Affair in Trinidad [1952]

When Rita Hayworth collided with Glenn Ford in 1946's Gilda, the result was a film-noir cocktail with potent effects. Having re-teamed in the florid Loves of Carmen, it was natural to get the two together again in more noirish circumstances--which is where Affair in Trinidad comes in. In fact, it was Hayworth's first movie back in Hollywood after taking time off to marry Prince Aly Khan, and audiences might have wondered whether she still had the same oomph. As her nightclub numbers prove, she's got the goods when it comes to sashaying across a dance floor, although in this case her fun song-and-dance numbers are in the service of a plot that simply gets too complicated for its own good. Ford plays the stranger who arrives in Trinidad at the invitation of his brother, who used to be married to Rita and is now dead by suicide. Subterfuge with island bigwigs ensues. Alas, the chemistry between the stars is as gray as the general approach here: Hayworth is dazed and listless, while Ford tries to work up some energy by laboring too hard. It's easy enough to enjoy the attractive stars and the exotic-port-of-call idea of the thing, but the execution isn't up to snuff. In short, it's no Gilda. --Robert Horton

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