Posted by Larry Gleeson
Eva Longoria announces today’s AFI Movie Club selection: GILDA. The film stars Rita Hayworth and appears on AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 SONGS list of the greatest American movie music of all time – and Hayworth appears as #19 on AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 STARS!
GILDA was originally written as an American gangster film. The more salacious events in the story were threatened by censorship codes, so the location was changed to Buenos Aires.
GILDA was not the first time Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth were coupled onscreen, co-starring six years earlier in another Charles Vidor film, THE LADY IN QUESTION. After GILDA, the two stars maintained a secret love affair for nearly 40 years!
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION was adapted from a Stephen King novella titled, “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” and features a scene from GILDA. Hayworth’s role, including her iconic introduction in the film, remains one of the most widely referenced performances in cinema history!
Rita Hayworth’s singing voice was dubbed for most of her musical numbers in GILDA, but she performed the most iconic song of the film – “Put the Blame on Mame” – herself.
Producer Virginia Van Upp developed GILDA for Rita Hayworth. Van Upp was a prolific screenwriter and producer, although much of her work was not credited onscreen.
One of the first test atomic bombs was named “Gilda”? Rumor has it, the bomb was also decorated with Rita Hayworth’s likeness! Hayworth’s husband at the time, Orson Welles, later revealed that she was not pleased with this explosive attribution.
The film was Hayworth’s first major dramatic role for Columbia and catalyzed her ingenious genesis as a femme fatale.
The movie doesn’t end at the credits. Engage with your family, friends and others like you who love the movies. Check out the AFI Movie Club Discussion Questions for this movie and post your responses in the comment section!
-GILDA is now known as a quintessential film noir – with Rita Hayworth’s character representing the prototypical femme fatale. What elements of the movie make it fit that genre?
-Is Gilda all bad? Do you consider her a villain or an antihero?
-GILDA was released just six months after WWII ended. How do you think audiences may have perceived the threat of escaped Nazi war criminals as it is shown in the movie? How does GILDA capture the postwar ethos?
-What themes of the movie still resonate in today’s world?
-Historians note that GILDA broke type with other film noir by having a happy ending. Would you describe the conclusion as “happy?” If you were telling this story, how would you end it?
-GILDA’s filmmakers used visual devices to shift the audience’s loyalty toward characters throughout the film. Can you describe a scene in which you changed your mind about a character?
-How would you rate GILDA?
Watch Edward James Olmos talk about Rita Hayworth and GILDA in this exclusive AFI Archive video.
I hope the AFI Movie Club brings some inspiration and entertainment during this uncertain time when we are reminded “There’s no place like home.” AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies where each day’s film – announced by a special guest – is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to bring the viewing experience to life. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating.
About AFI Movie Club
AFI Movie Club is a newly launched free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together – even while we are apart. AFI will shine a spotlight on an iconic movie each day, with special guests announcing select AFI Movies of the Day in short videos posted on AFI.com and social media platforms. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials. The daily film selections will be supported by fun facts, family discussion points and exclusive material from the AFI Archive to enrich the viewing experience. Audiences can continue the conversation online using the hashtag #AFIMovieClub. Learn more at AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/