It took a loan out film to Columbia for Gene Kelly's home studio MGM to realize his creative talent and give him some control over what he did in his own films. Cover Girl also became Rita Hayworth's signature film for the GIs and their pinup fantasies during World War II.
Kelly plays the owner of a small nightclub in Brooklyn where Rita is a featured dancer and Phil Silvers the comic. Of course Kelly does a bit of hoofing himself there.
Hayworth comes to the attention of millionaire Otto Kruger when it turns out that Kruger had loved and lost Hayworth's grandmother. In some flashback sequences from the gaslight era, Hayworth also plays her own grandmother with Jess Barker playing the young Kruger. You might remember Jess Barker was the husband of that other legendary screen redhead, Susan Hayward.
Broadway producer Lee Bowman also is attracted to Hayward, but he's not interested in nostalgia. He wants her for his Ziegfeld Follies revue and in fact the biggest number of Cover Girl is the title song of the film. It's nicely done in Follies style.
Hayworth also gets to sing A Sure Thing in a gaslight era number and in the only song in the show not written by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin, Hayworth also does an old English music hall number Poor John. When I say sing, as everyone knows Rita mouths words. Singing here is done by Nan Wynn.
The biggest hit of the show is Long Ago and Far Away which is introduced by Gene Kelly. It was one of the biggest hits of the World War II era and one of the biggest sellers Jerome Kern ever wrote. It happens in fact to be a favorite of an aunt of mine who with my uncle will be celebrating 60 years of marriage this September. Long Ago and Far Away was nominated for Best Song, but lost to Swinging on a Star.
What really sets Cover Girl apart and what makes it a milestone film for Gene Kelly is the two numbers Put Me to the Test and the Alter Ego number. Harry Cohn decided to do what Louis B. Mayer had refused at MGM, to give Kelly creative control of his own material. Kelly later said the alter ego number was one of the hardest things he ever attempted in his career. In it he dances with a pale reflection of himself and the choreography is dazzling and intricate.
In fact after one more loan out film, Christmas Holiday at Universal, Louis B. Mayer never loaned out Gene Kelly for the rest of the time he was at MGM. And he did get creative control from then on.
With that dazzling technicolor cinematography and Rita's red hair and Gene Kelly's boundless creativity, Cover Girl was and is a classic and will forever be so.
Action / Comedy / Musical / Romance
Action / Comedy / Musical / Romance
Rusty Parker, a red-headed leggy dancer at Danny McGuire's Night Club in Brooklyn, wants to be a successful Broadway star. She enters a contest to be a 'Cover Girl' as a stepping-stone in her career. She reminds the publisher, John Coudair, of his lost love, showgirl Maribelle Hicks. He was engaged to Maribelle, although his wealthy society mother made fun of her. Maribelle left John at the altar when she saw the piano at her wedding. It reminded her of the piano-player she truly loved. Rusty is Maribelle's granddaughter and there are musical sequences with Maribelle dancing to songs from the beginning of the 20th century. Rusty lands on the cover of her grandmother's former fiancÃ©'s magazine (as a bride). She is pursued by Coudair's pal, the wealthy theatrical producer, Noel Wheaton. He produces a lavish musical to star Rusty, surrounded by real cover girls of the mid 1940's. Rusty runs down a huge spiral into the arms of dozens of men who seem clumsy next to her ethereal dancing. ...
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM