Rosalie (film)

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Rosalie
Rosalie - 1937 Poster.jpg
1937 Lobby card
Directed by W. S. Van Dyke
Produced by William Anthony McGuire
Written by William Anthony McGuire
Based on Rosalie (musical)
1928 play 
by Guy Bolton
Starring Eleanor Powell
Nelson Eddy
Frank Morgan
Music by Cole Porter
Cinematography Oliver Marsh
Edited by Blanche Sewell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • December 24, 1937 (1937-12-24)
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Rosalie is an MGM film adaptation of the 1928 stage musical of the same name. The film was released in December 1937.[1] The film follows the story of the musical but replaces most of the Broadway score with new songs by Cole Porter. The story involves the romantic entanglements of a princess in disguise and a West Point cadet.

Plot[edit]

Dick Thorpe (Nelson Eddy) is a football star for the Army, and Rosalie (Eleanor Powell), a Vassar student who is also a princess (Princess Rosalie of Romanza) in disguise, watches a football game. They are attracted to each other and agree to meet in her country in Europe. When Dick flies into her country he is greeted as a hero by the King (Frank Morgan) and finds Rosalie. Rosalie is engaged to marry Prince Paul (Tom Rutherford), who actually is in love with Brenda (Ilona Massey); Dick, not knowing of Prince Paul's affections, leaves the country. The King and his family are forced to leave their troubled country, and Dick and Rosalie are finally re-united at West Point.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

MGM's top tap dancer at the time, Eleanor Powell, was cast as the princess opposite Nelson Eddy as cadet Dick Thorpe (Lieutenant Richard Fay in the stage musical). Frank Morgan reprised his Broadway role as King Fredrick (King Cyril in the stage version). Also appearing in the film were Ray Bolger (Bill Delroy), Edna May Oliver (the Queen), Ilona Massey (Brenda), Tom Rutherford (Prince Paul) and Reginald Owen (Chancellor).[2][3] William Anthony McGuire was the producer, with direction by W. S. Van Dyke, cinematography by Oliver Marsh, art direction by Cedric Gibbons, and choreography by Albertina Rasch.[1][3] Marjorie Lane dubbed the singing voice for Powell. The dance director for the "Cadet routines" was Dave Gould.[4]

In order to capitalize upon Powell's renown as a dancer, the film was retooled to allow her several showcase musical numbers, one of which is the title number (one of the few songs retained from the Broadway show) with Powell dancing on top of giant drum, one of the largest musical sequences ever filmed.[5] Songs included "Who Knows?", "I've A Strange New Rhythm in My Heart", "Rosalie", "In the Still of the Night", and "Spring Love is in the Air."[2] An excerpt from this scene is included in That's Entertainment! (1974).[6]

The film "resembles the frothy operettas then so much in vogue, which means that Rosalie lacks much of a plot ... he [Porter] managed to compose the memorable 'In the Still of the Night' and 'Who Knows?'."[7]

The reviewer at allmovie.com called the film an "overproduced musical extravaganza", and noted that "The flimsy plot all but collapses under the weight of Gibbons' enormous sets and dance director David Gould's ditto choreography."[8]

Songs[edit]

  1. "Who Knows?" - Dick
  2. "I've a Strange New Rhythm in My Heart" - Rosalie
  3. "Rosalie" - Dick
  4. "Why Should I Care?" - King Frederic
  5. "Spring Love is in the Air" - Brenda
  6. "Close" [instrumental]
  7. "In the Still of the Night" - Dick
  8. "It's All Over But the Shouting" - Dick
  9. "To Love or Not to Love" - Dick

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "'Rosalie', Film Production, Cast, Synopsis" sondheimguide.com, accessed January 14, 2011
  2. ^ a b Green, Stanley; Schmidt, Elaine. "'Rosalie'" Hollywood Musicals Year By Year, Hal Leonard Corporation, 2000, ISBN 0-634-00765-3, p. 77, accessed January 14, 2011
  3. ^ a b "'Rosalie' Cast, Crew, Production and Plot" tcm.com, accessed January 15, 2011
  4. ^ Taves, Brian. P.G. Wodehouse and Hollywood: screenwriting, satires, and adaptations, McFarland, 2006, ISBN 0-7864-2288-2, pp. 167-168
  5. ^ Háy, Peter (1991), MGM: When the Lion Roars, Atlanta: Turner Publishing, Inc., pp. 144–145, ISBN 1-878685-04-X 
  6. ^ Reid, John Howard. "'That's Entertainment'" More Movie Musicals, Lulu.com, 2006, ISBN 1-4116-7342-5, p. 206
  7. ^ Young, William H.; Young, Nancy K. "Cole Porter (1891-1964)" Music of the Great Depression, ABC-CLIO, 2005, ISBN 0-313-33230-4, p. 106
  8. ^ Wollstein, Hans J. "'Rosalie'" allmovie.com, accessed January 15, 2011

External links[edit]