Rosalie

  • 1937
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Musical

Produced on the stage by Ziegfeld in 1928, the play ran more than a year at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York with Marilyn Miller in the title role, Oliver McLennan as the male star and Frank Morgan as the king of the small land whence his daughter hails. To reproduce this film today would cost the receipts of the entire Kuwaiti oil industry for a year....read more

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Produced on the stage by Ziegfeld in 1928, the play ran more than a year at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York with Marilyn Miller in the title role, Oliver McLennan as the male star and Frank Morgan as the king of the small land whence his daughter hails. To reproduce this film today

would cost the receipts of the entire Kuwaiti oil industry for a year. It came in at more than two million, and every penny was on the screen with thousands of extras, all dressed in expensive costumes, and a host of musical numbers that made this seem like a cross between an operetta and a campus

musical. The score for the play was done by Sigmund Romberg and George Gershwin, but it was all tossed out, including Gershwin's "How Long Has This Been Going On?" in favor of a new score by Porter and several others. Marion Davies had made another version of "Rosalie," but the film was never

released, and some of the footage was used in this. Director Van Dyke, who was so well-known as the master of the well paced comedy, seemed lost in the awesome size of this film, the set pieces of which far outweighed any story. Producer McGuire also wrote the screenplay based on the musical book

he wrote earlier with Guy Bolton. Considering the flimsy plot, it was overproduced, with more than 20 cameras used in some scenes and scores of acres of the MGM back lot put to work. Eddy, who was 36 at the time, is playing football for West Point in the big game against Navy which ends in a tie

with Eddy the hero. Powell, a Vassar student who tells no one that she is the princess of a small country, thinks Eddy is conceited, but makes plans to meet him later in the year in Europe. Eddy flies his own plane overseas to see her. Meanwhile, Powell has been promised to chancellor Owen's son,

Rutherford, in an arranged marriage. Eddy is flying in, and the airport radio is run by Colonna and Gilbert (who does his famous sneezing bit with Colonna doing a double talk stint). He finally lands and learns that the country is in chaos. Eddy doesn't know that Powell is a princess, and thinks

she's just a peasant. Morgan greets the Lindbergh-type pilot and agrees to help him find the woman he loves. It takes forever until the couple is united, with a skinny subplot between Bolger and Grey to spice matters up. The people revolt, the royal family flees, and that's where the picture

should end, but no, it goes on. The two meet again in the US, have a few love problems at West Point, work things out, and sing of their love to each other in a huge finale. It's a heavy, heavy treatment of a lightweight subject with enough music to satisfy everyone. Besides using medleys of

marches and of classical operas and operettas, the movie offers a full complement of original songs with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, and more. Cole Porter tunes include: "I've Got a Strange New Rhythm in My Heart" (sung by Powell), "Why Should I Care?" (sung by Morgan), "Spring Love Is in the

Air" (sung by Massey), "Rosalie," "It's All Over but the Shouting," "Who Knows?" "In the Still of the Night," "To Love or not To Love" (sung by Eddy), and "Close" (instrumental). In the beginning of the movie, Eddy and the male chorus perform medleys and snatches of "The Caissons Go Rolling Along"

(Edmund L. Gruber), "On, Brave Old Army Team," (Philip Egner), "Anchors Aweigh" (Alfred Miles, Royal Lovell, Charles A. Zimmerman). As the plot thickens, Eddy sings "M'Appari" ("Ah, So Pure," an aria from the opera "Martha" by Friedrich von Flotow) and some of those Porter melodies. As romance

blossoms further, the Albertina Rasch dancers perform to the music of the "Polovetsian Dances" from "Prince Igor" by Aleksandr Borodin and of "Swan Lake," Act II, by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, and Eddy sings "Goodbye Forever" ("Addio") by Paolo Tosti. A rousing medley of marches to which Powell

dances includes John Philip Sousa's "Washington Post March," "Stars and Stripes Forever," "Semper Fidelis," and "El Capitan," as well as one more march, "Parade," by long-time arranger Herbert Stothart. And finally, if that's not enough, the "Wedding March" from Felix Mendelsohn's "A Midsummer

Night's Dream" is followed with Eddy's renditions of the traditional "Gaudeamus Igitur" and "Oh, Promise Me" (Reginald DeKoven, Scott Clement) at the conclusion. With all the music and the incredible sets and dances, it's still an empty exercise. Massey made her film debut here after having been

discovered by Louis Mayer on a trip to Europe. He also signed Hedy Lamarr, Greer Garson, and a few others on that sojourn, including Rose Stradner, who decided that she didn't like acting and chose to marry Joe Mankiewicz instead. ROSALIE had too much music and not enough comedy to make it

anything more than a huge but essentially unsatisfying movie. Katherine Aldridge, a lady in waiting, and Roy Barcroft, a conspirator, both went on to minor fame at Republic Studios.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Produced on the stage by Ziegfeld in 1928, the play ran more than a year at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York with Marilyn Miller in the title role, Oliver McLennan as the male star and Frank Morgan as the king of the small land whence his daughter hai… (more)

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