AFFAIR IN TRINIDAD
US, 1952, 98 minutes, Black and white.
Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, Alexander Scourby, Torin Thatcher.
Directed by Vincent Sherman.
Affair in Trinidad is one of several films made by Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford when they were at the height of their popularity. They made a striking team in the mid-1940s in Gilda. The seedy background, the atmosphere of criminals, detection, money, are always attractive melodrama material. Glenn Ford is at home in this kind of material and Rita Hayworth is expert at playing the shady lady. She has several song-and-dance sequences which are very striking of their kind and remind us of the impact that Rita Hayworth had as a sex symbol in the more reserved '40s and '50s. Very entertaining Hollywood melodrama.
1. How enjoyable was this romantic thriller? What is its impact now?
2. Contrast the styles of the '50s and the present. The different attitudes to the genre? The different audience expectations?
3. The stars made great impact in the '50s. Is this impact communicated now? How much did the film rely on it?
4. Comment on the conventions of the thriller that the film uses. How well? On the espionage conventions? How have these changed from the days of the '50s? The sophistication of later decades?
5. Comment on the black and white photography, the Trinidad locations.
6. How did this film engage and maintain audience interest? How did it direct audience sympathy? Towards Chris? Towards Steve? How?
7. Arousing audience interest in the murder? The nature of the puzzle? Did the film offer sufficient clues?
8. How important was Chris for audience interest in the film? Rita Hayworth's personality and style, introduction to her, the attraction of her dancing, her role as heroine, the hard life, the heart of gold, the style of the good-time-girl? Transformed by her mission and danger?
9. Steve as a conventional hero? Involvement with Chris after resentment? The danger?
10. How convincing was Max as a suave villain? The minor villains and their contribution to the plot? The nature of espionage and world plans?
ll. The function of the police, the consul? The American and British overtones in Trinidad?
12. How important were the dances,, the lies.. the atmosphere of heat, conversations dangers., the final shoot-out., the happy ending?