AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Gilda
Director: Charles Vidor (Dir)
Release Date:   25 Apr 1946
Premiere Information:   New York premiere: 14 Mar 1946
Production Date:   4 Sep--10 Dec 1945
Duration (in mins):   108 or 110
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Cast:   Rita Hayworth (Gilda [Mundson])  
    Glenn Ford (Johnny Farrell)  
    George Macready (Ballin Mundson)  
    Joseph Calleia (Obregon)  
    Steven Geray (Uncle Pio)  
    Joe Sawyer (Casey)  
    Gerald Mohr (Captain Delgado)  
    Robert Scott (Gabe Evans)  
    Ludwig Donath (German)  
    Don Douglas (Tom Langford)  
    Lionel Royce (German)  
    Saul Z. Martell (Little man)  
    George J. Lewis (Huerta)  
    Rosa Rey (Maria)  
    Jerry DeCastro (Doorman)  
    Fernanda Eliscu (Bendolin's wife)  
    Frank Leyva (Argentine)  
    Sam Flint (American)  
    Forbes Murray (American)  
    Jean DeBriac (Frenchman)  
    Oscar Lorraine (Frenchman)  
    George Humbert (Italian)  
    Herbert Evans (Englishman)  
    Eduardo Ciannelli (Bendolin)  
    Robert Tafur (Clerk)  
    Russ Vincent (Escort)  
    Erno Verebes (Dealer)  
    Eugene Borden (Dealer)  
    Alphonse Martell (Croupier)  
    Leon Lenoir (Croupier)  
    Soretta Raye (Harpy)  
    J. W. Moon (Bunco dealer)  
    Nobel G. Evey (Bunco dealer)  
    Sam Appel (Black Jack dealer)  
    Jack Del Rio (Cashier)  
    George Sorel (Assistant croupier)  
    Jack Chefe (Assistant croupier)  
    Albert Pollet (Assistant croupier)  
    Lou Palfy (Assistant croupier)  
    Julio Abadia (Newsman)  
    Ralph Navarro (Waiter)  
    Herman Marks (Waiter)  
    Carli Elinor (Waiter)  
    Joseph Palma (Waiter)  
    Alfred Paix (Waiter)  
    Ted Hecht (Social citizen)  
    Leander de Cordova (Servant)  
    Ramon Munoz (Judge)  
    Fred Godoy (Bartender)  
    Lew Harvey (Policeman)  
    John Merton (Policeman)  
    Cosmo Sardo    
    Paul Bradley    
    Nina Bara    
    Ruth Roman    
    John Tyrrell    
    Argentina Brunetti    
    Ernest Hilliard    
    Robert Stevens    
    Frank Leigh    
    Rodolfo Hoyos    
    Jean Del Val    
    Paul Regas    
    Phil Van Zandt    

Summary: When Johnny Farrell, a callous young gambler new to the Argentine, is held up in a dark alleyway by a thief who demands his money or his life, a sinister man steps from the shadows and banishes the robber with a knife he has concealed in his walking stick. The man then directs Johnny to a posh Buenos Aires casino, where he then enjoys a winning streak. Johnny is cashing in his chips when he is summoned to the office. There, he is met by the man from the alley who, after introducing himself as Ballin Mundson, the owner of the casino, accuses Johnny of cheating. When Johnny proposes that he work for the casino, Ballin hires him with the warning that gambling and women don't mix. Johnny quickly wins Ballin's confidence, and one day, soon after the end of World War II, Ballin grimly informs Johnny that he is leaving on a trip and appoints Johnny casino manager. Several weeks later, Ballin returns, beaming, and introduces Johnny to his alluring new wife, Gilda. Johnny is stunned to discover that Ballin has married his erstwhile sweetheart, the woman he now loathes as much as he once loved. Although Ballin is unaware of their former relationship, Uncle Pio, the philosophical washroom attendant, senses their passion. That night, Obregon, an agent of the secret police and a constant observer at the casino, introduces himself to Johnny. As Ballin holds a disagreeable meeting with two Germans, Gilda flirts with one of the customers, thus inflaming her husband's jealousy. Gilda and Johnny's hostile repartee finally prompts Ballin to suspect their previous alliance, and he cruelly offers a toast, wishing disaster to the "wench" who wronged Johnny. After Ballin appoints Johnny as Gilda's watchdog, Gilda taunts him by continuing her flirtations with other men. Ballin, who covertly controls a tungsten cartel, is visited one day by a man he has driven out of business. After Ballin ignores his entreaties, the man fires a gun at Ballin, misses and then shoots himself as Obregon silently watches. Questioned by Johnny about the incident, Ballin shows him the safe he has hidden in his office and provides him with the combination. As Johnny continues to hide Gilda's indiscretions, his hatred toward her deepens. One night, Gilda admits to Johnny that she married Ballin on the rebound from him, but her confidence only inflames his fury. On the night of the big carnival, two Germans burst into Johnny's office and demand to see Ballin, and Ballin agrees to meet them in one hour. Superstitious, Gilda portends doom, and later, Obregon warns Johnny of impending trouble. Later that night at the casino, Ballin murders one of the Germans, while at the Mundson house, Gilda seductively dances with Johnny. As they embrace, the door slams and Johnny glimpses Ballin running down the stairs and speeding away in his car. Johnny follows Ballin, who is also pursued by Obregon. As they race onto the beach, Obregon and Johnny see Ballin board a small plane that explodes soon after takeoff. Unknown to them, Ballin has staged the explosion and parachutes from the craft to the safety of a waiting launch. With Ballin's presumed death, Johnny weds Gilda, who has inherited her husband's estate, and assumes control of the cartel. Johnny, who has married Gilda for revenge, refuses to live with her but makes her his captive, assigning his thugs to guard her day and night. One day, a German visits Johnny and asks for the return of the tungsten patents, explaining that the Nazis allowed Ballin to buy the patents as a front and now want them back, but Johnny refuses. Slowly realizing that she is a virtual prisoner, Gilda flees to Montevideo to file for divorce. There she is advised by Tom Langford, an attorney seemingly smitten by her charms, to return to Buenos Aires and file for an annulment instead. Gilda follows his advice, but upon arriving in Buenos Aires, she finds Johnny in her hotel room and realizes that Langford is in his employ. Defeated, Gilda performs a drunken dance of seduction onstage at the casino while Obregon counsels Johnny to turn over the patents to the police and reconcile with Gilda. When Obregon discloses that Gilda's infidelity was only an act to torment Johnny, Johnny contritely approaches her to apologize. Just then, Ballin appears and accuses them of betrayal. As Ballin trains his gun on them, Uncle Pio stabs him in the back with his own walking stick. Obregon magnanimously declares the killing self- defense, thus freeing Gilda and Johnny to leave the country and begin life anew. 

Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Director: Charles Vidor (Dir)
  Arthur S. Black (Asst dir)
  George Webster (Asst dir)
Producer: Virginia Van Upp (Prod)
Writer: E. A. Ellington (Story)
  Joe Eisenger (Adpt)
  Marion Parsonnet (Scr)
Photography: Rudolph Maté (Dir of photog)
  Irving M. Klein (2d cam)
Art Direction: Stephen Goossón (Art dir)
  Van Nest Polglase (Art dir)
Film Editor: Charles Nelson (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Robert Priestley (Set dec)
Costumes: Jean Louis (Gowns)
Music: M. W. Stoloff (Mus dir)
  Marlin Skiles (Mus dir)
Sound: Lambert Day (Sd rec)
  Russell Malmgren (Re-rec and eff mixer)
  Edwin Wetzel (Mus mixer)
Special Effects: Don Glouner (Matte paintings, cam)
  Larry Butler (Miniatures and spec optical eff)
Make Up: Clay Campbell (Makeup)
  Helen Hunt (Hairstyles)
Production Misc: Norman Deming (Asst to prod)
  Juanita L. Bell (Research dir)
  Thelma Hoover (Research dir)
Country: United States

Songs: "Put the Blame On Mame" and "Amado Mio," words and music by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher.
Composer: Doris Fisher
  Allan Roberts

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp. 19/4/1946 dd/mm/yyyy LP252

PCA NO: 11235
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording

 
Genre: Film noir
 
Subjects (Major): Betrayal
  Casino owners
  Gamblers
  Hate
  Infidelity
  Love
  Marriage
  Revenge
  Temptresses
 
Subjects (Minor): Airplane accidents
  Americans in foreign countries
  Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  Carnivals
  Casinos
  Divorce
  Inheritance
  Lawyers
  Missing persons, Assumed dead
  Monopolies
  Nazis
  Patents
  Secret police
  Stabbings
  World War II

Note: The opening onscreen credits read "Columbia Pictures Corporation presents Rita Hayworth as Gilda." According to a Mar 1945 LAEx news item, Edmund Goulding was intially slated to direct the picture. "Gilda" was Hayworth's first major dramatic role for Columbia and a watershed in her career, as it forever marked her as a femme fatale . According to a Jun 1946 NYT news item, her performance was so impressive that atomic scientists on the Bikini Atoll named an atomic bomb "Gilda" and painted Hayworth's picture on it. A Mar 1971 NYT news item states that Robert Schiffer created Hayworth's makeup for the film.
       Modern sources note that producer Virginia Van Upp developed the story of Gilda for Hayworth. Modern sources add that although Anita Ellis dubbed most of Hayworth's singing in the film, Hayworth actually sang the acoustic guitar version of "Put the Blame on Mame." This picture marked Glenn Ford's return to the screen after a four-year absence due to military service. The film also marked the motion picture debut of Buenos Aries-born character actress Argentina Brunetti (1907--2005).
       According to a Sep 1945 NYT news item, Gilda was originally written as an American gangster story, but was switched to Buenos Aires because of opposition from the Breen Office. The film sparked riots in Rio de Janiero because of inflated admission prices, according to a Sep 1946 HR news item. An Apr 1946 HR news item noted that director Charles Vidor sued Columbia for terminating his contract after the completion of this film. For further information about that suit see The Man from Colorado (below). According to a 1975 LAEx news item, Columbia considered remaking the film in 1975. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   23 Mar 1946.   
Daily Variety   13 Mar 46   p. 3.
Film Daily   14 Mar 46   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Sep 45   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Mar 46   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Mar 46   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Mar 46   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Apr 1946.   
Hollywood Reporter   9 Sep 46   p. 10.
Los Angeles Examiner   23 Mar 1946.   
Los Angeles Examiner   14 Aug 1975.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   22 Dec 45   p. 2776.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   23 Mar 46   p. 2907.
New York Times   16 Sep 1945.   
New York Times   15 Mar 46   p. 27.
New York Times   30 Jun 1946.   
New York Times   4 Mar 1971.   
Variety   20 Mar 46   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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