on February 8, 2002
This musical/comedy is the story about Rusty Parker (Rita Hayworth) who decides to take a chance at becoming a cover girl. But she knows that her boss and boyfriend, Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly) believes that the easy way to stardom is not the way to happiness. At first, Rusty goes to audition for being the cover girl but when a jealous friend and co-worker Maurine Martin (Leslie Brooks) tells her to act 'animated', she blows her chance in front of Cornelia 'Stonewall' Jackson (Eve Arden). So when Cornelia and her boss, John Coudair (Otto Kruger), go to 'McGuire's Nightclub' to see Maurine, Coudair immediately takes a fancy to Rusty instead! The reason is because she looks exactly like Coudair's someone long ago whom he loved, Maribelle Hicks (also played by Rita Hayworth). He finds out that Rusty is Maribelle's granddaughter then makes her his cover girl and she is suddenly flung into the world of stardom and fame! But Danny and great friend Genius (Phil Silvers) try to get Rusty back on her feet when she starts getting high and mighty ideas. On the other hand, Coudair and producer Noel Wheaton (Lee Bowman) want to give Rusty all that they think is happiness; money, fame, and stardom. But could Rusty ever be happy without the one most important thing she needs, love?
A truly dynamic movie with terrific dance numbers, hilarious humor, romantic romance, and dramatic drama. Who can't help but hum along when Kelly and Hayworth sing the lovely song, "Long Ago and Far Away", laugh when the three main stars do their 'come on pearls' bit, sigh in happiness whenever Kelly and Hayworth kiss, and be in agony at the part where Hayworth realizes her mistake? If you haven't seen this movie, I can only say that you're missing out on a lot!
My favorite dance/song numbers are:
"Long Ago and Far Away": The romantic dance number with superb Kelly and Rita Hayworth.
"Who's Complaining?": Phil Silvers is just totally hilarious!
"Alter Ego": Gene Kelly is the best! Want proof? Watch this number where he dances with himself!
"Put Me to the Test": Both versions are wonderful. One is with Kelly and Hayworth, the other one is a much funnier version with Kelly and Silvers.
"Tomorrow": And who can forget this number with all three main characters Danny, Rusty, and Genius?
Here are some of my other favorite musicals/comedies which I highly recommend. "Silk Stockings", "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", "Bandwagon", "Tea for Two", "Singin' in the Rain", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", "The Barkleys of Broadway", the three "That's Entertainment" videos, and "Guys and Dolls". Of course there's plenty more!
on December 16, 2003
If you can get past the zany (and tiresome) antics of Phil Silvers and the corny, cliched script, there's a wonderful Technicolor musical here called "Cover Girl". Gorgeous Rita Hayworth is Rusty Parker, a nite club chorine who becomes the toast of Broadway overnite when she's chosen to be the cover girl of Vanity magazine---albeit to the chagrin of the club's owner Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly) who's her boyfriend and her catty co-workers. Hayworth is absolutely beautiful and dances with the most natural grace and elegance ever captured on screen as far as I'm concerned. Gene Kelly's acting is stiff but HIS dancing is what you're watching here as well. Boy, could he dance! He has a great solo number on an empty street where he dances with his reflection from an empty store window. Absolute artistry in motion. Eve Arden, as a talent scout, brings much needed relief to the tired script with her right-on-the-money delivery of brittle comebacks and one liners. She's also outfitted in the most outre' chic costumes and hats Hollywood ever laid out. All the costumes (by the great Travis Banton) are something to behold. But it's the Technicolor that brings things to life and Hayworth who brings the Technicolor to life. In her Broadway debut, she comes running down a seemingly endless elevated platform in a flowing gold gown like a goddess descending from the heavens---her long red hair cascading behind her. Then, after a dance number with chorus guys, she runs back up the platform through a downpour of shimmering sparkles and into a cloud of pink smoke. Sheer Technicolor movie magic. "Cover Girl" isn't the best musical ever made, but as a showcase for one of the most beautiful actresses ever photographed in Technicolor and a very nice song called "Long Ago and Far Away" it gets 5 stars from me. When you watch this, you can see there was only ONE Rita Hayworth and her grace, talent and beauty are captured in splendor on this DVD print.
Probably one of Rita Hayworth's most memorable movies. This movie has it all, and was made to showcase Hayworth's multitude of talent. There is humor, amazing well-choreographed dance sequences, and the singing, ohhh the singing! It is hard to choose what is better. Gene Kelley gave a wonder performance as always, but Rita Hayworth shines. I never realized what a phenomenal dancer she was. It is a shame that she never received the recognition she deserved.
on October 23, 1999
I can't help but love this movie. Every time I feel blue, I can pop it in the VCR and feel wonderful by the time it's over. Rita Hayworth has never been more beautiful than in this picture. Her dancing talents are showcased beautifully, though as usual, not enough. Gene Kelly sparkles brilliantly as her nightclub-owner boyfriend who wants her to work hard to get to the top, not go the easy road as a "Cover Girl". Gene's "Alter-Ego" dance in this picture was at the time technically revolutionary.
