Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… Affair In Trinidad (1952)

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 CollectionSalome (1953)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… The Loves Of Carmen (1948)

It’s June 17, which means that it’s time for another entry of “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” featuring actress Rita Hayworth!  This time, it’s her 1948 film The Loves Of Carmen, also starring Glenn Ford!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Super Pink (1966)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 2 (1966-1968) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 5 minutes, 58 seconds)

After reading a superhero comic, the Pink Panther tries to be a superhero himself!  This is a fun one, as the Panther repeatedly attempts to help an old lady.  His intentions are there, but the way he does things is rather stupid (which is what makes this cartoon so funny).  The ending is particularly fun (and one that you wouldn’t see coming)!  I like this one, and find it worth returning to every now and then!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Upon arriving in Seville, young Spanish soldier Don José Lizarabengoa (Glenn Ford) explores the city.  He meets Carmen (Rita Hayworth), a beautiful gypsy woman, who ends up stealing his watch.  In spite of that, he falls for her (which is the start of a lot of trouble for him).  She soon gets in a fight with another woman, and he is forced to arrest her.  However, she manages to get away, and he fakes an injury to keep the other soldiers from going after her.  This angers his Colonel (Arnold Moss), who demotes him, puts him on guard duty, and confines him to barracks.  Of course, the Colonel also falls for her, but she invites José to her quarters.  Carmen is warned by a fortune teller that she will be killed by a man that truly loves her, which gives her a slight pause.  However, she still believes in doing what she wants to do, and keeps the date with José.  They run into trouble when the Colonel also arrives, and decides to duel with José to teach him a lesson.  The Colonel has poor luck, though, as Carmen trips him, causing him to fall on José’s sword and die instantly.  So, now José and Carmen are on the run.  They are joined in the desert by a band of thieving men that includes Garcia (Victor Jory), her husband.  The sparks of jealousy are ignited, eventually resulting in a fight between Garcia and José, with José again emerging victorious (although this time it is no accident).  So, now José is the leader of this band of thieves, and grows more and more jealous of Carmen as she continues to do what she wants (even after they are married).  Will José’s jealousy get the better of him (thus ensuring the fortune teller’s prophecy), or will Carmen be able to change her ways?

The Loves Of Carmen, which was based on the novella Carmen by Prosper Mérimée, was actually one of several films suggested by Orson Welles as a film for his then-wife, Rita Hayworth, but he ended up not handling it himself.  Columbia studio boss Harry Cohn decided to return to the idea, though, after Welles and Hayworth broke up.  After the failure of The Lady From Shanghai at the box office, Harry Cohn wanted to put together a big hit, preferably in something similar to Gilda.  While Harry Cohn had others in mind for the role of Don José, Rita Hayworth made a big push to have her Gilda co-star Glenn Ford cast, and have Gilda director Charles Vidor return as well (and, since it was to be done by her production company, Beckworth, she was able to get her way on that).  Some of her family was also involved, from her father Eduardo Cansino (assistant choreographer) to her brother (a soldier) and her uncle (flamenco dancer).  The film proved to be a success with audiences, and Harry Cohn had plans to cast her in Born Yesterday.  Those plans were upset when, during a much-needed vacation after filming wrapped, Rita met her next husband, Prince Aly Khan, and she ended up staying offscreen for a few years.

This is another movie that I’m coming off my first viewing of, and I will admit, my feelings are slightly mixed.  Mostly, I do like this movie.  I think the cast is fun, with the chemistry between Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford still evident.  I will admit, though, that I think the plot is a bit weaker, with the particular sore point being Glenn Ford’s character essentially becoming the leader of the group of thieves when Victor Jory’s Garcia dies. To me, it feels like there is no indication beforehand that that would even be likely, since I get the impression that he feels like an outsider in that group.  And while I’m thrilled to see Rita do some more dancing, I don’t particularly care for how her first dance is filmed, with barely anything seen.  I know it’s more or less being shown from the viewpoint of Glenn Ford’s character, who can’t really see it either, but, it’s Rita Hayworth!  We want to see her dance!  To a degree, you can see the ending coming ahead of time (not helped by the fortune-telling with the cards, and a few other things).  Again, I do very much enjoy this movie, and these are the only points I have against it.  Even with this film’s limitations, I would definitely say that this movie is well worth seeing (just don’t go comparing it against the far superior Gilda)!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… The Loves Of Carmen (1948)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment.  Another film from this set originally done in Technicolor, and this one actually looks the best to me so far.  The color shows up quite nicely, and the film has been well cleaned up of dirt and debris.  I don’t think I could ask for better on this one!

