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The heroine of Verdi's opera Rigoletto. She is the beautiful and innocent daughter of Rigoletto, the ugly and naughty jester to the Duke of Mantua. Rigoletto goes along with the Duke's good-humoured ravishing of the ladies of the city, but keeps his own daughter carefully immured where the Duke will not find her.

A curse having been put on the jester, he is trailed when he goes to visit her, and her existence, though not her true relationship to him, is discovered. The Duke goes to seduce her, disguised as a poor student (studente sono, e povero). He gives his name as Gualtier Maldè, and she duly falls in love with him (Gualtier Maldè... Caro nome 'Dear name'). But she confides her remorse to her maidservant Giovanna (Giovanna, ho dei rimorsi).

When Rigoletto finds out all his precautions have been for naught he spits chips and hires the murderer Sparafucile to do a spot of murdering should the Duke happen to pop along. Gilda overhears their plotting and intercedes to protect her lover, with the result that she is accidentally put into a sack, murdered, and delivered to Rigoletto.

My favourite Gilda is Amelita Galli-Curci.

Directed by Charles Vidor, Gilda is Rita Hayworth's most famous film. It is a classic film noir, the story of Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford), a young American in Argentina at the end of WWII. At the beginning of the film, he is in some trouble, having just cheated a group of sailors in a game of loaded dice. He escapes from the sailors, but is about to be robbed of his ill-gotten gains when Ballin Mundsen (George Macready), a casino owner, arrives. He chases away the thief with a sword concealed in a cane, and eventually hires Johnny as his casino manager (and, it is implied, his lover).

Things are going well until Ballin goes away on a trip, leaving Johnny in charge, and returns with a new wife, Gilda. Ballin notices that Johnny and Gilda have an unusually antagonistic relationship for two strangers, and is strangely excited by the sparks between them.

This movie has great dialogue as well, e.g.:

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.

Eventually, the connection between Johnny and Gilda is explained, and we get to see Rita Hayworth sing, dance, flip her hair around, and take off a pair of gloves more sexily than Angelina Jolie could take off her underwear.

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