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Life was so simple in the movies
spirit119 September 2000
WARNING: This review reveals portions of the plot of this film!

Back in the old days -- that means from the early to mid-70's and earlier -- you could go to a movie, see a cartoon, a short, then the feature. (Yes, for all the young folks out there, this was still going on as late as the 1970's!) So what happened to all those shorts? Well, in some cases they are gone, in some cases they have been archived, and in some cases...they show up again on Turner Classic Movies, which is where I saw this 1930 short feature.

Ruth Etting plays Helen Leslie, a young woman who dances at the Roseland club. The Roseland is a dance hall where men buy tickets to take a spin around the floor with the pretty girls that the club employs just to do that -- dance with the male customers. Helen is one of the girls at the club who dances with the guys. Remember this is 1930 and the whole thing is completely innocent. (At least the guys didn't need to worry the girl wouldn't dance with them -- not if they had a ticket anyway!)

The entire storyline revolves around Helen's beau from the wrong side of the tracks, the guy from the right side of the tracks who falls for her, and a singing contest sponsored by the Roseland Club that Helen has entered. It is an "opportunity" contest, where entrants in the contest sing a song broadcast on the radio from the club, giving them the "opportunity" to make it big.

Ruth Etting is definitely the star of this 12 minute short, with 2 songs in that time. The storyline is short and to the point -- how else can true love bloom in 12 minutes???

Historically, this is an interesting short, showing things such as the dance hall evenings, and what was considered a pretty girl with a pretty voice. (At one point in the film the idea that there is a radio in the car is considered new and exciting!) Obviously being from 1930, you don't need to worry about language, sex, or violence, and can just enjoy a few minutes living in the past...and it is fun!!!
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Ruth Etting Sings Her Way To Easy Street
Ron Oliver13 July 2002

A Millionaire romances his chauffeur's sweetheart at the ROSELAND Ballroom.

This is one of a long series of musical shorts which Ruth Etting, popular songstress of the day, appeared in during the early 1930's. It is competently produced and allows Miss Etting to sing a couple of tunes, including the Jolson favorite, ‘Let Me Sing And I'm Happy' by Irving Berlin.

Often overlooked or neglected today, the one and two-reel short subjects were useful to the Studios as important training grounds for new or burgeoning talents, both in front & behind the camera. The dynamics for creating a successful short subject was completely different from that of a feature length film, something akin to writing a topnotch short story rather than a novel. Economical to produce in terms of both budget & schedule and capable of portraying a wide range of material, short subjects were the perfect complement to the Studios' feature films.
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Astounding who you see in old movies..
jshaffer-616 January 2006
This short is very entertaining, if as nothing else than a time capsule. The car, the clothes, the hair styles, everything is exactly as it was then. It's a long way from our times, too, just notice the chauffeur and the doorman!! And working as a taxi dancer couldn't have been all that great either. However, the thing that astonished me the most was not Ruth Etting's singing, which I guess I expected to sound more like Doris Day, who played her in "Love me or Leave me". I don't mean it was bad, just different. But the thing that astonished me the most was seeing Marie Wilson, in a bit part as a taxi dancer, 20 years before she starred in "My Friend Irma". She is not credited, but you can't miss her. Her voice inflection is unmistakable, and oh, those big eyes! If you enjoy going back 75 years to see how things were, you would probably enjoy this short a lot.
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Ruth sings a song she made a standard
kidboots7 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
To go to the movies and see these wonderful shorts rather than the many previews of over hyped films - that would be heaven to me.

Ruth Etting made such a lot of these shorts - it is a pity that more are not available. In this one Ruth plays Helen, a dance hall hostess. Marty, a chauffeur is sure that Helen feels the same way about him that he feels about her ( but she doesn't!!!!)

Sitting in the car she sings Al Jolson's "I'm Happy" - she also loses her work pass in the car. Donn Cook (spelt with two Ns for this film and next year to appear as James Cagney's brother in "The Public Enemy") plays the Park Avenue gent who finds the pass and wants to get to know the mysterious Helen. He goes to Roseland, the dance hall where she works.

She has entered an Opportunity Contest and she sings "I'm Dancing With Tears in My Eyes". Although the film doesn't make it clear - I am sure she won. The last scene shows her as a "Park Avenue resident" - I wonder if that means marriage??????
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Nice Short
Michael_Elliott15 March 2009
Roseland (1930)

*** (out of 4)

Vitaphone short has a millionaire (Donald Cook) trying to pick up a girl (Ruth Etting) working at the famed club. On this particular night she gets to sing in a talent show. This is a fairly good short even though it's only goal is for us to listen to the wonderful voice of Etting. She was quite popular back in the day and it's easy to hear why when you get a few tunes from that voice. Her acting on the other hand isn't that impressive but I can overlook that here. The film borrows a lot from the Cinderella storyline and works out fairly well. Cook is one of my favorite, lesser known actors from this era but he doesn't get too much to do. The best sequence is when one of the dance hall girls is having to dance with a man with bad breathe. Her comments are priceless.
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Wow...the summary on IMDb is longer than the film! Plus it makes it sound a lot better than it is.
MartinHafer9 November 2010
Considering that this film is only 12 minutes long and features Ruth Etting singing a few songs, it's amazing that the summary on IMDb is so long! As for the film, it has a rather silly plot about Etting being so irresistible that a chauffeur and a rich guy fight over her. In the process, the two guys prove they couldn't act at all. The fight scene was amazingly lame--like no one on the set had any idea how to film a fight...or they just didn't care. Overall, it comes off as a very forced film--one you could easily forget.

