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GILDAMN Rita Hayworth is a Stone Cold Fox!

July 13th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

You heard it here first! Or maybe last, sometimes I just don’t believe all the hype surrounding certain screen goddesses until you see them in the real deal. Stills and publicity shots don’t do Ms. Hayworth justice, her sultry glances made me wonder if I hadn’t been born a generation or two late. Yowza!

Now I know where this song is from, and how it got so famous!

Rita’s inordinate sex appeal aside, I found this a wonderful film, simmering with the expatriate WWII era spirit of the “old lovers meet again” trope a-la “Casablanca,” and the comparison is meant with absolute pleasure and admiration. Glenn Ford may not be Humphrey Bogart, but the cast of humorous supporting characters matches near line-for-line the comic relief timing of the classic Moroccan based film, though here set a few years later post-war and on the other side of the Atlantic. Words fail to fully describe the beat for beat simplicity and understatement of this film, a slow boiler compared to “Casablanca’s” somewhat larger scale and temperament.

I shouldn’t just sit here comparing classics, remember this is only Glenn Ford week 2 of 3. Though he doesn’t steal the show in “Gilda” as much as in “The Big Heat” (he is only one of the “little friends,” after all), there are plenty of perfect line deliveries from our duty-torn hero. Tune in next week as well to see a decidedly more thrilling picture, “Experiment in Terror.”

You don’t have to wait until next week for compelling terror, however. Speaking of slow boilers, give late night feature “The Pact” a shot. Deftly combining horror and thriller, this film comprised of simpler special effect techniques and use of modern technology (without it being the “hit you over the head” use as a major plot device) make for a constantly unnerving film. Not rewriting the book on any major horror and thriller tropes, this film uses those tools and conventions with a knowing and steady hand to craft solid scares and an intriguing mystery. Sure, you can figure out the reveals before they happen, but in a post-Shyamalan world, we know how “gotcha!” twists can get out of control. Hell, the “Saw” movies made a franchise out of it! For those appreciating the more subtle, atmospheric approach (me!), watch “The Pact” for chrissakes!

Are there flickering flashlights? Then it’s a horror flick! Plus: Johnny Rico!

Oh, and as an added bonus this weekend, we bring you “Star Wars: Uncut,” projected for your viewing pleasure. One of many such weekend wonders in the next month or two, to be followed by another Scarecrow presented VHS special and the Alamo Drafthouse event I’m most looking forward to, “Computer Error: The Worst CGI in Movie History.” After you watch “The Dark Knight Rises,” summer movie season is over. Come to the Grand Illusion where the fun never ends!

—thunderstorms, whaaaaa? dan

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