Affair in Trinidad (1952)

98 mins | Drama | September 1952

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HISTORY

Affair in Trinidad marked the return to the screen of Rita Hayworth after a three-year absence. Hayworth had been on suspension from Columbia for breaking her seven-year commitment to them upon her marriage to Iraqi prince Aly Kahn and subsequent relocation to Europe in May 1949. According to various news items in HR , in Sep 1950, Hayworth resumed discussions with Columbia to reactivate her company, Beckworth Productions, in which the actress held a 25% interest. In Jul 1951, studio head Harry Cohn assigned Hayworth's "comeback" script to Virginia Van Upp, who had produced and developed the story for Hayworth's biggest dramatic success, Columbia's 1946 release Gilda (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). By Oct 1950, however, Van Upp was released from the project by mutual agreement. According to his autobiography, producer-director Vincent Sherman assigned a complete rewrite of Van Upp's material to James Gunn. Oscar Saul was brought in later by Cohn to polish Gunn's script.
       Sherman indicated that Bert Granet was originally slated to produce Affair in Trinidad , but that he withdrew due to script problems. Sherman noted that he was awarded a 2% interest in the film and a $10,000 bonus by Cohn for his contributions to the script and for providing a supportive atmosphere for Hayworth. In his autobiography, Sherman admitted that Affair in Trinidad borrowed heavily from the plot of RKO's 1946 film Notorious , directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and Gilda . HR news items indicate that in Dec 1951, Hayworth was again placed on suspension by Columbia for refusing to report to ... More Less

Affair in Trinidad marked the return to the screen of Rita Hayworth after a three-year absence. Hayworth had been on suspension from Columbia for breaking her seven-year commitment to them upon her marriage to Iraqi prince Aly Kahn and subsequent relocation to Europe in May 1949. According to various news items in HR , in Sep 1950, Hayworth resumed discussions with Columbia to reactivate her company, Beckworth Productions, in which the actress held a 25% interest. In Jul 1951, studio head Harry Cohn assigned Hayworth's "comeback" script to Virginia Van Upp, who had produced and developed the story for Hayworth's biggest dramatic success, Columbia's 1946 release Gilda (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). By Oct 1950, however, Van Upp was released from the project by mutual agreement. According to his autobiography, producer-director Vincent Sherman assigned a complete rewrite of Van Upp's material to James Gunn. Oscar Saul was brought in later by Cohn to polish Gunn's script.
       Sherman indicated that Bert Granet was originally slated to produce Affair in Trinidad , but that he withdrew due to script problems. Sherman noted that he was awarded a 2% interest in the film and a $10,000 bonus by Cohn for his contributions to the script and for providing a supportive atmosphere for Hayworth. In his autobiography, Sherman admitted that Affair in Trinidad borrowed heavily from the plot of RKO's 1946 film Notorious , directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and Gilda . HR news items indicate that in Dec 1951, Hayworth was again placed on suspension by Columbia for refusing to report to work. Hayworth issued a statement claiming she had never received a completed script, only a 60-page rough draft, and that she did not intend to return to work until she received a completed script. Hayworth was set to return to Columbia in mid-Dec, but discussions broke down again when the actress accused the studio of backing out of an agreement to release her from her contract upon the completion of Affair in Trinidad . Hayworth remained on suspension until early Jan 1952, when filming began, apparently without further incident.
       Information from the CBCS indicates that Ross Elliott was cast in the role of "Neal Emory," but was later cut from the film. Costume designer Jean Louis received an Academy Award nomination for the film. Modern sources indicate that Hayworth's singing was dubbed by Jo Ann Greer. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Aug 1952.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jul 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
31 Jul 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 51
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 51
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 51
p. 1, 15.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 51
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 51
p. 1, 8,
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Aug 52
p. 1470.
New York Times
30 Jul 52
p. 19.
New York Times
31 Jul 52
p. 14.
Variety
30 Jul 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus dir
SOUND
DANCE
Dances for Miss Hayworth created by
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
SOURCES
SONGS
"Trinidad Lady" and "I've Been Kissed Before," words and music by Bob Russell and Lester Lee.
DETAILS
Release Date:
September 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 30 July 1952
Production Date:
25 January--22 March 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Beckworth Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 July 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1844
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
98
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15822
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Port of Spain, Trinidad, Inspector Smythe investigates the apparent suicide of American artist Neal Emery. At the Cari-b club, where Neal's wife Chris works as a singer and dancer, Smythe informs her about her husband's death and asks about the Emerys' connections with wealthy Max Fabian, who had recently paid Neal a large sum of money. When Smythe suggests that a romantic tie exists between Fabian and Chris, she grows angry. The next day, Smythe summons Chris to headquarters, where he lifts her passport and informs her that the medical examination on Neal indicates that he was murdered. A local fisherman witnessed Neal's small boat at Fabian's landing and Smythe has enough evidence to arrest him. Smythe then reveals that the police are aware that Fabian is the center of a political group that buys and sells sensitive information, but lack hard evidence to convict him. Smythe suggests to Chris that she spy on Fabian for the police and provide the crucial proof needed to halt his secret organization as a way to avoid an ugly trial. Later that afternoon, Neal's older brother Steve, a pilot, arrives from America and upon learning of his brother's murder, hastens to the courthouse where the inquest is in progress. When Chris testifies, she admits Neal spoke often of suicide, a lie that indicates her willingness to help Smythe. Steve follows Chris home, then angrily confronts her with the sordid newspaper accounts of a possible love triangle between Neal, Chris and Fabian. Smythe telephones Chris and warns her not to confide in Steve until his connections can be checked out. That evening, Steve apologizes to Chris and shows her a ... +


