Film: Gilda

Removing a glove has never been so sexy.

Ballin Mundson: Gilda, are you decent?
Gilda: Me? [long pause] Sure. I'm decent.

Gilda is a 1946 Film Noir about the epynomous Femme Fatale, a nightclub singer named Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford and George Macready. The film is notable for its excellent cinematography, music and particularly Hayworth's stunningly sexy performance.

The story takes place in Argentina where a dice gambler called Johnny Farrell ends up becoming the right-hand man of Ballin Mundson, the owner of an illegal casino, who is constantly under the watchful eye of local authorities. The situation becomes more complicated when Johnny meets Ballin's wife, the nightclub singer Gilda, who was once his lover.

Struggling between his loyalty to Ballin and his hatred for Gilda, Johnny grows increasingly conflicted, which isn't helped when on the night he kisses Gilda, the event is witnessed by Ballin who flees only to seemingly plummet to his death in an exploding airplane. Saddened by his friend's demise, Johnny begins controlling Gilda's goings even more rigorously while the local authorities question him about details of certain cartel plans which Ballin has presumably been involved with.

Despite all of this, Johnny can't forget what he once felt for Gilda, but he can't be sure if Gilda shares his feelings. To make things worse, a shadow of the past still looms over them...


Gilda provides examples of:

  • Anti-Hero: Johnny cheats at gambling, likes the idea of Ballin's shady tungsten cartel, and his vindictive streak against Gilda leads him to mistreat her with glee. He still tries to do the right thing at the end of the day though.
  • The Dragon: Johnny is essentially this to Ballin.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Near the end of the film, after Obregon has threatened to arrest him, Johnny decides that being the head of the tungsten cartel is more trouble than it's worth and decides to make a retreat from Buenos Aires after giving Obregon the information he wants.
  • Pretty in Mink: Gilda has a few furs, including a chinchilla jacket, a mink coat, and an ermine coat that she carries in the first part of "Put the Blame on Mame".
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Obregon is perfectly happy to let Johnny leave Buenos Aires without a fuss after he has given him the information he wants, and even lets Uncle Pio off the hook for killing Ballin, explaining that as far as he is concerned Ballin already officially died when he faked his death and that Pio's action was in any case justifiable seeing how he was protecting Johnny and Gilda from Ballin.
  • Self-Made Man: Ballin, as he likes to say, "makes [his] own luck". Though the trope is portrayed quite negatively in this case, seeing how he has cheated people and stolen from them to get where he is.
  • She's Got Legs: All of Gilda's dance scenes makes a pretty heavy point out of showing off Rita Hayworth's legs.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Johnny and Gilda. Their only on-screen kiss is preceded by them professing their mutual hate for one another. Gilda also slaps Johnny three times in succession, and Johnny slaps her once; however, both scenes are played extremely seriously and are not followed by a kiss or anything else remotely romantic.
  • Sword Cane: Ballin has a switchblade cane.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Johnny was played by Glenn Ford, after all.
  • Villainous Friendship: Johnny and Ballin becomes friends in the first place because they realize they are quite similar in both being men with few moral qualms who like to "make their own luck".
  • Would Hit a Girl: Johnny hit Gilda after she performed her striptease.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: Gilda's glove-removing scene (she would've gone further but Johnny stopped her).