Film Length: 1 hour, 37 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Lady From Shanghai (1948) – Rita Hayworth – Affair In Trinidad (1952)

Glenn Ford – Affair In Trinidad (1952)

The Lady From Shanghai (1948)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionAffair In Trinidad (1952)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

An Old-Fashioned Christmas Movie On The Farm (2020) with… Pocketful Of Miracles (1961)

Continuing on with our Christmas holiday run of movies, we have the 1961 movie Pocketful Of Miracles, starring Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange and Arthur O’Connell!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pitchin’ Woo At The Zoo (1944)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 1 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

(Length: 6 minutes, 51 seconds)

Popeye and Olive are walking through the zoo, and zookeeper Bluto tries to impress Olive. Yes, it’s a lot of the old “Bluto and Popeye trying to one-up each other to impress Olive” routine, but it’s still a bit of fun. The animals add to the fun, as Popeye has to square off with a tiger, a crocodile, leopards, an elephant, and many more! Especially having been restored, this cartoon now looks great, making the colors more vivid, and allowing you to enjoy the details! Certainly worth seeing every now and again!

And Now For The Main Feature…

It’s the end of Prohibition. Gangster leader and bootlegger Dave the Dude (Glenn Ford) has become a big man in New York City, at least partly due to the success of the nightclub he’s been helping his girlfriend Elizabeth “Queenie” Martin (Hope Lange) run. He also has had some good luck because of his “lucky apples” that he routinely buys from beggar woman Apple Annie (Bette Davis). Now, he faces the prospect of being part of a bigger mob syndicate being led by its “king,” Steve Darcey (Sheldon Leonard), but he wants in on his own terms, not Darcey’s. Trouble arises, however, as Apple Annie finds herself in a pickle. For years, she’s been sending money that she’s gotten from Dave buying her apples and from the other panhandlers on Broadway to her daughter, who lives in a Spanish convent. Their only contact has been the letters they’ve been writing each other, with Annie embellishing her own life by making herself out to be a big society lady under the name of Mrs. E. Worthington Manville. Now, her most recent letter from her daughter Louise (Ann-Margret) indicates that she will be marrying the son of a Spanish count, and the three of them would be coming to America by boat to visit her mother. Apple Annie is distraught and unsure of what to do. At first, Dave is unconcerned about her problems and only wants his “lucky apple,” but Queenie convinces him to help Annie out. He sets her up with a room in the Hotel Marberry, with Queenie helping to give her a makeover. They also enlist the help of judge Henry G. Blake (Thomas Mitchell) to act as Louise’s stepfather. When the boat comes in, Annie, the judge, Dave and Queenie are there to meet them (along with the rest of Dave’s mob to help keep away any nosy reporters). Over the next few days, Annie enjoys her reunion with Louise, while Dave has his own worries. Among them, some reporters show up to find out about “Mrs. Manville,” so Dave has them tied up and stashed in the pantry. Count Alphonso Romero (Arthur O’Connell) decides to announce the engagement of Louise and his son Carlos (Peter Mann) at a reception for Annie’s “society friends,” and, after some discussion, they decide to try using Dave’s gang and Queenie’s showgirls to pose as the guests. The newspapers start to make things miserable for the police and the Mayor (Jerome Cowan) due to the disappearance of the reporters, and the police start to suspect Dave of being involved. In the midst of all this, Dave’s friend and second-in-command, Joy Boy (Peter Falk), is sweating it out as he constantly nags Dave about the potential deal with Darcey. Can everything come together, or will Annie’s lies be found out?

Pocketful Of Miracles was based on the Damon Runyan short story “Madame La Gimp.” Director Frank Capra had previously filmed the story for Columbia Pictures in 1933 as Lady For A Day, but had wanted to do a remake for a while. He had some trouble with Columbia’s executives, who owned the screen rights and were reluctant to do a remake. In 1960, he was able to buy the rights himself, but continued to have troubles with casting it. Actor Glenn Ford offered to help finance the movie if he could be cast as Dave the Dude, and while Frank Capra didn’t think he was right for the part, he agreed to his terms, just so he could make the movie. The troubles didn’t end there, though. Throughput filming, Frank Capra had health issues, with many headaches caused by the stress, resulting in this being the last feature film that he directed.

For some, it might be a bit of a stretch to call this one a Christmas movie, but not me! They admit at one point that the movie does take place during December, and we do get to see a few decorated Christmas trees in the background of some scenes. The score also includes some Christmas music, including music from the Nutcracker Suite at key points of the story. But, ultimately, the story itself maintains some Christmas spirit. We see Dave the Dude go from caring only about himself and what he wants, to doing things for others and encouraging some of his gang to do things without reward (and we also see the effects radiate out to others that he deals with). As the judge himself says at one point, pointing to his heart, “In here, it’s Christmas.” And that is enough for me to call this one a Christmas film.

I really enjoy this film, with its score, its story, and all the performances of the various actors involved. In particular, though, I think the movie is worth it just to see Peter Falk in his Best Supporting Actor Oscar-nominated role as Joy Boy, and Edward Everett Horton as Hutchins, the butler. Both of them are generally hilarious throughout the movie, and even funnier during the few moments that they interact with each other. The only real sour note this movie has, in my opinion, is a scene of domestic violence between Glenn Ford’s Dave the Dude and Hope Lange’s Queenie Martin when he finds out she’s walking out on him, with the whole thing playing out like foreplay, until Peter Falk’s Joy Boy interrupts them (and it feels worse considering Glenn Ford and Hope Lange were an actual couple at the time this movie was made). Apart from that minor complaint, this is a movie I always look forward to watching around Christmastime, and I certainly would give it my highest recommendations!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber.

