Friday, September 10, 2010

Coming to DVD: The Films of Rita Hayworth

THE FILMS OF RITA HAYWORTH, a long-awaited DVD set containing five films, will be released on November 2, 2010.

The films in the collection are COVER GIRL (1944), TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT (1945), GILDA (1946), SALOME (1953), and MISS SADIE THOMPSON (1953).

Extras include introductions by Martin Scorsese and others, and a commentary track by Richard Schickel on GILDA. (Schickel's commentary on THE MARK OF ZORRO was perhaps the worst I've ever heard, but he did a much better job sharing commentary duties with Jeff Young for ON THE WATERFRONT. It will be interesting to see how he does on GILDA.)

I'm unfamiliar with SALOME and MISS SADIE THOMPSON, other than happening to see a scene from SALOME on TV when I was a child which gave me nightmares. (I seemed to stumble across scary scenes from films like THE BLOB, I SAW WHAT YOU DID, and SALOME at neighbors' houses, not at home!) I can't say I have a desire to see the rest of SALOME, even though it stars Stewart Granger, one of my favorite actors.

COVER GIRL, TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT, and GILDA, on the other hand, are pure Hayworth gold and more than enough reason for fans to purchase the set. I was fortunate to see all three films in Los Angeles revival theaters in years past -- COVER GIRL and TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT on multiple occasions.

TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT, about actors refusing to close their show during the London Blitz, is a great favorite of mine. It has a moving and somewhat unusual story, a good score (the Oscar-nominated "Anywhere" is unforgettable), beautiful Technicolor, and an excellent supporting cast including Janet Blair, Lee Bowman, and Marc Platt. Platt, a dancer who also appeared in SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954), has a terrific solo dancing to the radio. (Platt will be 97 in December.) A review at TCM correctly says TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT is "underrated"; I believe it was somewhat ahead of its time, including a somber and uncertain ending rather unusual for the '40s.

COVER GIRL and GILDA also represent some of Hayworth's best work. COVER GIRL has had a previous DVD release, which I don't own; the release of this new boxed DVD set may spur me to replace my VHS copy.

I'll be watching for reviews of the set this fall.

October Update: The release date has been pushed back to December 21, 2010.


Blogger Tom said...

Nice selection of films!

9:59 AM  

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