AFI Movie Club: GILDA
GILDA appears on AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 SONGS list of the greatest American movie music of all time – and Rita Hayworth appears as #19 on AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 STARS!
Watch Eva Longoria announce the film:
Movie Trivia about GILDA
-DID YOU KNOW GILDA was Rita Hayworth’s first major dramatic role for Columbia? It catalyzed her ingenious genesis as a femme fatale!
-DID YOU KNOW that 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.
-DID YOU KNOW 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.
-DID YOU KNOW 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!
-DID YOU KNOW 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?
-DID YOU KNOW that 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!
-DID YOU KNOW 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!
Learn more at the AFI Catalog.
The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions
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-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:
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