Cover Girl (1944): Vidor’s Oscar-Winning Musical that Made Rita Hayworth Star

As directed by Charles Vidor, “Cover Girl” is an extremely enjoyable, lavishly produced Technicolor musical, which catapulted Rita Hayworth to the status of Columbia’s resident queen and national stardom.

The melodic score, by experts Jerome Kern, Ira Gershwin, and Yip Harburg, well performed by the stars, Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly, made “Cover Girl” a popular, Oscar-nominated movie.

Flaunting sexy wardrobe and red hair to match, the gorgeous looking Hayworth plays Rusty Parker a chorus girl given a chance for stardom by a wealthy magazine editor (Otto Kruger), who years earlier had been in love with the girl’s mother.

Offered an opportunity to be a popular cover girl, she would faithfully remain with her tacky nightclub act if only the club manager Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly), whom she likes, would ask her. He loves her too, but doesn’t want to stand in her way, so he fakes an argument.

Phil Silvers as best friend, and Eve Arden s Kruger’s acid-tongued assistant, provide the usual comic relief.

There are many good musical numbers, including “Long Ago and Far Away” and Kelly’s famous “Alter-ego” dance.

Kelly co-choreographed with Stanley Donen, and both artists went back to MGM after this picture, where they evolved as first-rank artists.

“Cover Girl” is the film that skyrocketed both Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly (who made his debute two years earlier) to superstardom.

Oscar Nominations: 5

Scoring (Musical): Carmen Dragon and Morris Stoloff

Cinematography (Color): Rudolph Mate and Allen M. Davey

Interior Decoration (Color): Lionel Banks and Cary Odell; Fay Babcock.

Sound Recording: John Livadary

Song: Long Ago and Far Away, music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Ira Gershwin

Oscar Awards: 1



Running time: 107 Minutes.

Directed by Charles Vidor.

Screenplay: Virginia Van Upp, Marion Parsonnet, Paul Gangelin.

Released: March 30, 1944.

DVD: August 19, 2003