Rose Marie

Rose Marie

Director: Mervyn LeRoy, Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Fernando Lamas

Cast: Mervyn LeRoy, Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Fernando Lamas

     
 
1954's Rose Marie is the third film version of the 1924 Otto Harbach-Oscar Hammerstein-Rudolph Frinl operetta of the same name. Though not a completely faithful adaptation, this version is closer to the original than the (admittedly enjoyable) Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald version of 1936. Ann Blyth stars as Rose Marie Lemaitre, a hoydenish French-Canadian

Overview

1954's Rose Marie is the third film version of the 1924 Otto Harbach-Oscar Hammerstein-Rudolph Frinl operetta of the same name. Though not a completely faithful adaptation, this version is closer to the original than the (admittedly enjoyable) Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald version of 1936. Ann Blyth stars as Rose Marie Lemaitre, a hoydenish French-Canadian lass who is "tamed" by cheerful mountie Mike Malone (Howard Keel). At first, Mike is only interested in using Rose Marie to capture her sweetheart, renegade trapper Duval (Fernando Lamas), but eventually he falls in love with her, and she with him. Counterpointing the romantic main plot are the comic antics of Bert Lahr, who elucidates his sorry lot in life with the song "I'm the Mountie Who Never Gets His Man." The original Rudy Friml score is well in evidence, along with several new Friml compositions and a few extra tunes penned by Georgie Stoll and Herbert Baker. There's also a remarkable "Indian sacrifice" production number spotlighting a young Rita Moreno. Original Cinemascope prints of Rose Marie included a nine-minute prologue, wherein conductor Alfred Wallenstein led the MGM orchestra in a rendition of "Poet and Peasant Overture" (this was evidently inspired by the similar symphonic prologue which opened 20th Century Fox's How to Marry a Millionaire).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The mere mention of "operetta" is enough to send some viewers into fits of giggling and snorting, and with Rose Marie it's not really hard to see why. The story is so much nonsense, the serious dialogue is stilted, there's a general sense of the overblown throughout, and when these people burst into song, they really burst into song. This semi-remake of the 1936 version also suffers because Ann Blyth is simply not Jeanette MacDonald. Blyth sings well (though not as well as her predecessor), but she simply lacks the charm, appeal, and "oomph" that MacDonald brought to her operetta roles. Howard Keel, on the other hand, is a definite improvement over the wooden Nelson Eddy; even so, he's still no firebrand. Worse, the two leads lack chemistry. Their shortcomings are compensated somewhat by the comic antics of the brilliant Bert Lahr and the always amusing Marjorie Main, but these amiable clowns are given short shrift in terms of screen time. Of course, the main reason for the film -- those lush, soaring Rudolf Friml melodies -- are a very definite asset, as is the Cinemascope lensing, especially on those too-rare occasions when the film leaves the soundstage for some beautiful location work. Added together, the pluses manage to outweigh the negatives, making Rose Marie just good enough to pass.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2011
UPC:
0883316336885
Original Release:
1954
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:44:00
Sales rank:
13,056

Special Features

Outtake Musical Number Love and Kisses with Bert Lahr and Marjorie Main

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ann Blyth Rose Marie Lemaitre
Howard Keel Mike Malone
Fernando Lamas James Severn Duval
Bert Lahr Barney McGorkle
Marjorie Main Lady Jane Dunstock
Joan Taylor Wanda
Ray Collins Inspector Appleby
John Damler Orderly
Billy Dix Mess Waiter
Al Ferguson Actor
Abel Fernandez Indian Warrior
Dabbs Greer Committeeman
Frank S. Hagney Woodsman
Lumsden Hare Judge
James Logan Clerk
John M. Pickard Actor
Thurl Ravenscroft Indian Medicine Man
Marshall Reed Mountie
Gordon Richards Attorney
Mickey Simpson Trapper
Sheb Wooley Corporal
Sally Yarnell Hostess
Chief Yowlachie Black Eagle

Technical Credits
Mervyn LeRoy Director,Producer
Busby Berkeley Choreography
George Froeschel Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Harold Kress Editor
Ronald Millar Screenwriter
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Merrill Pye Art Director
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
George Stoll Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Vogel Cinematographer

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