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Rita (2003)

Biography of 1940's sex goddess Rita Hayworth. Born Margarita Cansino, she studied dancing from the age of 5 and was soon part of the family's night club act. By age 18 she was married and ... See full summary »


Elaina Archer




Credited cast:
Kim Basinger ... Narrator (voice)
Robert Board Robert Board ... Himself (as Bob Board)
Eduardo Cansino Eduardo Cansino ... Himself (archive footage)
Elisa Cansino Elisa Cansino ... Herself (archive footage)
Richard Cansino ... Himself
Theresa Cansino Theresa Cansino ... Herself
Anthony Franciosa ... Himself
Dick Haymes ... Himself (archive footage)
Rita Hayworth ... Herself (archive footage)
James Hill James Hill ... Himself (archive footage)
Tab Hunter ... Himself
Prince Aly Khan Prince Aly Khan ... Himself (archive footage) (as Prince Aly Aga Khan)
Yasmin Khan Yasmin Khan ... Herself (as Princess Yasmin Aga Khan)
Nicole Kidman ... Herself
Don Maclean Don Maclean ... Himself


Biography of 1940's sex goddess Rita Hayworth. Born Margarita Cansino, she studied dancing from the age of 5 and was soon part of the family's night club act. By age 18 she was married and pursuing a movie career. She reached her peak appeal with the movie Gilda, but found that people expected her to be that character in real life. In fact she was shy and introverted. Married four times (most notably to Orson Welles and Ali Khan) she had two children and was a dedicated and loving mother. As she got older, she focused on more dramatic roles but the early onset of Alzheimer's disease rendered it difficult for her to learn her lines. She died in 1987. Written by garykmcd

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Official Sites:

Turner Classic Movies





Release Date:

9 September 2003 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

Vivacious on screen...sadly manipulated in her personal life...
1 April 2007 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

RITA is a very intriguing pictorial biography of the great RITA HAYWORTH, so stunning and alive on screen, so sadly used and abused in her personal affairs--particularly by the men she married.

From her first union with a man who wanted to be her press agent to show biz celebrities like ORSON WELLES and DICK HAYMES, she made one unfortunate mistake in the direction of marriage and family, after another. Charming and sweet by nature, her smoldering screen personality playing sirens like GILDA and CARMEN fooled the men into thinking she was that sort of sexpot in real life. Such was not the case.

Career difficulties emerged when she fled Hollywood to become a princess by marrying Prince Aly Kahn, much to the distress of Columbia chief Harry Cohn. This meant an absence of a few years off screen before the marriage collapsed and she returned to resume the career in Hollywood that she interrupted at the top of her popularity.

Apart from all the photos and film clips documenting her journey to screen success, all of the personal data is given some fresh viewpoints by others who knew her well. Thus, we get to know Rita and understand how she was "used and abused" by a string of husbands who eventually failed to give her the love and security she needed. The harrowing descent into illness is depicted too, but what one is left with is a portrait of a movie star that the camera and public loved as no other.

Summing up: Well worth watching with tantalizing glimpses of some of her most famous roles.

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