Rose of Washington Square (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Musical  |  5 May 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 380 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 4 critic

A singer becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but her marriage to a con man has a bad effect on her career.



(screen play), (based on a story by) (as John Larkin) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Cotter
Harry Long
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Whitey Boone
Moroni Olsen ...
Mayor Buck Russell
E.E. Clive ...
Barouche Driver
Band Leader
Charles C. Wilson ...
Police Lt. Mike Cavanaugh
Hal K. Dawson ...
Paul E. Burns ...
Chump (as Paul Burns)
Irving (as Horace MacMahon)
Paul Stanton ...
District Attorney


New York city in the 1920s: a singer struggles to keep her boyfriend from trouble. When she makes it to Ziegfeld, he heads for five years in jail. Lots of Faye and Jolson singing. The story is so close to the true story of Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein (Jules W. Arndt Stein) that he sued the studio in a case that was quickly settled out of court in his favor. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Musical






Release Date:

5 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rose de Broadway  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film closely resembles the life of entertainer Fanny Brice, and Alice Faye even sings Brice's signature song, "My Man" in the film. According to Biography: Alice Faye: The Star Next Door (1996), Brice sued 20th Century Fox for $750,000. The studio benefited from the publicity generated by the lawsuit - the film became the highest grossing musical of 1939 - and eventually settled out of court with Brice for an undisclosed amount. It has also been alleged that Power's character resembles Nicky Arnstein. See more »


Barton Dewitt Clinton: You know, I wish you were in some kind of trouble.
Rose Sargent: But why?
Barton Dewitt Clinton: Just so that I could get you out of it.
See more »


Mother Machree
Music by Ernest Ball and Chauncey Olcott
Lyrics by Rida Johnson Young
See more »

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User Reviews

Alice as Rose, and Al a Mammy-Lovin' Boy
15 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The title refers to Alice Faye as Rose of Washington Square, in this film that is loosely based on the life of Fanny Brice. You may not recognize it or realize that, if you didn't see "Funny Girl" just prior to it or knew certain facts about her and Nick Arnstein. But, Fanny and Nick filed a lawsuit against the movie, because songs that were included would have made it obvious to the current moviegoers just who it was all about. So, the executives had to edit or take out songs which were too closely identified with Fanny Brice.

But, the film stands on its own merits without knowing anything about them. Alice Faye may be the star (and she has some good songs, too), but it's Al Jolson that almost outshines her with some great show-stopping numbers: "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with Dixie Melody" and "California, Here I Come."

The only qualm I have is that, the song "Rose of Washington Square" that is sung here doesn't have the same verses that singer Ann Dee sings in "Thoroughly Modern Millie." It is the same song; that I know. The different movies just decided to sing different verses of it. I personally like the slow presentation in "Millie", where Ann Dee is sitting on top of a piano in the smoke-filled room in "Thoroughly Modern Millie". If only a movie had the song in its entirety for posterity.

That notwithstanding, this movie is out on an Alice Faye DVD collection (the edited version), so it has a chance of being discovered, which is good, because the music is too good to be buried away somewhere.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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