Also featured is Phil Silvers is a crackup as Gene's wisecracking friend, and the always wonderful Eve Arden gets her witty two cents in as well with a big cast of colorful characters to back it all up. Also, it is said that a very young Shelley Winters can be seen as one of the chorines, though I haven't found her yet! :o)
Shakespeare it's not, but Cover Girl is what it is: a lighthearted, romantic musical and a really fun ride the whole way!!
Watch it and enjoy!
This Columbia musical may be something of an artifact now, but it was designed to showcase Rita Hayworth. It does it so professionally that the movie is still a lot of fun to watch. The story is almost irrelevant to the movie. Rusty Parker (Hayworth) is a talented dancer working at a struggling dinner theater, Danny McGuire's Place, in Brooklyn. Danny (Gene Kelly) and Rusty love each other, and Danny is determined that one of these days his talents as a choreographer, dancer and showman will lead to the big time with Rusty. But Rusty gets noticed by John Coudair (Otto Kruger), a wealthy, high society publisher, and he makes Rusty the cover girl of one of his most popular magazines, Vanity. And the rest is history. Rusty becomes the hit of New York; a theater producer wants her for a show and wants to marry her. And Danny, seeing this happen, reluctantly decides he can't stand in her way. There's another story going on, too. Forty years ago Coudair had fallen hard for a showgirl, Maribelle Hicks. Despite Coudair's riches and position, Maribelle left him at the last minute to marry the poor piano player she really loved. Rusty doesn't know this story...and it turns out she was Maribelle's grand daughter. What will Rusty do? Well, watch the movie if you're in any doubt. The movie, however, is worth watching for several other reasons.
First, is the performance by Rita Hayworth. In fact, just the presence of Hayworth. She really was a beautiful creature with those long legs, red hair and a perfectly natural and friendly personality. She also was a first-rate dancer. Betty Grable once said Hayworth could dance rings around her. Many critics agree that Hayworth was the best dance partner Astaire ever had. Even when doing a fast tap routine, Hayworth could carry it off with great grace and look completely relaxed, as if she were having great fun. Check her out, for instance, in the Shorty George tap routine with Astaire from You Were Never Lovelier. She gives that same feeling of joy in dancing while working with Kelly.
Second, are the songs by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin. Long Ago and Far Away was the big hit, but the entire score is one classy song after another, including Make Way for Tomorrow, Cover Girl, Sure Thing and The Show Must Go On. Long Ago, in fact, was the biggest money earner for Gershwin, bringing in considerably more than any of the songs he wrote with his brother. He said several times that he didn't think the lyric was as good as it could have been. One of the songs, Put Me to the Test, has a lyric that Gershwin originally wrote for a song with his brother. It never went anywhere, so when he had some trouble with the idea he mentioned to Kern that he had a lyric that had already been set to music by George. He said he didn't know whether Kern would be offended, but Kern just laughed and asked to see the words.
Third, are some nice performances by the supporting players. Phil Silvers, as the best friend of both Rusty and Danny, plays comic relief and matchmaker. He does a nice job of it. Otto Kruger as usual plays a smoothie, but he has a few subtle double takes he handles skillfully. He also, of course, does the right thing by Rusty. He manages to show regret and affection. And it is always fun to see Eve Arden, once again as the sardonic, wise-cracking side kick, this time to Coudair. She was so type cast in granite that I always wonder how well she could have managed in a few really serious roles. I don't recall ever seeing her in one.
Fourth, is the glossy, professional, Technicolor sheen of the movie. Everything, the sets, the costumes, the lighting, the makeup is handled with the kind of Hollywood studio perfection that isn't seen anymore. Even when the showgirls are putting on their makeup, they're perfectly made up.
Kelly does a good job, especially with the alter ego dance he does with himself and which is often highlighted in specials about his career. But Cover Girl remains very much Rita Hayworth's movie.
The Dvd transfer is excellent; Technicolor never looked better. There are no extras.
on September 6, 2002
COVER GIRL'S importance lies not in it's originality as a book (it's the backstage Cinderella story extrordinaire), as much as it does in what happened to each of its stars. Gene Kelly was 'loaned out' to do CG, when MGM boss L.B. Mayer didn't have much use for him at his own studio. His performance in this film, coupled with the ground-breaking 'Alter Ego' dance solo (duo?) was so successful that it made MGM take him seriously at last and allowed him to flourish with the yet-to-come hits of "On The Town," "An American In Paris," etc. (he was never loaned out again). Likewise for Rita Hayworth; Columbia had been grooming her for years, but she had done mostly B-level films (except for the occasional musical). CG showed her off as a lead in glorious Technicolor, and paved the way for GILDA, her signature role. Here she and Kelly make a sweet couple, and are at their most romantic in the "Long Ago and Far Away" duet. Another standout number is the title song, which pays tribute to all the well-known American magazines and their cover models. Hayworth is a siren in a gold dress, running down a curved runway, with her flaming mane billowing. An absolute dream in Technicolor.
