It’s time to reflect on Film Noir and my as-of-late obsession with Rita Hayworth. Before Marylin, there was Rita, decked in diamonds and black silk and stumble dancing through “Put the Blame on Mame” from the 1946 Charles Vidor classic “Gilda.” Rather than Marylin’s breathless and at times, vapid nature in front of the cameras, Rita’s was intimidating and rash, opinionated and smart in her characters while still being absolutely stunning. Marylin may have brought home more bacon, but Rita fried it in the pan.
If you needed any more affirmation to shack up with a cabana owner in Cuba, work a cabaret and be dramatic 24/7, this movie will be that voice. Think of it as Film Noir 101 and it’s concentration: How To Be A Film Goddess. For a film rich in diamonds and drama, “Put the Blame on Mame” was considered so scandalous it almost got cut from the film. Rita’s removal of long gloves and the necklace was considered a strip tease, burlesque in nature and too much for movie-goers. When she declares “I’m not very good at zippers, but maybe if I had some help!.” the men come a-runnin.’ Following the song is a passion and anger-fueled row between Gilda and Johnny, all ending with the Fakest of All Fake Things movie slap across the face.Go black and white tonight, put on your diamonds and dodge blame at all costs.