Affair in Trinidad (1952)

For three years, Chris Emery (Rita Hayworth) has been living in Trinidad with her husband Neal.  He’s an artist, she’s a nightclub singer and dancer.  After one of her performances, she comes off stage to find Inspector Smythe (Torin Thatcher) waiting to break the news that her husband is dead.  At first, the police believe he committed suicide, but they soon discover it was murder.  Chris is ready to go back to America, but the police want her to stay and help them.  They know that Neal’s friend Max Fabian (Alexander Scourby) is responsible for Neal’s death, but they also know that Max is the head of an organization that sells military secrets.  To get the proof they need to convict him on that charge, they ask Chris to spy on him for them.  Wanting to avoid an ugly murder trial, Chris agrees.

A few days later, Neal’s brother Steve (Glenn Ford) arrives in Trinidad after receiving a letter from Neal about having a job for him down there.  Not only is he shocked to find out about his brother’s death, but also that Chris is rumored to be romantically involved with Max.  Chris wants to explain to him what she’s doing, but Inspector Smythe warns her not to.  Determined to get to the bottom of what’s going on, Steve stays with Chris for a few days.  When the two of them are invited to Max’s house for dinner, Steve quickly realizes Max is connected to Neal’s death.

Meanwhile, Max and Steve both have fallen in love with Chris and they each ask her to leave the country with them.  She turns down both of their offers and Steve is frustrated by her apparent desire to stick close to Max.  When Steve tries going to the police with proof of Max’s connection to Neal’s murder, he doesn’t understand why Smythe doesn’t seem to care about the matter.  Chris and Steve each carry on their investigations, but when Max and his associates find out what Chris has been doing, Steve winds up in a shootout to save Chris.

Affair in Trinidad was the first movie Rita Hayworth made after taking a four-year break from movies.  From her first moment on screen, Rita proves that none of her magnetism was lost during those four years.  Teaming her with Glenn Ford again was definitely a good move; their chemistry certainly hadn’t faded with time.  The story is pretty convoluted, but it is entertaining and Rita Hayworth’s charisma more than makes up for a far-fetched story.  All in all, a pretty enjoyable comeback movie.

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4 comments

  1. I tend to love watching Rita Hayworth movies, but I have never seen this one. From your review it’s seems like just the kind of movie I would enjoy. Thanks for the post.

  2. Rita has some great numbers in this film including “Trinidad Lady”. She’s not Gilda in this movie.Rita ‘s acting conveys how lonely Chris is.

    Vienna’s Classic Hollywood

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