Affair in Trinidad (1952)

Genres - Spy Film  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Mystery, Glamorized Spy Film  |   Release Date - Jul 29, 1952 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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When released in 1952, the ads for Affair in Trinidad trumpeted "She's back!" -- indicating that the powers that be realized that the lure for potential Trinidad viewers was clearly Rita Hayworth, returning to the screen after a four-year absence. True, Glenn Ford was also on board, and he's a worthy addition, but Trinidad was made because Columbia suddenly had Hayworth on hand and needed to use her as soon as possible. As might be expected under the rushed circumstances, the resulting film is a bit of a mess; the quartet of credited screenwriters came up with no more than a tepid rehash of Gilda with a very healthy helping of Notorious thrown in, but without any character of its own. The screenplay veers all over the place, the plot is unnecessarily confusing and the characters behave in unrealistic ways simply to keep the plot moving. Director Vincent Sherman is not in top form, and the direction comes off as unfocused and unsure. That pretty much leaves things up to the cast. Hayworth's overall performance is fine, but except for the two dance sequences is unexceptional. Those musical numbers, however, more than compensate: rarely has the screen witnessed such torrid, erotic dancing. The star tears the roof off, demonstrating how in the right hands, even something as unplanned as a stray twirling of hair can be imbued with an amazing sensuality. Hayworth also enjoys chemistry with Ford, who for his part does more than adequately with a role that calls for too much superficial posturing. The supporting cast is solid, with Valerie Bettis earning very high marks.