In Port of Spain, Trinidad, Inspector Smythe investigates the apparent suicide of American artist Neal Emery. At the Cari-b club, where Neal's wife Chris works as a singer and dancer, Smythe informs her about her husband's death and asks about the Emerys' connections with wealthy Max Fabian, who had recently paid Neal a large sum of money. When Smythe suggests that a romantic tie exists between Fabian and Chris, she grows angry. The next day, Smythe summons Chris to headquarters, where he lifts her passport and informs her that the medical examination on Neal indicates that he was murdered. A local fisherman witnessed Neal's small boat at Fabian's landing and Smythe has enough evidence to arrest him. Smythe then reveals that the police are aware that Fabian is the center of a political group that buys and sells sensitive information, but lack hard evidence to convict him. Smythe suggests to Chris that she spy on Fabian for the police and provide the crucial proof needed to halt his secret organization as a way to avoid an ugly trial. Later that afternoon, Neal's older brother Steve, a pilot, arrives from America and upon learning of his brother's murder, hastens to the courthouse where the inquest is in progress. When Chris testifies, she admits Neal spoke often of suicide, a lie that indicates her willingness to help Smythe. Steve follows Chris home, then angrily confronts her with the sordid newspaper accounts of a possible love triangle between Neal, Chris and Fabian. Smythe telephones Chris and warns her not to confide in Steve until his connections can be checked out. That evening, Steve apologizes to Chris and shows her a letter he had received from Neal asking him to come to Trinidad for a job. Chris is startled by the distinctive crest on Neal's letter and invites Steve to stay in Neal's room. Steve asks her if she will return to America with him, but she avoids answering. The next day Steve goes to the Cari-b and pays Mr. Wittol, the owner and a cohort of Fabian, the money that Neal owed. Steve then informs Chris that he has decided to stay longer and asks her to show him the island. A few days later, Chris and Steve arrive at the house to find Fabian waiting to remind Chris of a dinner date, to which he also invites Steve. That evening at Fabian's, Steve notices the cocktail glasses carry the same crest found on Neal's letter. Fabian is startled by the unexpected early return of his house guests, Dr. Franz Huebling, his wife Veronica, Peter Bronec and Mr. Walters. After Steve recalls having read an article by Huebling on Germany's V-2 rockets, Fabian steers Chris to the patio, where he asks her to go away with him, but she demurs. Upon returning to Chris's house, Steve accuses Chris of being bought by Fabian. Later, however, Chris tells Steve about her relationship with Neal and that there is nothing between her and Fabian. Steve admits he has fallen in love with her and asks her to return to the States with him, but when she refuses without explanation, he storms away. The next day, Steve takes Neal's letter to Smythe, insisting that it implicates Fabian, and becomes angered by Smythe's apparent disinterest. When Chris tells Smythe about Fabian's guests, he insists that she find out more information. Smythe learns Bronec is flying out that afternoon and arrives at the airport in time to see Bronec run over by a car. In his effects, Smythe discovers a key, which he passes on to Chris as means to get into Fabian's guesthouse. Steve, meanwhile, stays away from Chris's and after questioning a number of the local fishermen, is attacked by Walters. Chris attends a party at Fabian's, which Steve crashes and makes accusations against Fabian. Chris hastily covers for Steve, then performs one of her club dance numbers, which infuriates Steve, who departs. Chris promises Fabian she will remain the night, then sneaks into the guesthouse and finds blueprints and figures. When the others return, Chris is forced to hide, accidentally leaving behind a handkerchief gift from Fabian on the desk. Before sneaking away, she overhears the group discussing plans to create a secret rocket launch site on the island, which will bring a large enemy country within striking distance of the entire United States. Meanwhile, Smythe grills Wittol about his involvement in Bronec's murder and Wittol confesses. Recalling the handkerchief, Chris slips back into the guesthouse, but it has vanished. At the main house, Veronica presents Fabian with the handkerchief, which Huebling had discovered. Realizing Chris's involvement, Fabian and the group begin packing, intending to flee and force Chris along. Now aware of Chris's danger, Steve returns, and in the ensuing shootout, wounds Fabian. When Smythe and his men arrive, Fabian makes a final effort to escape but Steve kills him. With the ring smashed, Chris is allowed to depart for Chicago with Steve. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.