Charles Vidor, USA, 1946, 110 minutes PG.
Despite critical drubbing ('high-class trash', sniffed the Daily News), in one of the biggest box office bonanzas of its year and now a bona fide film noir classic - the high of 1940s screen eroticism. Down-and-outer Glenn Ford's 'You've no idea how faithful and obedient I can be' pledge to Buenos Aires nightclub magnate George Macready is threatened when the boss later produces a wife - Rita Hayworth.
'There never was a woman like Gilda!' shouted the ads, and there never was a star as electrifying as Hayworth, from her hair-tossing first close-up; to her teasing bumps and grinds, dressed in black satin gown, to the strains of Put the Blame on Mame; to the screen-igniting sensuality of her scenes with an uncharacteristically fiery Ford.
(Hayworth created such a sensation in the role that the first peacetime A-Bomb sported her likeness.) Gilda boasts some of the most feverish noir dialogue of the decade and the screen's first multi-sexual menage a trois - an element totally unnoticed by contemporary critics. - Film Forum