Starring: Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Phil Silvers
Director: Charles Vidor
Running Time: 107 mins
Cover Girl is an American film about a club dancer who wins a contest to become the new cover girl of a major magazine, but her new-found fame leads her away from her roots, and the people closest to her.
I had a lot of fun with this film. It’s a very well-acted and generally upbeat movie full of great music and entertaining dance sequences, all playing out within an impressively engaging story that’s furthered by three fantastically energetic lead performances, all coming together to make a lively, happy and very enjoyable watch throughout.
Above all, the best thing about this film was undoubtedly the performances. Rita Hayworth shines in the lead role with a hugely entertaining and lively turn throughout, owning every single one of her scenes with her trademark charisma, all the while managing to bring an impressive level of drama to her character alongside the lighter comedy in the film.
But along with her individual performance, her excellent chemistry with co-stars Gene Kelly and Phil Silvers works an absolute charm for the film as a whole. Hayworth is likable enough on her own, but it’s the brilliant on-screen relationship she has with Kelly and Silvers in the film’s first act that makes the overall story all the more engaging.
The three are absolute dynamite together early on, whether it be in some fantastically entertaining song and dance sequences or just chatting away at the local bar, it’s great fun to watch them as good friends from the beginning. What’s more is that when that strong bond is broken after Hayworth’s character’s success, it feels all the more upsetting, and you do really sympathise with Kelly and Silvers as they feel left behind by their friend’s sudden stardom.
That’s the great thing about this story, though. It’s not just a simple romantic comedy, but there’s actually a good, convincing level of emotion there to keep things interesting throughout. I won’t deny that a side story involving the cover girl’s boss isn’t quite as convincing or engaging, but the emotional story that plays out around Hayworth’s character, both her internal struggle as she remembers her roots, as well as when we look back to her old friends, is really impressive throughout.
Along with the story, I absolutely loved the musical element of this movie. I didn’t really feel like it was the sort of story to yield a decent musical, but Charles Vidor’s excellent directing allows for some very natural and hugely entertaining musical numbers throughout.
Shining early on with a good few upbeat song and dances, the film’s entertainment factor goes through the roof with the added bonus of some very natural and effective musical numbers, and although it doesn’t always maintain quite the same quality right through to the end, I was very impressed and entertained nonetheless.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with Cover Girl. Above all thanks to Rita Hayworth’s fantastic lead performance, as well as her co-stars Gene Kelly and Phil Silvers, this film has got great humour, joy and emotional drama all packed into one. It’s not always as brilliantly engrossing and entertaining as the excellent opening act, but with some great musical numbers throughout and a generally upbeat and colourful vibe, it’s a really fun watch, and that’s why I’m giving Cover Girl a 7.6.