on October 12, 2003
Ok, here's the real deal on this latest Hayworth release. The movie looks incredible. The colors are vibrant and seem to jump off the screen. This quality transfer from "Columbia" is crisp, clean and eye-popping. Sure, the backstage story is a little hokey and quite dated (even for it's time)- but all is forgiven once Hayworth's energy and appeal shine so brightly. Despite it's creaky plot, I still give a 5 star rating. Why? For the opportunity (thanks to DVD) to watch Rita dance. The experience is electrifying, watching Hayworth move with such carefree abandon and sensual grace while exhibiting a natural charisma that is literally breathtaking. Bonus tip: try watching Rita in slow-motion (via the dvd remote button-try the slowest motion possible). There's the scene where Lee Bowman brings her onto a large empty theatre stage urging her to "try it out"- Rita then floats into a short solo dance displaying her magical "It" factor to the max! Also, the "Cover Girl" number where she descends down a giant ramp, like a true goddess from the heavens, as well as the "Put me to the test" routine with Kelly. The noise-free clarity of these slo-mo/frame by frame images are truly mesmerizing.
on April 7, 2000
This is my favorite movie of all time. That might not mean much since you don't know me, but believe me I have seen a LOT of movies and NOT ONE compares to this one. As musicals go, it is the best - the dance numbers are inventive, complicated, and extremely entertaining; the songs are all catchy and lyrically brilliant("Tomorrow," "The Show Must Go On," "Long Shot," "Put Me to the Test," and, of course, "Long Ago and Far Away"); the plot is fast-paced and believable; and even though Rita Hayworth is not my favorite, she absolutely dazzles in this movie. Not to mention Gene Kelly at his best - he was given full artistic liberty with all the numbers, and boy does it show. I love this film. There are no words to describe how wonderful it is.
on July 14, 2006
This is arguably Hayworth's best-remembered musical, and it has such great dancing in it!!
Let's start with that title number 'Cover Girl': after the male chorus sings and we are presented with about a dozen of the leading models of the day, the camera opens on Rita wrapped in gold with CLOUDS floating about her... she peels off her wrap and slowly floats down what turns out to be a HUGE, WINDING RAMP THE SIZE OF A MOUNTAIN, slowly gathering momentum as the music begins to boom, eventually running down AT FULL SPEED to join the male chorus at the bottom. There she effortlessly does spins, backdrops, and one-footed lifts, her red hair flying about her, her beautiful body shown off in a flowing, strapless gold gown-- a vision of sparkling red and gold...they REALLY don't make movies like this anymore!!
This is one of the best and most popular musicals of the forties. Columbia Pictures spared no expense on this film, and it shows. COVER GIRL is a rich and elaborate film.
The next most memorable number for me is 'Long Ago and Far Away' a beautiful, emotional breakup/makeup duet between Hayworth and Kelly and one of the best remembered songs of the 1940's. There is genuine chemistry between the two (you can see Kelly's eyes pop at Hayworth as they sing the last verses together) and as the music takes them over there's a long sensuous hug, and a trance-like number of steps between the two that leads to Hayworth swooning deeply into Kelly's arms...rapturous.
Hayworth and Kelly also have a challenge-tap duet to 'Put Me to the Test'. The two (both dressed in varying shades of green!) tap, jump, and spin all over the stage in a fast paced, complicated routine choreographed by Kelly.
Then there's the 'Make Way for Tomorrow' tap dance with Hayworth, Kelly, and Phil Silvers, a joyous tap dance in the streets (Kelly would later use this theme many times in his career) and the celebrated 'Alter Ego' solo for Kelly...I could go on and on.
The music by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin is wonderful. The scoring of this film won the Oscar that year (1944). There's also flashbacks to the 1890's(with Hayworth playing her grandmother), really a mini gay 90's musical is in this film-- we have 2 films in one!!
The rich technicolor is stunning, the designs and COLORS of the costumes are incredible. Kelly, Silvers, Eve Arden, Otto Kruger, all wonderful. But the film belongs to the beautiful and talented Rita Hayworth, who truly was a goddess in the flesh!!!
on October 25, 2003
"Cover Girl" is a star vehicle for Rita Hayworth. Having stated the obvious, its quick paced and elegant good fun, bookended by Gene Kelly's superb dancing and Eve Arden's "hotter than fire" one-liners. Rita is cast as a nobody who gets her face plastered on one magazine and overnight becomes the toast of Broadway. Her duet with Kelly, "Long Ago and Far Away" is the real highlight in this nimble minded programmer that really took audiences by storm. - people used to be so easy to please!
TRANSFER: Well, what do you know? After a slew of bargain basement trasfers (though by no means was Columbia's pricing what this reviewer would consider a bargain) we at last get a transfer that's worthy of the digital format. Colors are vibrant and well balanced. Contrast and black levels are bang on. Film grain and age related artifacts are present but they don't terribly distract. There are no digital compression artifacts. The audio is MONO but nicely balanced.
EXTRAS: Forget it! Columbia remains on their penny-pinching kick, but hey - at least the film looks good.
BOTTOM LINE: This is not an outstanding example of the Hollywood musical. However, it is adept at poking fun at itself and having a good time doing it. For a night of light fluff that will put a smile on your face, I recommend "Cover Girl".