It’s July 17, and that means it’s time for another round of “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” featuring actress Rita Hayworth! This time, we’ve got another movie she made opposite actor Glenn Ford, the 1952 noir Affair In Trinidad!
Coming Up Shorts! with… Boxing Gloves (1929)
(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 1 (1929-1930) from ClassicFlix)
(Length: 17 minutes, 28 seconds)
Harry (Harry Spear) and Farina (Allen Hoskins) are fight promoters, and decide to pit Joe (Joe Cobb) and Chubby (Norman Chaney) against each other. So far, of the four early “Little Rascals” shorts that I’ve seen, this one has been the most fun! Joe and Chubby are quite entertaining, as they both let Jean (Jean Darling) get under their skin, and their fight is equally as fun! It’s sad that this one is missing part of its soundtrack (mostly during the fight sequence), but I think it’s easy enough to understand what’s happening onscreen that it doesn’t hurt it as much as it could. A very enjoyable short, and I can only look forward to seeing more!
And Now For The Main Feature…
In Trinidad, American artist Neal Emery is found dead. At first, the police suspect suicide, so Inspector Smythe (Torin Thatcher) enlists the aid of Mr. Anderson (Howard Wendell) from the American consulate to tell Neal’s wife, Chris Emery (Rita Hayworth) (who works as a singer and dancer at a local nightclub). They question her about what reason Neal might have had to commit suicide, and when it is discovered that the two were estranged, with her on the receiving end of the affections of Neal’s friend Max Fabian (Alexander Scourby), she gets angry with them. The next day, the police determine that Neal was murdered. They bring Chris in, and take away her passport. The inspector reveals that they strongly suspect Fabian is guilty of murdering Neal and can easily arrest him, but they want bigger fish. They believe he is part of a group that deals in information and other forms of treason, and, since Fabian likes her, they want her to go undercover and find out what she can, which she agrees to do. Meanwhile, Neal’s brother, Steve Emery (Glenn Ford), has just arrived in Trinidad at his brother’s invitation. When he finds out his brother is dead, Steve quickly heads over to the inquest, where he listens to everybody talking about how suicidal his brother was. Angered, he follows Chris home, where he confronts her about the supposed love triangle with her, Neal and Fabian that the newspaper is reporting on. She is unable to say anything, and talks to the inspector, who tells her not to say anything until he can check on Steve. Later on, Steve apologizes for his initial reaction, and shows her a letter from his brother that had asked him to come down to Trinidad for a job. For a few days, Steve and Chris spend some time together, until Fabian shows up and reminds Chris that they have a dinner date (although he also invites Steve along). The dinner is interrupted when some of Fabian’s friends arrive earlier than expected (one of whom Steve recognized as a fellow passenger on his plane to Trinidad). After the party is over, Steve is angry with Chris, believing she has feelings for Fabian. She tries to explain that she has no interest in Fabian, but refuses to leave the country with Steve (or explain why), which makes him angrier. Steve tries to take the letter from his brother to the police, but they ignore him, leaving him to go off on his own to solve his brother’s murder. Chris has been invited to Fabian’s birthday party, and she makes use of that opportunity to look into the guest house to see what she could discover. She is able to discover what Fabian and his “guests” are planning, but she is caught when she accidentally leaves behind a scarf (which was a gift to her from Fabian, no less). Will Steve be able to rescue Chris and help stop Fabian’s crew, or will their plans succeed?
After filming The Loves Of Carmen in 1948, Rita Hayworth had left Hollywood behind and married Prince Aly Khan. However, that marriage fell apart after a few years, and she returned to Hollywood and Columbia Pictures. Her return was very much unexpected, though, forcing studio head Harry Cohn into a corner, as he had to put her in a movie or lose her (according to her contract). As a result, he tricked director Vincent Sherman into doing the film with almost no story written, save for a few bits and pieces. The film’s writer, Virginia Van Upp, also dealing with some personal issues, struggled to piece together a story from the different storylines going through her head. The fact that Rita had been away from Hollywood a few years (and wasn’t in the same shape she had been in) worked against them at the start, but with hard work, she was able to get back in shape. Audiences at the time didn’t mind the mild reviews, as they flocked to the movie, making it a decent-sized hit for her return.
I will admit, after seeing this film for the first time, that I do like it. As usual, Rita Hayworth is fun (and we get to see her dancing again, the first time we see her in this movie). Glenn Ford also has great chemistry with her, and the movie itself is entertaining. I do think it feels a little too disjointed, like they did indeed have issues putting the story together. And while I do like Glenn Ford’s performance, I think the love/hate relationship is a bit much, and his character’s feelings towards her turn too much on a dime for me. I think the film fares a little better than their last film together, The Loves Of Carmen, but this one again feels too easy to compare to Gilda (since, in bringing Rita back, they tried a little too much to make it like one of her biggest successes), and I have a very high opinion of that film. Still, as I said, I do like this one, and would certainly be willing to recommend it!
What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Affair In Trinidad (1952)
This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. This film’s transfer looks quite good, with good detail helping to show off the film’s cinematography. The picture has been cleaned up of dust, dirt and other debris, so it’s certainly the best way to see this movie!
Film Length: 1 hour, 38 minutes
My Rating: 8/10
List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections
The Loves Of Carmen (1948) – Rita Hayworth – Salome (1953)
The Loves Of Carmen (1948) – Glenn Ford – It Started With A Kiss (1959)
The Loves Of Carmen (1948) – Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection – Salome (1953)
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