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The Films of Rita Hayworth

 
Cover Girl (1944)            Tonight and Every Night (1945)

Gilda (1946)           Salome (1953)          Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)

 

Rita Hayworth, who was born Margarita Cansino, the daughter of Spanish and Irish parents, trained from a young age as a professional dancer and would become one of the more enduring symbols of glamour and sex appeal of her era. As a result of her sultry good looks and talent displayed in every genre, including comedies, dramas, musicals, thrillers, and even westerns, Rita Hayworth became the unmatched Queen of the lot at Sunset and Gower, in Hollywood, and one of Columbia's most important contract stars. By 1940, a picture starring Rita Hayworth guaranteed the highest level of production values and her films are some of the most iconic of their era. Now Sony Pictures and The Film Foundation have teamed again to bring five of her finest films to DVD--three of them for the first time. These films highlight Hayworth's charm, grace and allure as a dancer, dramatic actress, and vamp--while charting the exceptional range of her career. It's a collection that showcases one of Hollywood's most unforgettable stars...and is certain to win her legions of new admirers as well.

 


Titles

 


 

Cover Girl-- Rita's gorgeous red hair made her a natural for Technicolor, and her beauty is amply displayed in this musical about a dancer who unexpectedly becomes a magazine cover model. Dance partner and love interest, Gene Kelly (who also served as an un-credited choreographer with Stanley Donen) becomes jealous when her rising celebrity clashes with his ambition. The songs are by Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern, with supporting actors Phil Silvers, Lee Bowman, Otto Kruger, and Eve Arden rounding out the superb cast.

Tonight and Every Night-- This moving picture of life in war-time London is a tribute to those enduring the nightly bombing raids that strafed the city, and Hayworth is radiant as an American showgirl in London. Another gorgeous Technicolor musical and an unusual dramatic role for Rita, based on the real theater troupe who never missed a performance, despite increasingly dangerous circumstances. Victor Saville (Goodbye, Mr. Chips) produced and directed the film, which co-stars Lee Bowman, Janet Blair and Leslie Brooks.

Gilda-- Gilda (Rita Hayworth), the wife of a casino owner (George Macready) in Buenos Aires, is surprised to be introduced to her husband's new casino manager (Ford), a man from her past. Rita's legendary striptease to "Put the Blame on Mame" is an unforgettable moment in one of the greatest of all film noirs, and the peak of her career--not to mention a searing depiction of one of the most erotic and tortured relationships on film. Directed by Charles Vidor, the film co-stars Joseph Calleia, Stephen Geray and Gerald Mohr.

Salome-- Rita plays the gloriously beautiful but wicked Salome with relish in this Biblical tale of the stepdaughter of Roman King Herod (Charles Laughton), whose growing lust for his charge leads her to make a very unique demand involving John The Baptist (Alan Badel). William Dieterle (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) directed this lavish production, which also stars Stewart Granger, Dame Judith Anderson and Sir Cedric Hardwicke.

Miss Sadie Thompson--The fourth screen version of the famed Somerset Maugham story details the arrival of a free-spirited woman to Samoa, where she naturally arouses the interest of the Marines based there (especially sergeant Aldo Ray), as well as the wrath of the fire-and-brimstone preacher (Jose Ferrer) who wants her sent away immediately. Curtis Bernhardt (A Stolen Life) directed the film, which was originally released in 3-D.

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1944 - 1953

DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Sony (5-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Sony - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: Respectively - 1:46:52, 1:31:45, 1:49:56, 1:42:44, + 1:30:18
Bitrate: Cover Girl (1944)
Bitrate: Tonight and Every Night (1945)
Bitrate:

Gilda (1946)

Bitrate: Salome (1953)
Bitrate: Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)
Audio English (original mono)
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
All Original (4X 1.33) and one anamorphic at 1.85:1

Edition Details:

Cover Girl:

• Baz Luhrmann on Cover Girl (4:17)

• Previews

Tonight and Every Night:
• “Patricia Clarkson on Tonight and Every Night" (4:20)

• Original Theatrical Trailer

Gilda:

Commentary with Richard Schickel

• Martin Scorsese + Baz Luhrmann on Gilda (16:05)

• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:10)

Salome:

• Original Theatrical Trailer (3:08)

Miss Sadie Thompson:
• “Introducing Miss Sadie Thompson with Patricia Clarkson (4:23)

• Original Theatrical Trailer



DVD Release Date:
December 21st, 2010
Custom digi-pak case (see image above)
Chapters: 12 X 5

 

Comments:

NOTE: Big thanks to Leonard for the comparative captures!

