Cover Girl (film)

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Cover Girl
Covergirlmp.jpg
theatrical release poster
Directed by Charles Vidor
Produced by Arthur Schwartz
Written by Story:
Erwin S. Gelsey
Adaptation:
Marion Parsonnet
Paul Gangelin
Screenplay:
Virginia Van Upp
Uncredited:
John H. Kafkr
Starring Rita Hayworth
Gene Kelly
Music by Score:
Saul Chaplin
Morris Stoloff
Songs-Music:
Jerome Kern
Henry E. Pether
Songs-Lyrics
Ira Gershwin
E.Y. Harburg
Fred W. Leigh
Cinematography Allen M. Davey
Rudolph Maté
Edited by Viola Lawrence
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • March 20, 1944 (1944-03-20) (US)
Running time 107 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Cover Girl is a 1944 American musical film starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. The film tells the story of a chorus girl given a chance at stardom when she is offered an opportunity to be a highly paid cover girl. The film was directed by Charles Vidor, and was one of the most popular musicals of the war years.

Primarily a showcase for Rita Hayworth, the film has lavish modern and 1890s costumes, eight dance routines for Hayworth, and songs by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin, including the classic "Long Ago (and Far Away)".

Plot[edit]

Rusty (Rita Hayworth), a chorus girl working at a nightclub run by her boyfriend Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly), is given a chance for stardom by the wealthy magazine editor John Coudair (Otto Kruger), who years earlier had been in love with her grandmother, Maribelle Hicks. Offered an opportunity to be a highly paid cover girl, Rusty would faithfully remain with her nightclub act if only Danny would ask her. He doesn't want to stand in her way, so he picks an argument to send her packing. Rusty becomes a star on Broadway after appearing in a musical produced by Coudair's wealthy friend, Noel Wheaton (Lee Bowman), and decides to get married to Wheaton. At the last second she leaves the wedding and reunites with Danny.[1]

Cast[edit]

Cast notes
  • The film features cameo appearances by Jinx Falkenburg and Anita Colby as themselves, and an appearance by Shelley Winters, early in her career, as one of the young autograph hounds.
  • In one of Hollywood's most unique reprise roles, Kelly played Danny McGuire again—36 years later—in 1980's Xanadu.

Musical numbers[edit]

Cover Girl marked the first film collaboration of Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin.[2]

  • "The Show Must Go On" (Kern - music, Gershwin - lyrics)
  • "Who's Complaining?" (Kern, Gershwin)
  • "Sure Thing" (Kern, Gershwin)
  • "Make Way For Tomorrow" (Kern, Gershwin, E.Y. Harburg - lyrics)
  • "Put Me to the Test" (Kern, Gershwin)
  • "Long Ago (and Far Away)" (Kern, Gershwin)
  • "Poor John" (Henry E. Pether - music, Fred W. Leigh -lyrics)
  • "Alter-Ego Dance" (Kern)
  • "Cover Girl (That Girl on the Cover)" (Kern, Gershwin)

Production[edit]

Columbia Pictures originally wanted to used Warner Bros. star Dennis Morgan for Cover Girl, but when Kelly's project at MGM, Dragon Seed, was postponed, MGM extended their loan of Kelly to Columbia, allowing this film to be made with him.[2] Columbia's production head, Harry Cohn, was initially opposed to having Kelly do the film, but producer Schwartz nevertheless obtained him, promising Kelly that he would be able to choreograph, which MGM had not allowed him to do.[3]

Columbia gave Kelly almost complete control over the making of this film, and many of his ideas contributed to its lasting success. He removed several of the soundstage walls so that he, Hayworth, and Silvers could dance along an entire street in one take. He also used trick photography so that he could dance with his own reflection in the sequence "Alter-Ego Dance", achieved using superimposition to give his "double" a ghost-like quality. Kelly, along with Stanley Donen, devised his own choreography.[2]

The film was Hayworth's fourth musical: the first two she had done opposite Fred Astaire.[3] Hayworth's singing voice was dubbed by Martha Mears.[2]

Cover Girl was Columbia's first Technicolor musical,[2] and songwriter Arthur Schwartz's first venture into producing. The film was a big hit, and made stars out of both Hayworth and Kelly. The success of Cover Girl caused MGM to pay closer attention to Kelly as a viable property, and they allowed him to create his own dance numbers for his next film, Anchors Aweigh, also starring Frank Sinatra. Columbia bought the film rights to Pal Joey, which Kelly had done on Broadway, hoping to pair up Kelly and Hayworth again, but MGM refused to loan him out, and instead the film was made with Sinatra playing the lead.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

The film won the 1944 Academy Award for best musical scoring.[4] It was also nominated for four other awards; Best Art Direction (Lionel Banks, Cary Odell, Fay Babcock), Best Cinematography, Best Original Song for "Long Ago (and Far Away)" and Best Sound, Recording (John Livadary).[5]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ New York Times review summary
  2. ^ a b c d e "Notes" on TCM.com
  3. ^ a b c Landazuri, Margarita. "Cover Girl" (article) on TCM.com
  4. ^ "NY Times: Cover Girl". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  5. ^ "The 17th Academy Awards (1945) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 

External links[edit]