Section One

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Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford
Anselmo Ballester, 1953

In this poster for the film Affair in Trinidad, the artist focused on Columbia Pictures’s carefully constructed image for its leading lady, Rita Hayworth. Born Margarita Carmen Cansino, the daughter and onetime partner of a Spanish dancer, Hayworth was transformed by the early 1940s into a redheaded film goddess.

In this Italian movie poster, the sensuality and vitality of her brilliantly colored figure is in marked contrast to the monochromatic depiction of costar Glenn Ford, with his grim gesture of violence. Because of the lack of interaction between them, each portrayal suggests an iconic pose rather than a specific scene. Veteran poster artist Anselmo Ballester cared more about capturing a mood than conveying specific details of the film, and in fact the images come from a previous Hayworth-Ford film, Gilda. “I must suggest,” Ballester once noted; “the rest is up to the movie.”