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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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