Opera singer (Marie de Flor) seeks out fugitive brother in the Canadian wilderness. During her trek, she meets a Canadian mountie (Sgt. Bruce) who is also searching for her brother. Romance...
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Opera singer (Marie de Flor) seeks out fugitive brother in the Canadian wilderness. During her trek, she meets a Canadian mountie (Sgt. Bruce) who is also searching for her brother. Romance ensues, resulting in several love duets between the two. Written by
Tom Ford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
MGM's original intention was to film in Technicolor and to star Grace Moore. If these plans had gone through, this would have been MGM's first feature-length Technicolor film. However, Moore decided to pass on the film, Jeanette MacDonald was cast, photography switched to black-and-white, and this film became one of the biggest musical successes in MGM's history. See more »
When Sgt. Bruce is taking Marie de Flor across the lake in a rowboat, he paddles only on the right side. The couple are in a canoe. It is common in canoeing to paddle on one side employing a J-stroke--adding a lateral slip to counteract yaw. See more »
Marie de Flor:
That's the worst orchestra and the worst conductor I've ever sung with!
[To the tenor]
Marie de Flor:
And what was the idea of holding every high A longer than I did?!?
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It is rightfully considered kitch now, but it is effective kitch because of its two stars (two-and-a-half actually - more later), and the singing and background.
ROSE-MARIE is set in modern times (unlike MAYTIME and NAUGHTY MARIETTA and BITTERSWEET). Of the major successes of MacDonald and Eddy only SWEETHEARTS was set in modern times like this. MacDonald is a leading opera singer who is quite a prima donna type (she is arguing with leading man Allan Jones over priority in a duet they are singing at one point), but she has a secret. Her brother is a criminal in the hands of the police. She tries to help by giving a personal visit to Canada's Premier (Alan Mowbray) but before she can ask she is told her brother has escaped his jailers and killed one of them. She immediately flees and heads north to try to find and help him.
The film follows MacDonald's adventures into the hinterland, aided and abandoned by a "half-breed" type (George Regas), and even singing for food and money to get to her brother. But she eventually she runs into the Mountie sent to track the brother down: Eddy. As they are in a canoe together the sound track swells and we hear the number from this film that is on par with "Ah Sweet Mystery of Life" and "Maytime" in their cinematic songbook: "Indian Love Call".
Eddy is not a stiff actor. He is plainly enjoying his easy relations with his co-star (the rumor that he and MacDonald disliked each other is a lie, they became close friends), and has a piece of dialog where he admits that he uses one of his songs to romance all his girlfriends (it only failed to work with one named Maude, but then nothing worked with Maude he admits to a shocked MacDonald).
In the end it becomes a race between Nelson and Jeanette to reach the fugitive, and the result divides them...but will it be a permanent division?
ROSE-MARIE has several odd points in it. A bit player as a stage door johnny type is young David Niven. The Prime Minister played by Mowbray may have been based (considering Mowbray's appearance) not so much on William MacKenzie King but his predecessor Richard Bennett, who certainly looked more like Mowbray (and was more likely to attend operas).
But the most interesting cast change is the fugitive. It is Jimmy Stewart. Stewart (in 1936) frequently played atypical roles - not like his Jefferson Smiths, George Baileys, or MacCauley Conners. In AFTER THE THIN MAN he would play a character who is far from a really calm type. Here he plays a ne'er-do-well who has committed a murder. Even after MacDonald finds him Stewart's weak character tries to shrug off the mess of trouble he has gotten into. It is possibly the oddest character he ever played in a film.
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