By the way, this is the same Ruth Etting that was the subject of the Doris Day film "Love Me or Leave Me". It chronicles the rise of Etting and her abusive relationship with a mobster--a case where real life was even wilder and weirder than fiction!
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Lead actress offered room for more, but ultimately forgettable
Warning: Spoilers
"Roseland" is an American 12-minute live action short film from 1930, so this one is already over 85 years old. Director is the highly prolific Roy Mack and if it wasn't for lead actress Ruth Etting, then he would be the biggest name attached to this project. Etting also carries the film solidly I would say, keeps it from being even more forgettable than it eventually turned out. The male actors here did pretty much nothing for me unfortunately and the story was also nothing remotely special. Neither the comedy nor the romance really make an impact and Etting's music alone isn't enough either. Oh yeah, it is of course a black-and-white film, which should not surprise anybody as this one is also still from the really early days of sound film. It has a good moment here and there, but even for a film that barely makes it past the 12-minute mark, it is just not enough. I believe you'd better skip this one.
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Stompin' at the old Roseland
SimonJack26 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is a musical-romance short set in the historic Roseland Ballroom of New York City. Ruth Etting is one of 150 hostesses ready for any male patron with a dime for a dance. Of course it's her singing that is important in "Roseland." She sings "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" and "I'm so happy." There's something of a plot in 12-minute short. Ruth is Helen Leslie and Donald Cook plays Jack, a wealthy New Yorker who meets up with her. Three months later, they are married.

Roseland was an institution throughout the 20th century. In its original location, it had been converted from a skating rink into a dance hall. It was in its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. When it finally closed in 2014, it had been in a second location – a block away from the original building. The menu of its venue changed over the years – to a concert hall and host of sporting events, especially boxing matches. The building was too old and too costly to modernize.
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No Ten Cents A Dance?
bkoganbing9 February 2014
I'm guessing that Jack Warner did not want to lay out the bucks to pay for the song Ten Cents A Dance for Ruth Etting to leave for posterity. The same year as this short subject came out, Etting made that Rodgers&Hart song a classic on Broadway in Simple Simon. It seems bizarre to me that the song she made such a hit about a dime a dance girl would not be in a short subject where she plays one. A year later Barbara Stanwyck for Columbia starred in a film entitled Ten Cents A Dance.

Had she done her hit record in this film I might have rated it a notch higher. As it is the chance to hear and see Ruth Etting should not be missed. Her numbers Dancing With Tears In My Eyes and Let Me Sing And I'm Happy. The latter Jack Warner did own it being introduced by Al Jolson in Mammy which was a Warner Brothers film.

Roseland has a basic triangle plot involving Ruth a dance hall girl at Roseland, her boyfriend Jimmy Granger who works as a chauffeur and Donald Cook the guy Granger chauffeurs.

Other than Etting's singing, nothing terribly special about Roseland.
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Ruth Etting plays either a dance hall hoofer . . .
Edgar Allan Pooh7 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
. . . or a dance hall hooker in ROSELAND. In a scant 12 minutes, she runs through a quartet of men, each one richer than his predecessor john. Helen thinks she can sing, but there's more sex in her voice than song. Her big number goes something like, "I've been dancing with tears in my eyes, because the boy in my arms isn't you." Which is pretty much like singing, "When I'm not with the one I love, I love the one I'm with." This truncated Vitaphone short even features a brief epilogue, set "three months later" (after the main story). An old codger Ruth had called her Pops in the beginning of this piece was a Park Avenue doorman then. Now he's suddenly pimped out in stylish duds, correcting the new doorman's technique handling the entry to HIS stretch limo. The audience is given no clue as to how this change in fortune came about. My theory is that Ruth has aced "the world's oldest profession," and Pops ends up on Easy Street with the lion's share of her take.
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Dreadfully dated corny nonsense about "Roseland"--ten cents a dance...
Neil Doyle11 March 2009
Styles in singing, clothing, costuming, and what constitutes good looks have changed so drastically since 1930 that you have to be a nostalgia buff to appreciate the content of ROSELAND, a Warner Bros. "Film Brevity" to showcase RUTH ETTING.

Her hair and make-up would give any respectful make-up artist the chills and her singing style is strictly a product of the '30's radio audience. She had a clear and sweet voice but badly in need of a style that would appeal to today's audiences.

Silly "Cinderella" story has absolutely no imagination, the script is dull and full of clichés, and the acting is below standard from everyone concerned.

Skip this unless you're a die-hard Ruth Etting fan.
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