CULVER CITY, CALIF.— Sony Pictures
Entertainment recently completed an all-new 4K restoration of Cover Girl, director Charles Vidor’s
1944 Technicolor musical that marked one of the first starring roles for Rita
Hayworth. The new restoration, completed under the supervision of Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures EVP Asset Management, Film Restoration &
Digital Mastering, recently premiered at The Museum of Modern Art in New York’s
just-concluded 13th International Festival of film preservation, To
Preserve and Project.
Cover Girl, in which Hayworth plays a chorus girl
who’s given a chance for stardom, was conceived as a showcase for Columbia
Pictures’ fast rising star. With terrific songs from Jerome Kern and Ira
Gershwin, including the Oscar-nominated “Long Ago and Far Away”, the film also
won an Oscar for the musical score by Carmen Dragon and Morris Stoloff. It is also notable as the first film where co-star Gene Kelly was given an
opportunity to choreograph his own dance numbers (working with his
longtime partner Stanley Donen).
“While Rita is the star, I really think of this as a Gene
Kelly film,” observes Crisp.  “He was on loan from another studio and
was given much more freedom to invent on this film that he was accustomed
to.   You can see in the dance numbers what could be called the
genesis of his later mature work in films like Singin’ in the Rain and An
American in Paris
.   The Alter
number, for example, where he dances with his mirror image, is both a
technical and a choreographic success.”

Cover Girl was Columbia
Pictures’ first big film shot in the Technicolor three-strip process. For the new
4K restoration, the team went back to the original 3-strip nitrate camera
negatives.   “There was a preservation initiative with this film in
the 1990s that involved making some positive intermediate elements for video
transfer, but our current process dictates that we source the most original
materials possible to come up with the best visual result for our 4K workflow,”
recalls Crisp. “The technical capabilities that we have now allow us to
digitally recombine the three separate black and white negatives to create a
color image that is virtually free of the fuzzy registration issues inherent in
the traditional analogue work, in addition to the usual removal of scratches
and other physical flaws in the film.” 
The greater color range facilitated the recreation of a Technicolor
look that is as authentic as possible, especially where original dye transfer
prints were available as reference points. “We consider this new work to be our
contribution to the 100th anniversary and celebration of Technicolor,” notes
Crisp. “Working with our colorist, Sheri Eisenberg, we strived to get the
colors, with deep blacks and vibrant reds, right.”
The premiere of the new restoration at MoMA furthers the
studio’s collaboration with the Museum’s film department. Sony Pictures has
been a strong contributor to the museum’s film preservation program in a
relationship spanning 25 years. During that time Sony Pictures and MoMA have
worked together on a number of film restorations, including the Judy Holliday
classic Born Yesterday.

“Sony Pictures represents the gold standard in film
preservation,” says Josh Siegel, Curator of MoMA’s Department of Film. “Their
care and skill are clearly evident in the new Cover Girl restoration where capturing the tonalities and nuances
of Technicolor posed a special challenge. MoMA is excited to bring this wonderful
film out of the vaults.”
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a
subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass
motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production,
acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and
distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new
entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information,
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