Released in March 1944 by Columbia. Music by Jerome Kern. Lyrics by Ira Gershwin. Screenplay by Virginia Van Upp. Directed by Charles Vidor. Produced by Arthur Schwartz. Cast included Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Les Bowman, and Phil Silvers.
The success of COVER GIRL was a welcome surprise to Ira and Jerome Kern and provided Ira with his single biggest hit of any one year during his career — “Long Ago (And Far Away),” which became a wartime ballad for American soldiers overseas and their wives and girlfriends at home. Rita Hayworth stars as a Brooklyn nightclub dancer who leaves her sweetheart — Gene Kelly — after winning a beauty contest, but finds that fame isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Kelly said that his revolutionary choreography for the “Alter Ego” dance — where he partnered himself — was the hardest film sequence he’d ever done.