Sunday, January 28, 2007

COVER GIRL (Columbia 1944) Sony Home Entertainment

Charles Vidor’s Cover Girl (1944) is a flashy star vehicle for Columbia’s then reigning sex symbol, Rita Hayworth. It’s quick paced and elegant good fun, book-ended by Gene Kelly's superb dancing and Eve Arden's ‘hotter than fire’ one liners.

Rita is Rusty Parker, showgirl plucked from the chorus by a slightly obsessed, aged but wealthy John Coudair (Otto Kruger). John instructs his publicist, Cornelia Jackson (Arden) to plaster Rusty’s face plastered on every fashion and society magazine in the country, and, overnight Rusty becomes the toast of Broadway, much to the chagrin of Rusty’s small time manager and secret love interest, Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly – ideal for this sort of sullen but sexy role). The sparks fly – but will they ignite a passion between Rusty and Danny or tear them apart.

Hayworth duet with Kelly to ‘Long Ago and Far Away’ became a wartime musical highlight that took audiences by storm. The film is also justly famous for Kelly’s ‘mirror’ dance, in which his own reflection suddenly develops a mind of its own to rival his own terpsichorean skills.

Sony Home Video provides a very smart looking DVD transfer. Colors are perhaps a tad less saturated than one would like, but for the most part are quite refined, bold and bright. Contrast is nicely presented. Blacks are deep and velvety. Whites are generally clean. Age related artifacts are present but do not distract. Digital compression artifacts are well concealed. The audio is MONO but nicely balanced. There are NO extras.

FILM RATING (out of 5 - 5 being the best)



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