Affair in Trinidad (1952)

Dir. Vincent Sherman. Rita Hayworth is Chris Emery, dancer, jazz singer and star attraction at the Cari-b Club in Port of Spain, Trinidad. A tragic incident involving her husband draws Chris into the murky world of conspiracy, murder, and espionage. Chris must navigate complicated relationships with law enforcement, extended family, and her well-heeled fans with ulterior motives. Affair in Trinidad was Rita Hayworth’s return to the big screen after a four-year absence, and the film is a delight. The dance scenes are just as mesmerizing and off kilter as those in Gilda (1946) and maintain that exhilarating feeling of loose improvisation and joyful momentum. In the early 1950s, Trinidad was still a British colony, 10 years away from independence. Colonialism is not acknowledged directly, although the subjugation of the local population by the white coppers is part of the plot. Glenn Ford’s dead eyed monotone aside, the supporting cast is superb, especially the rambunctious Mrs Huebling (Valerie Bettis), who is also credited as choreographing Rita Hayworth’s memorable dance scenes.

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.