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Gilda

Director:  Charles Vidor
Year Released:  1946
Rating:  3.5

As highly "coded" as any picture I've ever seen, since the underlying "meaning," if dealt with in a straightforward way, wouldn't have gotten past the rather strict sensors. Street hustler Glenn Ford has chance encounter with all-too-effeminate casino owner; eventually, the casino owner weds Rita Hayworth, which puts a strain on the already bizarre relationship between the two men. The first hour is simply fantastic, with all three key actors making the seedy undertones all the more intriguing; the second considerably less so, as it is broken up by two song numbers (by Hayworth), the second being something of a striptease (although she only removes her gloves - the dress' zipper seems stuck). It's camp done perfectly, with Vidor and cinematographer Rudolph Mate's camera adding an unforgettable noir atmosphere. It's good stuff, Johnny. Real good.

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