>> Sunday, August 9, 2009

I suppose this is a film noir, but it doesn't feel like it for some reason. Such a web of a story that I'm not even going to bother trying to describe it. What sticks out to me are three things: the smoking, Rita Hayworth's hair and Rita Hayworth. (Although, I did look upon Glenn Ford fondly as Superman's dad thirty years prior in this.)

Damn, if you had a drinking game based on every time someone lit up or inhaled, you'd be drunk in the first half hour. I couldn't believe how much smoking there was. If it wasn't happening in every scene, then it was definitely 90% of them. Clear proof of how things have changed the past 60 years.

Not everyone's hair can be as glossy and brushed to perfection as Hayworth's was in this movie. Watching the Carnival dancing scene with Hayworth and Ford, it was like I could see every strand of her hair--shiny and perfectly brushed in place. I can't recall when the last time I saw hair like that on film, and this wasn't filmed in high definition. The black and white cinematography really brings out her hair. Also, while she was wearing the mask during Carnival, she, or her face, really reminded me of Julie Newmar as Catwoman.

A few weeks ago, I watched the shitastic Katie Holmes on So You Think You Can Dance, well, the web version anyway. Holmes lipsynched and "danced" to a Judy Garland song. I couldn't finish watching it because it was so dreadful. Really. Yet, Rita Hayworth lipsynched all her songs in films and could actually dance. The contrast between the two is so ridiculous that I'm not sure why I'm even bothering to mention it except the dancing that Hayworth does in "Put the Blame on Mame" isn't very complex, like Holmes on SYTYCD. Yet Hayworth knocks it out of the park and the scene is a classic.

That's the thing about Hayworth. She may not have been the greatest actress of her time, but she could make up for it in spades with screen presence and allure. An allure that none of the girls posing for Maxim or FHM will ever have.


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