And if you are interested in joining in on my month-long “Star Of The Month” blogathons for 2021, whether for next month (Doris Day), February (Clark Gable) or beyond, please be sure to check out my Coming Soon In 2021: “Star/Genre Of The Month” Blogathons post to sign up!

Film Length: 2 hours, 17 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

It Started With A Kiss (1959) – Glenn Ford

Another Man’s Poison (1952) – Bette Davis

Down To Earth (1947) – Edward Everett Horton

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… It Started With A Kiss (1959)

For our next movie, we have the 1959 comedy It Started With A Kiss, starring Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Symphony In Spinach (1948)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 3 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

(Length: 6 minutes, 29 seconds)

Popeye and Bluto compete for a spot in Olive’s band. Yes, it’s still Popeye vs. Bluto fighting for Olive’s affections, so that’s nothing new. However, it’s fun seeing how they try to outdo each other with all the various musical instruments. And I love seeing how Popeye got his spinach from a free sample letter from the Sampson Spinach Co., addressed to Famous Studios, the creators of this cartoon! Not one of the best, but I certainly had a few good laughs with this one!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Dancer Maggie Putman (Debbie Reynolds) decides to borrow a dress from her job to go work a raffle booth at a charity bazaar, where she hopes to catch the eye of a wealthy bachelor. She catches someone’s eye alright: Air Force supply sergeant Joe Fitzpatrick (Glenn Ford), who was in the lobby with a friend trying to set him up with a date when Maggie walked in. Joe tried his best to get her attention, including buying a raffle ticket (which was for a very fancy car) but, since he wasn’t rich, she kept trying to ignore him. However, she has to leave when her dress gets caught and is torn apart. She forgets the torn off part of the dress, which he returns, in exchange for a date. When they kiss, just as an experiment (yes, It Started With A Kiss, I know), they decide to get married in a hurry. Of course, Joe has been on leave, and has to take off for Spain, leaving her with instructions to join him shortly. Not long after he leaves, Maggie finds out that he won the raffle for the fancy car, but when she writes him about it, she decides to keep it a surprise. However, based on the wording in her letter, Joe thinks she was trying to tell him she’s pregnant (in spite of not even being married a month yet). When she arrives, that matter is quickly cleared up, but in between that misunderstanding and how the Air Force personnel are reacting to her manner of dress, she decides they need to base their marriage on more than a physical attraction, and gives him an ultimatum of no sex for one month or she leaves. He’s not thrilled, but he decides to go along with it. Little does he know how much trouble her ideas about wealth and their new car are going to cause him, with it attracting the attention of the ambassador (who doesn’t want the Air Force personnel to give off ostentatious displays of wealth among the Spanish people), as well as the Marquesa Marion de la Rey (Eva Gabor) and her friend, the bullfighter Antonio Soriano (Gustavo Rojo) (who also finds himself interested in Maggie).

It’s been said that this movie was being planned as early as June 1957, when producer Aaron Rosenberg bought the property as part of his new contract with MGM. The plan was to use the original storywriter, Valentine Davies, to write the screenplay, although that ended up being handled by Charles Lederer (or at least was credited to him). The movie rather famously made use of one gag previously used in the classic screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, in which, in this movie, Glenn Ford accidentally tears Debbie Reynold’s dress and then he has to walk in-step with her from behind to help her out of the room while hiding the torn dress. The movie also made use of the concept car Lincoln Futura, which would famously be used again a few years later on television as the Batmobile in the classic TV series Batman (although obviously with a slightly different coat of paint).

I know this is one of those movies that seems to have mixed reactions with audiences, but I happen to be one of those who like it! For me, Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds work well together, and play off each other’s timing real well! It’s easy for me to understand why they were quickly teamed up again for the movie The Gazebo! Throw in other fun comedians like Fred Clark as the Air Force general who has to deal with all the problems (including Debbie’s character accidentally getting into his bed and all the fun that entails), plus two people who would work together on television in a few years (even if they didn’t really share many scenes here), Eva Gabor and Edgar Buchanan (who would work together mostly with crossover appearances on the TV series Petticoat Junction and Green Acres). Now, is the plot the movie’s strong point? Not really, as it just seems like a lot of stuff getting thrown at them as excuses to keep them apart after bringing them together so quickly while padding the runtime, but it works well enough for me, and I enjoy getting to watch this one again every now and then! So, yes, it’s certainly got my recommendation!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection. The new Blu-ray is sourced from a recent 2K scan, and looks great! The detail makes it worth seeing (especially when the Lincoln Futura is onscreen), and the colors are as vivid as one could hope for! Honestly, let’s keep this simple: it’s a Warner Archive release, so for the picture quality alone, it’s worth it!

Film Length: 1 hour, 44 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Affair In Trinidad (1952) – Glenn Ford – Pocketful Of Miracles (1961)

Tammy And The Bachelor (1957) – Debbie Reynolds