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Cover Girl - Wellington Film Society

Cover Girl - Wellington Film Society

Sorry this event has been and gone

When:

  • Mon 3 Dec ’18, 6:15pm – 8:05pm

Where:

Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Terrace, Mt Victoria, Wellington

Restrictions:

PG

Ticket Information:

  • Members Free: $0.00
  • 12-month Membership: $120.00

Charles Vidor, USA 1944, 107 mins, PG.

Charles Vidor's Technicolor musical laces wartime escapism with raw sex. Rita Hayworth's bewitching Brooklyn nightclub dancer Rusty finds Broadway and a wealthy husband within her grasp when she wins a modelling contest and becomes the in-demand 'cover girl' of the title.

The humble pleasures holding her back are Gene Kelly, as Danny the nightclub manager and her devoted paramour, and comedian chum Genius, played by Phil Silvers. The glamour provided by the handsome leads, the wish-fulfilment plot and the gorgeous climactic number are there to add sparkle to the movie's old-fashioned message about the value of friendship and hard work - fine things to remember, no doubt, in the difficult days of 1944.

Hayworth is magnificent: sexy and good-humoured, at least when she isn't playing Rusty's music-hall grandmother, who ventures a terrible mockney accent. Kelly, who was on loan from MGM and took on choreography duties with a young Stanley Donen, offers an enchantingly romantic performance, and his dance scenes are, needless to say, sublime, especially when he partners his own superimposed self in Alter-Ego Dance.

The songs, most of them delightful if not cast-iron classics, are by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin. The highlights are love songs Put Me to the Test and Long Ago (and Far Away), plus the morale-boosting Make Way for Tomorrow performed by Hayworth, Kelly and Silvers with disarming gusto. That said, Silvers rhyming "because of Axis trickery/My coffee now is chicory" in his lecherous rationing ditty Who's Complaining? can, once heard, never be forgotten.

This is one of the wittiest big-studio musicals, and the peerless Eve Arden, as a sardonic fashion journalist, gets all the best, most innuendo-laden lines, followed closely by Silvers. Opening number The Show Must Go On seems to openly taunt members of the crowd who took their seat merely to gawp at Hayworth's lovely legs.

- Pamela Hutchinson, Sight and Sound, April 2017.

Screening in memory of Michael Thomas.

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