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.