Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 11th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: USA. 1944
Director: Charles Vidor
Writers: Virginia Van Upp, Marion Parsonnet, Paul Gangelin, Erwin S. Gelsey, John H. Kafka
Cast: Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Lee Bowman, Phil Silvers, Jinx Falkenburg, Leslie Brooks, Eve Arden, Otto Kruger
BluRay released: February 13th, 2017
Approximate running times: 107 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: U (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Eureka Video
Region Coding: Region B / Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: £12.99 (UK)
Cover Girl was directed by Charles Vidor who’s other notable film’s include, Gilda, The Swan and A Farewell to Arms (1957). Key collaborators on Cover Girl include, cinematographers Rudolph Maté (Vampyr, Foreign Correspondent) and Allen M. Davey (Western Union) and Camren Dragon (Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers).
Since its inception, Hollywood has never shied away from recycling successful and sometimes unsuccessful ideas. And with Cover Girl the way in which its protagonist is discovered bears more than a striking resemblance to Cinderella.
The premise is an inventive take on an all too familiar scenario. The narrative is meticulously laid out and there are no issues as key moments are given an ample amount of time to resonate. The characters are fully fleshed out and their motivations are never in doubt.
From a production stand point this film is a perfect example of a film from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema. With its spectacular visuals and outstanding musical numbers being two of its many strengths. This film also mark the first time that Columbia Pictures shot a film is Technicolor. And standout moments visually include, a scene where the protagonist is getting made over for her “cover girl” photo-shoot. Another standout moment includes, a scene where Gene Kelly’s character dances with his reflection. This sequence was choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen (Singing in the Rain, Two for the Road).
Performance wise the entire cast are all very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performances being Rita Hayworth (Rouben Mamoulian’s Blood and Sand, The Lady from Shanghai) in the dual roles of Rusty Parker and her grandmother Maribelle Hicks and Gene Kelly (On the Town, An American in Paris) in the role of Danny McGuire, the man who is in love with Rusty and his stubbornness to tell her how he feels pushes her away into the arms of another man. Other notable performances include, Phil Silvers (“The Phil Silvers Show”, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) in the role of Genesis and Eva Arden (Mildred Pierce, Our Miss Brooks) in the role of Cornelia Jackson, these two characters provide comic relief.
Cover Girl comes on a 50 GB dual layer (32.1 GB) BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Colors look vibrant, flesh tones look accurate, the image looks crisp and black levels look solid throughout. Grain remains intact and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM stereo mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, a Masters of Cinema exclusive trailer for the film (2 minutes 6 seconds), an interview with filmmaker Baz Luhrmann who discusses on Cover Girl (4 minutes 21 seconds) and twenty-eight-page booklet that contains, cast & crew credits, an essay about the film written by Farren Smith Nehme, a photo gallery and information about this film’s aspect ratio under the title Notes on Viewing.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall Cover Girl gets a solid audio / video presentation from Eureka Video.