Friday, August 5, 2011

27. "Put The Blame On Mame" from Gilda

The first of a handful of nightclub chanteuses to grace the list is probably the most famous cabaret performance in all of classic cinema.  And is there any wonder why?  In the late 1940s, Rita Hayworth was a goddess among mortals, her image so explosive that it adorned the nuclear bomb tested at Bikini Atoll.  And give or take a Lady From Shanghai, she never has a finer hour than the sultry noir Gilda, and therein no scene seers itself into your memory quite like "Put the Blame on Mame."

What was that?  Oh, sorry, I was drooling.  That hair!  Those gloves!  This could top any list of the most seductive scenes in cinema and I wouldn't bat an eye.  It's as transfixing as a musical number can get, and don't even try to tell me there's no spectacle in this.  Her figure is so effortlessly arresting that one can take for granted how rare that kind of talent is.  Her's is the warmest kind of glamour, the kind that ice queens from Garbo to Kidman could never pull off.  And did I mention she can sing?  It's all one perfect package, and if ever a career deserved to be summed up in a single scene, this would be the one.

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