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Gilda Film Analysis

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February 21, 2008

English 350

Film Analysis of the Movie GILDA

The film, by Marion Parsonnet (and adapted by Jo Eisinger), was taken from an original story by E. A. Ellington. The movie was produced by Virgine Van Upp and Directed by Charles Vidor. The complex, eccentric, cynical tale was in keeping with the prevailing attitudes of the American post-war era, playing upon US political paranoia of German-Nazi war criminals that escaped and assumed new identities in South America. The film's themes include implied impotence, misogyny and homosexuality, although only suggested with liberal euphemisms and innuendo to bypass the Production Code. The semi-trashy crime drama is also known for the erotic strains of the strange, tawdry, aberrant romantic triangle (mÐ"©nage a trios) between the three main characters.

The Scene

When Johnny escorts Gilda to her home from the casino in the wee hours of the morning, Ballin appears. [Throughout the scene, Ballin's black silhouette occupies a portion of the frame.] After hearing an unlikely alibi that they were swimming together, he suspiciously wonders whether he may be losing Gilda to his hired man:

Ballin: You see, I thought I'd lost you.

Gilda: Me? Ha, ha. Not a chance.

Ballin: And that couldn't be replaced.

Johnny: (sarcastically) should we have a drink before I start to cry?

Gilda: You see, Johnny doesn't think that would be a tragedy - if you lost me.

Johnny: Statistics show that there are more women in the world than anything else - except insects

Scene Analysis

Shots Mesian Scene

• Fade in from black

• Dolly Forward

• Medium Shot to Medium Close up • Open with a medium Shot.

• Take duration 21 Seconds.

• The establishing shot shows:

• Shot 1 вЂ" 21 seconds

• Shot distance вЂ" Medium shot to medium close-up.

• Balin looks down, looks left and looks right, stands up and moves to the right of the scene

• Pan right

• Ballin Sitting in a dark lonely living room on a couch looking at his watch waiting for Gilda to come home.

• Ballin moves to the right of the scene to the window.

• Side lighting used on Ballin:

• Shot 2 вЂ" 15 seconds

• From medium close up to long shot.

• Pan right to left.

• Back shot on Ballen, point of view shot

• Cut

• Frontal lighting used on Gilda and Johnny

• Gilda and Johnny arrive outside, enter from the right of the scene, Ballin watches from the window. He moves from the left to the right.

• Gilda and Johnny walk from the gate to the front door, and enter inside of the house. Movement is from right to left.

• Ballin moves from right to left to the living room doorway and stands, looking into the foyer towards the front door.

• Shot 3 вЂ" 1 minute, 4 seconds

• Establishing medium long-shot to medium shot

• Truncation shot on Ballin

• Goes to a slight pan left

• Cut

• Side lighting on Ballin and Back lighting. • Gilda and Johnny enter through front door and stand looking at each other.

• Ballin enters from bottom right of screen. Gilda and Johnny act shocked to see Ballin. Gilda steps forward towards Ballin while Johnny closes the door.

• Ballin confronts Gilda on where she has been.

• Gilda states that she was hot and had to go swimming. Ballin asks why she is so nervous,, and then Gilda begins to lie about loosing a clip which Ballin has given her.

• Ballin states: “A clip can be replaced.”

• Johnny is in the background while ballin and Gilda talk.

• Gilda thanks Ballin for being nice about the loosing of the clip.

• Shot 4 вЂ" 5 seconds

• Medium close-up

• cut

• Side lighting and back lighting

• In this scene, Ballin repeats what he just stated about the clip could be replaced and goes on to say that he thought he had lost Gilda.

• Shot 5 вЂ" 45 seconds

• Establishing Long shot

• Truncation on Ballin

• Gilda looks at Ballin, then over her right shoulder to Johnny. Johnny makes eye contact with Ballin, then Gilda.

• Gilda turns right, acknowledges both men and moves right towards stairs.

• Slight pan right

• Ballin moves from side left to



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