Rita Hayworth in Gilda: Take Off That Glove

gilda

All Rita Hayworth has to do is take off her glove …

… and men are hers forever. Women too, I reckon.

Even with all the explicit sex stuff in films today, there’s very little that can compete with her erotically slow and deliberate “disrobing” in the “Put the Blame on Mame” number in Gilda (1946). The whole thing is sheer sex, her curves, her movements, her knowing smile, her posture, her dress-shape. It’s also sexy that her hair is free and tousled, not “done”. She’s wild. She looks it. Her bouncy free hair is what MAKES her first appearance in Gilda (along with the varying expressions/tones: watch in the clip below how she goes from achingly beautiful/sweet/fresh, to cool and knowing and a little bit hard a second later). That first moment, the “reveal” of Gilda, is the most famous shot of Rita Hayworth ever. People who haven’t even seen Gilda probably recognize it. It’s breath-taking in the most literal sense. You need a second to recover.

And most people don’t recover. Ever. Put a fork in the menfolk. The jig is up.

That’s what a dame like Rita Hayworth can do.

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9 Responses to Rita Hayworth in Gilda: Take Off That Glove

  1. Helena says:

    Oh Jeez, Gilda. It’s been a little while since I saw this but I remember watching Hayworth perform Put the Blame on Mame and do that thing with her glove and feeling my jaw drop steadily down towards the floor. What she does is so … astounding. You forget she remains completely dressed and just revealing an arm. Such a twisted, glorious, erotic headfuck of a film.

    • sheila says:

      // You forget she remains completely dressed and just revealing an arm. //

      It’s amazing, isn’t it?

      Maybe it’s how slowly she does it, how knowingly … also the black of her dress, the black of her gloves – making her skin seem even more pale. And the cleavage makes her look naked anyway – but it’s the reveal of the ARM that puts it over the edge.

      She’s so wonderful. I love it when she got to play a little bit hard – like in Only Angels Have Wings, where she’s put up on a pedestal as the near-perfect Howard Hawks Woman – the “type” that Jean Arthur can only HOPE to emulate.

      and yeah, Gilda is so dark, so tough. Love it!

      • Helena says:

        ‘Gilda – It could only have been made in 1946’ ;-)

        Haven’t seen Girl on a Motorcycle but I guess it and Gilda would make an interesting double bill. Voiceovers, too.

        • sheila says:

          If you played those two movies back to back you would think: “What the HELL happened to the world in the intervening 20 years? Good GOD the beast has not only slouched towards Bethlehem but has overrun it entirely. Can we reverse this somehow??”

  2. Jeff Gee says:

    I was watching “Gilda” on TV when I was a teenager and my dad wandered into the room during “Put the Blame on Mame.” When it was over, he said, “Tell me again what a frigging genius Orson Welles was.”

  3. Butler says:

    I saw this for the first time a few years ago. Although I’d been watching classic-era movies since childhood, I think I expected this one would be essentially good clean fun, by this late date. But, when she does the pseudo-striptease, within the context of the rest of the movie – it was still startling.

    Of course the whole movie was marvelously played by Hayworth.

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