Tag Archives: Cover Girl

Geek Moment: Film Footage of Virginia Van Upp at Rita Hayworth’s Wedding

So, I’m having a geek moment:

Below is the only piece of film footage I have found featuring Hollywood actress-screenwriter-producer, Virginia Van Upp. While Van Upp appeared in several early films as a child actress, many of these titles are now lost, or only exist as fragments. Although Van Upp was happy to swap acting for writing and producing, it seems she still retained some aspirations to act. She reportedly completed a screen test for one of the movies that she wrote entitled, Honeymoon in Bali (1939).  Van Upp also planned to appear as an extra in The Loves of Carmen (1948). In 1983, Van Upp herself was portrayed by actress Jane Hallaren in the television movie Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess.

Note on footage:

In 1949, Van Upp attended Rita Hayworths’s wedding to Prince Aly Khan in Cannes. I noticed Van Upp in the below Pathé newsreel at around: 32 seconds. During the wedding ceremony Van Upp is standing by the wall on the far right, wearing a large, bonkers black hat and black-and-white patterned dress. Van Upp also appears again standing outside the wedding venue. You really get a sense of how petite she was – something reporters would often emphasize.

Hayworth and Van Upp were close friends. Van Upp wrote the screenplay to Cover Girl (1944) and produced and wrote Gilda (1946)both are two of Hayworth’s most memorable movies. For various labor reasons Van Upp did not receive writing credit for Gilda; this greatly angered Columbia Pictures studio boss Harry Cohn, who thought Van Upp more than deserved full credit.

Thanks to Pathé for making the footage accessible to the public!

 

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The “Cover Girl” Issue

Publicity for Cover Girl

Publicity for Cover Girl

Oh, cruel irony!

I’m excited to be presenting a paper this Friday in Wisconsin on Columbia Pictures Technicolor musical, Cover Girl (1944) starring Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, and Lee Bowman. However, I just found out that MoMA will be screening the restored version of this movie at exactly the same time. The movie will be introduced by Grover Crisp, Executive Vice President of Asset Management, Film Restoration and Digital Mastering, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

At least I’ll get back to New York in time to catch the second screening of the film on Monday, but I’m terribly disappointed to miss Crisp’s talk.

The restoration was screened this summer at the Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival in Italy and by all accounts it is magnificent. David Bordwell described it as the best DCP rendering of Technicolor that he has ever seen.

For my presentation I’ll be employing the teletypes and story conference notes held at the American Heritage Center in Wyoming, to discuss the movie’s unique production history and elaborate nationwide exploitation campaign.

 

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