  My favorite use of music in film noir is in Double Indeminity, the shadows from the window blinds, and 'Tangerine' playing.  I also like the use of a jazz song as a haunting clue in 'Nightmare," with Edward G Robinson, and the jazz club in 'D.O.A.'  The jazz really sets the scene and the mood, and it sits in your memory, too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm glad others found her dancing clumsy. i beleive it was intentional. 

SPOILERS

Gidla knew that Johnny got upset when other men showed her attention. I don't think she was drunk, she was pushing his buttons and knew what would make him come running to her. So she did the most outrageous thing on purpose to irritate him and once he got irritated he would come to her.

The real mystery was what was their connection in America, I wish there was a 5 minute segment in the movie with a more detailed description but there's not

 

That scene kinda reminds me of Laury in Born to kill using the squirt Danny to needle the new one, but Laury ended up getting murdered playing that game

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Showstopper, indeed!

 

My husband always said that Rita Hayworth was sexier in “Gilda” with all her clothes on than any other actress in the movies stark naked.  I am afraid every time I see this clip that Rita is going to pop out of that lovely black satin dress.

 

The vocal by Anita Ellis is delicious, but I often wonder what Rita herself would have sounded like.  The difference in voices is definitely noticeable.   I do wish sometimes that producers/directors would have the courage to allow for more realism in scenes such as this.  Who is this woman?  Why wouldn't she have a less than "perfect" singing voice? 

 

I mentioned last week how much I enjoyed the music (especially the very evocative Chopin) in “Detour.”  I’ll be watching Friday at 9:30 a.m. to see how it goes with “Gilda.”

 

;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this movie for the first time just a week or two ago. I was intrigued by the characters. Watching the dance sequence as just a movie goer and then this morning in the context of this class, I wondered if I would see anything different, but my reaction to the scene both times and what I think is basically the same. When I watched the movie in it's whole and when I watched just the clip this morning, I am convinced that Gilda is almost driven to a near insanity by her forced sexual repression. She wants Johnny, she finally gets him, marries him and then he refuses her and keeps her from being with other men either. So much in film noir is about the power of sex and lust. The people in film noir movies are driven to awful behaviors because of sexual needs,  as demonstrated by Gilda and her frenetic desperate dancing and how the men in this scene react to the seductiveness of Gilda! The music adds to the general frenetic out of control aspect of the scene with it's forced gaiety....and repetitive phrases. 

I am enjoying this course greatly. My husband is a film teacher and historian and I often feel that I am not able to communicate with him on a knowledgeable level.  This is opening up all kinds of conversation for us. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"What are some of the deeper layers of meaning that are contained in this film noir musical sequence?"

 

I think the most obvious meaning is that great feminine beauty can be very seductive, causing people-men and women both- to make rash judgments and decisions, to act out of character, and exposing themselves to risks they ordinarily would be careful to avoid. Here we have an especially beautiful and shapely woman, and the otherwise sophisticated and well-to-do clientele are actually trying to expose her right there in public! Thus they are exposing themselves, albeit unwittingly, as vulgar and crass and painting themselves as sexually desperate.

 

Beauty makes men act reckless. Beauty is power.

 

Another example of that is how Glenn Ford's character is so rough and brutal with Gilda. She meant a great deal to him, so much so that her words could have hurt him so deeply and spurred him to physical violence against a member of the weaker sex. He's not a thug. yet here he is acting like a lowlife palooka. He clearly valued his association with Gilda, and winning her meant that he possessed a great prize, inextricably tied in with her great physical beauty. Possessing her was a testament to his male ego. And ego also makes men act reckless.

I agree, both the lyrics of the song and her performance state all too clearly that the allure of a sexy woman is powerful and can be dangerous. In the song, in Gilda's life and as demonstrated by the men rushing to help her out of her dress right in front of the wives or girlfriends they brought to the club, they are willing to throw everything away to chase the lust she can create in their hearts. Willing lambs to the slaughter. Sadly, it is not what she truly wants or who she wants to be but she uses it as an extreme vehicle to get the attention of Johnny. By striking her, she has caused him to degrade himself to the level that she feels that he perceives her to be. You can see by the look on his face after he slaps her that he knows what he has done and hates himself for it. Welcome to the darkness and regret of self loathing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The song is about everything bad that happens can be blamed on a women. This is how Glenn ford's character is feeling about Gilda. Everything bad is her fault and she is going out and almost making fun of that idea saying yes blame everything on women. At the same time she is is putting on a show for Johnny. The whole movie is Gilda putting on a show for Johnny but this is the culminating scene.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...