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Sunday, April 08, 2012


Rita Hayworth

My buddy in New England, Allen, has sent to me a great YouTube clip that I think is worth watching for a couple of reasons:   First, its 4:48 in length which will only tie you up for a few minutes.  Second, it features the Bee Gees doing their great hit of 1977, “Stayin' Alive”, from the most popular film of that time, “Saturday Night Fever”.  Third and most important, someone has taken the song and dance moves from the film and synchronized them with some films from the 1940s and 1950s starring the great Rita Hayworth.

Most of you probably remember Rita but in case you don’t, she was the hottest lady in film during the 1940s and 1950s.  She was a red headed beauty who could really dance and the fascination with this clip is the way the Bee Gees tune fits her dancing style.

I love classic films and to see Rita Hayworth cavorting on the dance floor with people like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire is a great pleasure.   Most of the clips are from the 1940s but there is one from 1957 (“Pal Joey”) with Rita and Frank Sinatra. (If you have a sharp eye you can see Phil Silvers of "Sgt. Bilko" fame dancing with Rita and Gene Kelly in a couple of scenes!)

As talented as Rita Hayworth was, she didn’t have a happy personal life as she was married five times between 1937 and 1961.  Her last film was a stinker called “The Wrath of God” (1972) with Robert Mitchum and in 1987 she was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

Rita Hayworth died in 1987 at age 68 but left behind a lot of great films that we can still enjoy today.

This is great stuff! and it takes me back to those days of youth when my buddies and I salivated over girls like Rita, Marilyn Monroe,  Gina Lollobridgida,and Brigette Bardot.

None of us were old enough to drive so we walked and hitchhiked everywhere.  One friend of mine was really bold.  He would hitch rides and have the nerve to ask the driver to change his radio station!

We would go to double feature films and not worry about whether we got there for the beginning or not.  When the film made its cycle back someone would whisper down the row that "This is where we came in."

Vacations were always taken in non air conditioned cars and we never passed up the opportunity to have a good snowball fight on snowy winter days.  As far as I know, nobody ever had their eye put out!

That was a great era and the time when Rita Hayworth ruled.  I sure miss her.


DarkerShadeofBlue said...

Hi Jim,

Happy Bunny Day!!!

Last week (in my new job) I was hit in the face, threatened....and almost hit...once again. Work is a blast. Busy, busy busy!

I'll check in here now and again. Enjoy.

midnightsstaff said...

must be a skiptracer....

Jim McAllister said...

From Larry Rupp,

When I saw this earlier this year I was sure I saw Phil Silvers. Found his name in the tags on this issue. thanks

Jim McAllister said...

From Ken Honeyman, Florida.

Da ALIEN from New Hampshire, I'm sure, is aware of GREAT flick she did with Jack Lemmon, and Bob Mitchum showing her off in bathing suit[one piece], and an uninhibited Caribbean dance she does called, "Fire Down Below"-1957... ALL Rita

Mike Slater said...

Rita Hayworth was a very talented and good looking woman. I always enjoy watching her in the movies.

Jim McAllister said...


You got hit in the face? What is this new job? Drop me a line and let me know. Whatever it is, it must be better than Fry's!

My best to the pooch and hunny.

Jim McAllister said...


I love skip tracer stories, always funny what they have to do to make a buck.


He is younger and doesn't have his black rim Bilko glasses; wire rims instead.

He is seen with Gene Kelly and Rita in a couple dance scenes from "Cover Girl" (1944), several years before Bilko and his gang.

Talented guy, made a lot of films in the 40s as a supporting actor.

Jim McAllister said...


Yep, it is the alien from New Hampshire, our old Classmates buddy AJD.

"Fire Down Below" was a great film. Rita drove poor Lemmon and Mitchum nuts. She would me too!

That was a good English flick with Herbert Lom, Anthony Newley, and "M". Bernard Lee. Great supporting players.


She was great, died too soon. She was great in musicals and also in "Gilda" in 1946 with Glenn Ford. That was a pretty dramatic role.

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

Oh.....guess you didn't get that email. I stalk people and detain them for shoplifting. The hunny worked today so the pooches and I were a bit bored. But thank god we didn't have to go to the inlaws' Hope it was a good one!

FD said...

I don't know why but all I could think about during the whole review was the Million Dollar Mermaid, Esther Williams.

That, and Hedy LaMar patenting the technology for what would one day become your cell phone.

Rita who?

Jim McAllister said...


You are stalking shoplifters and detaining them? That sounds like a tough job. I've seen some of those people get violent when they are caught. That's terrible what happened to that Walmart manager. He should have let that guy go.

I guess the Fry's job was good training. being a checker sure shows you a lot about the personalities of people.

Be careful!

Jim McAllister said...


Yo're right about Esther and Hedy, especially Hedy.

I think the two best looking women from the 40s were Hedy Lamarr and Gene Tierney. Hedy made a sweet, small film with Jimmy Stewart in 1940 mcalled "Come Live With Me" in which she was really gorgeous. The same in 1941 with Robert Young in "H. M. Pulham, Esq." (1941)

Tierney was especially gorgeous in "Laura" (1944).

The gals today can't touch them. Unfortunately, those two were in some trouble late in life for shoplifting some minor items. Very sad.

buzzard said...

I enjoyed the video, but I always confuse her with Rita Moreno.

