Cover Girl (1944)

Comedy, Musical, Romance
Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Lee Bowman, Phil Silvers
Rusty Parker wins a contest and becomes a celebrated cover girl; this endangers her romance with dancing mentor Danny.
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Company:
  • APPROVED Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 30 Mar 1944 Released:
  • 19 Aug 2003 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Virginia Van Upp (screenplay), Marion Parsonnet (a Writer:
  • Charles Vidor Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Put To The Test And Passes With Flying Colors9/10
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.
An Extravaganza of Music and A Good Story too!8/10

A good story about Rusty Parker (Rita Hayworth) who dreams of being on broadway which means she would have to leave the small dinner theater where she works with Danny (Gene Kelly) and Genius (Phil Silvers). Rusty is in love with Danny. All three are good friends and every Friday night they go to a local bar where they get oysters so they can look for a pearl (they never eat them). The story line provides numerous opportunities for songs and dancing. The movie has two questions that Rusty must answer: Is fame all that it is cracked up to be? and Is less really more if you are happy? Answering those questions makes the movie. The movie also does a good job of showcasing the talents that all three principals had. Never a dull moment!
Energetic and Fun5/10
For a non-MGM musical from the 1940s, this is quite a memorable and enjoyable film. Rita Hayworth, at the peak of her career, is stunning, a vision of loveliness and in full Technicolor, no less! Gene Kelly, in one of his earliest films, is a good match for her, although his character is really something of a jerk. Phil Silvers provides good comic relief, without being too obnoxious, but Eve Arden, with her dry one-liners, is an even bigger hoot.

The music score is quite good for the most part...with only one sour note ("Poor John"). The haunting "Long Ago and Far Away" is beautiful, "Put Me to the Test" is a good number for the two leads, and "Make Way for Tomorrow" is a lively, fun number. Of course, credit must be given to Gene Kelly for his fantastic "alter-ego" dance sequence, which is without a doubt, the highlight of the film.

Definitely worth seeking out for fans of Gene or Rita...this is one of the great 40s musicals. Top stars, sumptuous color, and a pleasing score. Terrific!
Gene Kelly's pivotal role and Rita Hayworth's most glamorous.5/10
Cover Girl's importance lies not in its originality as a book (it's a standard backstage Cinderella story), as much as it does in what happened to each of its stars. Gene Kelly was "loaned out" to do it 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 (he was never loaned out again) and allowed him to flourish with the soon-to-come hits of "Anchors Aweigh," "On The Town," and "An American In Paris." Likewise for Rita Hayworth; Columbia had been grooming her for years, but she had done mostly B-level films. CG showed her off as a lead in glorious Technicolor, and paved the way for GILDA, her signature (and much more adult) role. Here she and Kelly make a sweet couple, and dance well in "Put Me To The Test" and the fresh, energetic "Make Way For Tomorrow." They are at their most poignant in "Long Ago And Far Away," but the number (played on piano by Phil Silvers and sung as they both stack up nightclub chairs) seems to beg for a dance number, then doesn't have one. Another good number is the title tune, which pays tribute to the famous American magazines/cover girl models of the day. Hayworth appears as the last model, running down a curved runway in a gold dress with her flaming mane flying behind her. A dream in Technicolor!!
Cover Girl Shines10/10

"Cover Girl" is the best musical Rita Hayworth ever made. Ms. Hayworth will always be remembered for "Gilda", however, the next movie would be "Cover Girl". The story is great. It is about a dancer who wants to be a cover girl and makes it big in show business. She does it without the help of her talented dancer/director boyfriend (Gene Kelly). Mr. Kelly is given the chance to choreograph the musical numbers. The dances are spectacular. It is fun to see Phil Silvers, a comic, do the musical numbers with Ms. Hayworth and Mr. Kelly.

The supporting cast is perfect. Lee Bowman is given a chance to be an interesting third wheel, the other boyfriend.