6.7/10
380
14 user 4 critic

Rose of Washington Square (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 5 May 1939 (USA)
A singer becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but her marriage to a con man has a bad effect on her career.

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Writers:

(screen play), (based on a story by) (as John Larkin) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ted Cotter
...
Harry Long
...
Peggy
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 ...
Chump
Paul E. Burns ...
Chump (as Paul Burns)
...
Toby
...
Irving (as Horace MacMahon)
Paul Stanton ...
District Attorney
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rose de Broadway  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

My Mammy
(uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
Performed by Al Jolson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
any similarity to real people is purely coincidental
21 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite this disclaimer at the beginning of "Rose of Washington Square," Fanny Brice realized the film was about her and quickly sued 20th Century Fox. Gee, wonder what the kicker was...the good-looking con man husband who goes to jail on a bond fraud? The lead character headlining with the Ziegfield Follies? Or was it the song "My Man"? Alice Faye is very pretty as Rose in this somewhat politically incorrect film which also stars Tyrone Power and Al Jolson: There's the man who is paid to drink so he can heckle Al Jolson as part of his act, and there's Al himself in blackface with white lips up on stage singing. Nevertheless, the real story concerns the codependent relationship between Rose and Bart, her crooked husband. But it's Tyrone Power, and what woman wouldn't have loved him - in fact, what woman didn't love him in 1939? He was the number 2 box office star. He portrays the likable but sleazy character very well. In the beginning of his career a few years earlier, he did romantic comedy, then did a string of films where he was a cad, then played soldiers, and after the war, did everything - he was a young man who found himself in "The Razor's Edge," played against type in "Nightmare Alley," and period-pieced his way through Fox until his contract finally ended. In 22 years as a star, he really did every genre, and did them beautifully.

There's lots of music in this movie and a HUGE build-up to the song "My Man" before Faye ever sings it. When she does, it's not the Streisand version, but rather a torch song, sung in Faye's low, rich voice. Jolson was a terrific performer though apparently extremely egomaniacal and difficult to work with. He sings his standards: "Mammy," "California Here I Come," "Toot-toot-Tootsie," "Rockabye Your Baby," etc., and he's great. Power and Faye make a wonderful couple. And by the way, they shared the same birthday, a year apart.

This is an okay film, but it's no Alexander's Ragtime Band, which is far superior.


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