Jim did you know that Hedy Lamarr was not only "the most beautiful woman in the world" But, she was a pretty intelligent babe?

Besides what FD said about Hedy's design in cell phone techonology, Lamarr and a friend came up with a radio controlled torpedo guidance system. An early version of today's smart bomb technology.

Hedy was a pretty amazing woman.

Jim McAllister said...


You're right, Hedy was a smart gal and did invent some important items as you mentioned.

Keep an eye on TCM; occasionally they show "Come Live With Me" and "H. M. Pulham, ESQ." They were made in 1940-41 and she is gorgeous at 27 and 28.

The fad at that time was for women to use men's first names in their roles. In the former she is "Johnny" and the latter is "Michael."

This is from Wiki: "In 1965 Lamarr was arrested for shoplifting in Los Angeles; the charges were eventually dropped. In 1991 she was arrested on the same charge in Florida, this time for $21.48 worth of laxatives and eye drops. She pleaded "no contest" to avoid a court appearance, and in return for a promise to refrain from breaking any laws for a year, the charges were once again dropped."

In '91 she was 78 and maybe had something like Alzheimer's. I can't think of any other reason she would have stolen that junk. I remember it happening at the time and was flabbergasted.

Jim McAllister said...

From Don Williams:

I can't recall a more attractive movie starlet than Hayworth in her classic "Gilda" her only competitor that comes to mind was Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8.

No actress today holds a candle to those two.......


No question about it; Taylor has to be on the "luscious babe list". I thought she was at her most gorgeous in "Giant" (1955) and as an 18 year old in the great "Father of the Bride" (1950).

"Gilda (1946) was a true tour de force for Hayworth and showed the range she had as an actress along with her dancing ability. Glenn Ford was a mean SOB in that; not his normal role in later years.

If one looks at Hayworth in her early years, she looked quite different with black hair and a lower hair line. They did a lot to her looks in Hollywood as she was originally Rita Cansino from South America.

Jim McAllister said...

From Joe fINNERTY.

I read that Rita Hayworth was born Rita Cansino. Her father was a Spanish dancer living in Brooklyn at the time. She performed in his act as a young teen until discovered by a Hollywood agent. She played the role of a sultry senorita in many B movies before WWII. I was far too young to appreciate her physique at the time, never mind her footsteps. Later, her beauty enraptured me in movies such as Gilda and Pal Joey. Dancing was not what I had in mind while watching her perform on screen. She was one of many movie beauties who stirred young men’s fancies back then. In a wholesome way, I assure you. Maybe not.

Jim McAllister said...


I love your "maybe not". So true for most of us. As hard as we tried to be wholesome, we all had to draw the line somewhere. LOL

You're right, she was in her dad's act but was soon off and running on her own. She was 21 in 1939 when she made "Only Angels have Wings" with Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and a guy that many have forgotten, the old silent screen star, Richard Barthelmess.

It was all uphill after that in the 40s, quite the star of that decade with her dancing and "Gilda."

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I seriously doubt if very many filmgoers who admired her beauty, actually realized just how good an actress she really was.

Unlike many stars of the time, she was content to stay within the confines of her role, and acted that part to its limits.

The end result was as beautiful as she was.


Jim McAllister said...


Those original photos of her as a young woman are amazing in that they show what changes can be made in one's looks in Hollywood. She was a dark girl with a low hairline and black hair that they turned into a raving red headed beauty. Suddenly little Rita Cansino was beautiful Rita Hayworth.

She was, as you say, a great actress proven in "Gilda." Another favorite of mine was "Cover Girl" (1944) with Gene Kelly. "You'll never Get Rich" from '41 was good too with Astaire although unfortunately it was in black and white.

One of my other faves is "The lady From Shanghai" (1947) which was kind of a weird movie that had her as a blond.

That movie belonged to Glenn Anders though in spite of Hayworth's beauty.

Rick Kepple said...

My mother looked like Rita Hayworth, but died much younger and much earlier than Ms Hayworth. Let's see ... still doing the publicist thing for Dell Mack, I've been promoted to vice president (still CEO and PR consultant of my own company for them), not making any money, but bringing in new business to dig the label out of the hole. An artist from Michigan came to Mo. to record an album. An artist from Lake of the Ozarks is recording. I have an assistant now and she also works for free. Everyone's working for free to build Dell-Mack Productions LLC. Still giving guitars away to kids. Got apricots on the trees for the first time since 2005. No horses anymore so lots of mowing! No girlfriend yet, but if I meet a gal who looks like Rita Hayworth or a breathing woman who likes me, I might consider dating. ROFL Sorry to hear that Blue got pimp slapped. I'm sure she means metaphorical.

Jim McAllister said...


Since you have been a loyal contributor to the blog for many years, I added your "enchanted farmstead" email address to the list of those receiving my stuff. Hope that is OK.

You never know; there may a Rita Hayworth clone hiding behind the barn waiting for you some morning. How sweet would that be! It would probably cut into your workday though!

I hope Dell-Mack becomes profitable one of these days. That would make a great story. I guess that since you guys grow food you can still eat waiting for the first profits to start showing up. It sounds like you have some people using the facility so maybe some good word of mouth will get circulating and turn things into the black.

Blue got into a tough profession but she is tough herself. I just hope that some character doesn't pull a knife or gun on her.