Time: 107 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Won Academy Award for Best Music. Nominations for Best Art Direction, Cinematography, Song and Sound.
One would think the pairing of Kelly and Hayworth would be pure movie magic...and while they're onscreen together it is. Unfortunately for the audience, this musical comedy lingers too long in the past and not long enough in the present. Hayworth plays Rusty Parker, a young dancer trying to make it to the big time with the help of her dancing partner/stage manager/lover Danny McGuire (Kelly). Much to his disappointment, she tries out for the Vanity magazine "Cover Girl" contest, which if she wins will garner her the exposure she's been longing for. Of course, she does, not only because she's the best looking gal in the room, but because she bares an uncanny resemblance to her grandmother Maribelle Hicks, a popular vaudeville dancer who broke the heart of the magazine's publisher John Cordair (Kruger) when they were both in the bloom of youth. Cordair can't believe his eyes. Fate is giving him a chance to relive his youth and he's determined that Rusty will have the life Maribelle refused, the circumstances of which the film then illuminates in vivid detail.
While the flashbacks are well-produced with art direction and costumes to die for, they disrupt the chemistry between Hayworth and Kelly, leaving them very little time to develop a true romantic connection. Since Hayworth was the bigger star at the time, it only seems fitting the story would revolve around her character; however, it's Rusty's future with Danny, not her grandmother's past with Cordair that the viewers (meaning me) want to see. The vaudeville numbers give Hayworth the chance to showcase her musical comedy talents, but they lack the spark and energy of her numbers with Kelly. This is her third major musical (the first two were with Fred Astaire) and though she's definitely got the goods, she still lacks the self-confidence, when performing alone, to really make these numbers shine. Plus her co-star in the past, Jess Parker, pales in comparison to Kelly's ample charms.