This Films of Rita Hayworth set was delayed more than once and has finally surfaced. Sony are following the exact format of their Columbia Film Noir Classic Vol. 1 and follow-up Columbia Film Noir Classic Vol. 2 DVD packages. So what does that mean? At least one film has seen the digital light of day previously - in the case of The Films of Rita Hayworth there are two - with Cover Girl and Gilda (previously reviewed HERE.) Like both The Big Heat and Human Desire from the Noir boxsets - the original, Columbia, Gilda fares better.

Of the five feature films of this boxset - only Gilda was filmed in black and white and the rest are in color - and only one, Miss Sadie Thompson, is in widescreen - and is anamorphically enhanced on the DVD. Each of the 5 films reside on individual, progressively transferred discs. Each is single-layered (only) in their original aspect ratios - 1:85, for Sadie and 1.33:1 for the other 4.  Each disc is coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. They have original mono audio (or 2.0 channel stereo) and each offer optional English subtitles in a white font with an annoying black background 'boxing' the text. The commentary on Gilda has optional subtitles in a bright yellow font. The package (image above) is a three tiered Digi-pak housed inside a handsome cardboard slipcase. The individual discs are awkward to replace back in their compartment.

Image quality:  Columbia TriStar produced some excellent quality single-layered DVDs of classic films in the old days but this new Sony Rita Hayworth package video renderings look quite modest in comparison with lowish bitrates in/and under 5.0 Mbps. I didn't own the previous edition of Cover Girl and can't really speak to the colors - it looks 'okay' with some softness and compression artefacts. Aside from Salome - most titles here look like they require a good cleaning and larger files sizes dedicated to the features. I don't suspect that anything has been done for any perceived digital improvement. Skin tones in Tonight and Every Night look, almost fatally, orange (ditto for Sadie). Gilda is quite dirty and grainy (the 2000 Columbia DVD, which also has the 'restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive' screen, looks superior). Miss Sadie Thompson is extremely dirty and, unfortunately, appears the worst of the five and may have been the condition of the print - it looks to require some form of digital restoration.

Audio was acceptable with all dialogue discernable and without major faux-pas like devastating dropouts, pops or background hiss. It was consistent and clear enough and is supported with, poorly rendered, optional English subtitles.

 

 

Extras include a solid commentary by author, journalist, documentary filmmaker and film critic for Time magazine, Richard Schickel, on Gilda. This ends up being a significant upgrade from the previous releases which only had the exclusive, if short and incomplete, documentary: "Rita Hayworth: The Columbia Lady" (which is no where to be seen here). Notable is a 15-minute piece with Martin Scorsese + Baz Luhrmann talking, separately about Gilda with some scenes running in the foreground. Luhrmann also discusses Hayworth in Cover Girl for 4-minutes and actress Patricia Clarkson does similar on "Tonight and Every Night" and a, less than 5-minute, piece entitled “Introducing Miss Sadie Thompson". There are also trailers for all except Cover Girl.

 

Well, despite the delays this doesn't seem as defining a collection as one might appreciate our “The Love Goddess”. The most iconic films; Gilda with Glenn Ford + Cover Girl with Gene Kelly have already been out on DVD for some time in equal or superior a/v editions. As a film, Miss Sadie Thompson, is not Hayworth's best, nor Salome but I'm glad to have seen both. The Schickel commentary on Gilda does add value. The middling quality of the transfers is a disappointment but this seems a sign of the times and may, sadly, prove to be the best we ever get. Let's hope a Volume 2 is more forthcoming with, less seen, title like Who Killed Gail Preston? (1938), Tales of Manhattan (1942) and The Story on Page One (1959) in better transfers with more supplements.

Gary W. Tooze


 

Sample DVD Menus (all 5 have same initial screen)


Supplements


 

Cover Girl (1944)

 

Screen Captures
 
Sony (Films of Rita Hayworth) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Columbia - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM
 

 
Sony (Films of Rita Hayworth) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Columbia - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Tonight and Every Night (1945)

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Gilda (1946)

 

Screen Captures
 

 
Commentary subtitles
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Salome (1953)

 

Screen Captures
 
Sony (Films of Rita Hayworth) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Columbia - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM
 

 
Sony (Films of Rita Hayworth) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Columbia - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)
 
Screen Captures
 
Sony (Films of Rita Hayworth) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Columbia - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM
 

 
Sony (Films of Rita Hayworth) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Columbia - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution Sony - Region 1 - NTSC

 


 


 



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