Rose of Washington Square

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Rose of Washington Square
Directed by Gregory Ratoff
Produced by Nunnally Johnson
Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Jerry Horwin (story)
Nunnally Johnson
Starring Tyrone Power
Alice Faye
Al Jolson
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
May 5, 1939 (1939-05-05)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Rose of Washington Square is a 1939 American musical drama film, featuring the already well-known popular song with the same title. Set in 1920s New York City, the film focuses on singer Rose Sargent and her turbulent relationship with con artist Barton DeWitt Clinton, whose criminal activities threaten her professional success in the Ziegfeld Follies.

Although the names of the principal characters were changed, the plot was obviously inspired by vaudeville entertainer Fanny Brice's career and marriage to gambler Nicky Arnstein (both the film's title song and "My Man" were closely associated with Brice), and Brice sued 20th Century Fox for $750,000. The studio settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Written by Nunnally Johnson (who co-produced with Darryl F. Zanuck) and directed by Gregory Ratoff, it starred Alice Faye, Tyrone Power and Al Jolson, with a supporting cast that included William Frawley, Joyce Compton, Hobart Cavanaugh, Moroni Olsen, Charles Lane, and Louis Prima.


Ted Cotter, a successful singer, spots Rose Sargent performing in an amateur contest. He immediately takes a personal and professional interest in her, helping her career along as she joins the famed Ziegfeld Follies and begins to achieve stardom.

Rose does not recognize Ted's love for her, falling instead for Bart Clinton, a gambler and con man. Bart's nefarious activities get him arrested, and after Ted puts up his bail, Bart skips town. Rose pines away for him, until one night, when Bart goes to the Follies and hears her tearful rendition of the song "My Man," he realizes the error of his ways and sets out to make things right.



Songs include the title song, "California, Here I Come", "The Japanese Sandman", "Ja-Da", "Mother Machree", "April Showers"/"Avalon", "My Mammy", "Toot Toot Tootsie", "The Vamp", "I'll See You in My Dreams", "My Man", "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows", "Pretty Baby", "Yoo Hoo", "I'm Just Wild About Harry", "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry", and "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody".[1][2][3][4][a]


  1. ^ Three songs were cut from the final film - "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows", "I'll See You in My Dreams" and "Avalon". However, all three songs survive as filmed and are included on both the audio CD[2] and DVD[5] as "extras".


  1. ^ Great Movie Musicals on DVD - A Classic Movie Fan's Guide by John Howard Reid - Google search with book preview
  2. ^ a b Rose of Washington Square song list from
  3. ^ Rose of Washington Square (1939) soundtrack listing at IMDb
  4. ^ Rose of Washington Square (1939) - audio soundtrack on YouTube
  5. ^ Rose of Washington Square (1939) on IMDb - Trivia

External links[edit]