To Wisconsin and back again: Film and History 2015

I had a great time last weekend at the Film and History Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. It was wonderful to meet up with old and new friends. Film and History is often referred to as one of the friendliest and most collegiate conferences in the Untied States and I’ve certainly found this to be the case.

My presentation was on the unique production history of Cover Girl (1944) written by Virginia Van Upp, and starring Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly and Lee Bowman. I’m extremely grateful to the panel organizer Deborah Carmichael and my fellow panelist Philip Sewell, both of whom gave insightful and meticulously researched presentations on local exhibition strategies. I’m also super appreciative for the advice I received in the Q&A session from the scholars who attended our panel. It’s so fabulous to come back from a conference and feel this inspired.

Below are a few of the PowerPoint slides I included in my talk.

I like to think of the below title slide’s background as ‘ironic pink.’ The movie employs the same pink satin background for its titles and credits.

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To put together COVER GIRL’S  production history I drew from trade and national newspapers along with the teletypes and story conference transcripts I found at the American Heritage Center. Below is an example of a typical teletype.

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Due to rationing the War Production Board wanted to limit the amount of fabric covering the women in the movie, meanwhile the Production Code Administration wanted to maximize it.

As you can see from the slide below, Columbia Pictures ignored everyone.

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Today I watched the recently restored version of COVER GIRL at MoMA. It is dazzling!


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