Rita Hayworth’s stardom on staircases

ed. note: Do you know what "press books" were in the movie industry of high Hollywood? We didn't either, until a nice librarian at USC named Ned Comstock introduced the press book from the 1946 film noir, Gilda. Columbia Pictures, where the movie originated, employed public relations people to create little compendia of story ideas to promote their movies to journalists. Two such story pitches for Gilda here:

Rita Finds Drama One Big Stairway

Charles Vidor, who directed “Gilda,” has a penchant for stairways. He has them in all his pictures, because he feels that they afford effective entrances and exits for his players, and tend to point scenes.

In “Gilda,” Vidor had a whopper of a flight of stairs, with 76 steps. It was really a grand stairway. That is, “grand” to watch but not to work on, according to Rita. She spent days ascending and descending that stairway, and she wasn’t happy about it.

“I used to think that rehearsing routines for “Cover Girl” and other musicals was hard work. But it was nothing compared to this,” is what Rita said. “Frankly I imagine that it will cause me to lose more weight than any of the most difficult dances I’ve done on screen.”

source: ‘GILDA’ Press Notes, USC Library for Cinematic Arts

Rudy Maté Finds Lensing Hayworth Easy But Tank in ‘Sahara’ Worried him for Weeks

It is easier to photograph a glamour girl that it is an army tank. Maté was busy at Columbia Pictures arranging the lights and angles on a shot showing Rita Hayworth descending a stairway which led to the main floor of a gambling casino in Buenos Aires.

You see, said Maté, speaking English with an accent that at times sounded French and at others Hungarian …

He admits to have lost several weeks of repose, plus some twenty pounds while working on the famous “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” which Carl Dreyer directed in Paris in 1927.

source: ‘GILDA’ Press Notes, USC Library for Cinematic Arts

hayworth on staircase, in affair in trinidad (1952)

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