This rather marvelous mash-up appeared on my radar courtesy of the very dashing Craig Carruthers, amusing Twitterer and keeper of the flame of the startlingly-not-late, great Luise Rainer.
Perhaps it's been clattering around the Internet for ages and I'm just seeing it, but for me watching Rita in this context is a forceful reminder of what an incredible dancer she actually was. Even more, it illustrates how only dancing really ignited her extraordinary screen presence. Watching her without the original music (and the always not quite matching vocals by Anita Ellis or Martha Mears, et al), you get a full-on blast of pure star power. She was a complicated, often sad lady, but when she moves, its as if she feels no one else has ever done it just that way before, and it's the best feeling in the world.
In even the most daunting company, Rita Hayworth more than holds her own, and while it pains me to say anything that might offend dear Ginger Rogers - had Fred Astaire been a little younger, and Rita a little older, those two could have made movies to blow Top Hat out of the water. The two pictures they did make were comparatively minor Fred, but landmarks for her, not least because Astaire's presence persuaded Harry Cohn to allow an almost-A budget for once. Even her costumes aren't quite as ghastly as the usual Columbia product.
So enjoy, and think a charitable thought about a woman whose story ended badly, but who, in these captured moments, comes as close to immortality as any Hollywood star.
So anyway, I really did rather need the escapism that the above provided, because kids, things have taken a turn for the deeply annoying.
After a full day Friday spent on the telephone trying to get paperwork moved between Prestigious University Hospital and the office at Golden Handcuffs Consulting that can give us the go-ahead for Approved Corporate Travel, at 5:00 p.m. it finally became clear that it wasn't going to pan out. As a result, we're stuck here through the weekend and at least until Tuesday, because of the vagaries of international flight schedules. I don't even know for sure whether I'm well or not, as the doctor who was supposed to actually review my results with me took a personal day; on the phone, her secretary just said, "Well, she said to fax the papers over, and she checked the box for travel, so I guess you're fine." American health care at its best.
And, just to make things that much more vexing, we're once again being given the bum's rush out of an oversold hotel. After much to-do, we have managed to find an acceptable substitute that has the added bonus of putting us downtown, rather than the benighted suburbs, for the balance of our stay, but nomadism as a way of life has, at this point, lost its charm. Mr. Muscato and I are both grumpy and more than ready to fly; how odd it is to find myself actually longing to return to the Sandlands, in August, in Ramadan.
I think I better go watch Rita a few more times...