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COVER GIRL ($25) is a wonderful, Technicolor musical confection starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly that came from Columbia Pictures- a studio that wasn’t quite as well known for musicals as some of the other major players in Hollywood during the golden years. Made before he was a huge star over at MGM, COVER GIRL gave Kelly the opportunity to work with the reigning queen of the Columbia Pictures lot, Rita Hayworth, as well as showing off the burgeoning talents that would put him on top of the musical genre at his home studio.

In COVER GIRL, Rita Hayworth portrays dancer Rusty Parker, who works in the Brooklyn nightclub owned and run by her boyfriend Danny McGuire (Kelly). Hoping to improve her fortunes, Rusty tries her luck at becoming the cover girl for an important issue of a glamour magazine. After an acquaintance tries to sabotage her chances, Rusty’s beauty catches the eye of designer John Coudair (Otto Kruger), which earns her the coveted magazine cover. As one might expect, Rusty’s new found celebrity begins to interfere with her work at the nightclub and with her romance with Danny. The cast of COVER GIRL also features Phil Silvers, Eve Arden and Lee Bowman.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made COVER GIRL available on DVD in a really terrific looking full screen transfer that frames the movie in its proper 1.37:1 aspect ratio. This is the absolute best that COVER GIRL has looked in the home venue- easily besting the previous Laserdisc edition by a wide margin. None of the registration problems that plagued the Laserdisc are present here, and the new DVD transfer provides one with a good approximation of what an actual IB Technicolor print might have looked like. Colors usually appear rich and vibrant, as well as being rendered without noise or smearing. Shots containing optical fades and dissolves have slightly subdued colors, but otherwise, the appearance is fine. Blacks appear velvety and the whites are crisp and stable. The image itself is pretty sharp and rather nicely defined. The film element used for the transfer displays some very minor blemishes and occasionally noticeable grain structure, but otherwise looks marvelous. Digital compression artifacts are always well concealed during the presentation.

COVER GIRL comes with a fine sounding Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack. Most signs of background hiss and surface noise have been stripped away in the mastering process leaving a fairly clean and crisp sounding track. Fidelity does have the expected limitations coming from a nearly sixty-year-old soundtrack. However, this being a musical, one will naturally want to apply a bit of amplification, and the track does manage to sound rather pleasant at normal listening levels. Dialogue is cleanly rendered and is always completely intelligible. No other language tracks are encoded on the DVD, although subtitles are provided in English, Chinese, Korean and Thai. The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as trailers for BYE BYE BIRDIE, GILDA and PAL JOEY.

COVER GIRL is a delightful Technicolor musical comedy treat featuring Hollywood legends Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. Columbia has done a good job with the DVD presentation- producing a gorgeous looking and fine sounding disc. If you are a musical buff or a fan of Hayworth and Kelly, then COVER GIRL is a DVD you want to add to your collection.



Cover Girl (1944)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2003 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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