6.8/10
398
15 user 3 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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(screen play), (based on a story by) (as John Larkin) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Ted Cotter
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Harry Long
...
Peggy
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Whitey Boone
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Mayor Buck Russell
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Barouche Driver
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Band Leader
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Police Lt. Mike Cavanaugh
Hal K. Dawson ...
Chump
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Chump (as Paul Burns)
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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>

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Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

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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

Three songs were cut from the film. "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows", written by Joseph McCarthy and Harry Carroll, and performed by Alice Faye was deleted, though the melody is played in the background in one scene. "I'll See You in My Dreams", written by Isham Jones and Gus Kahn, and performed by Alice Faye was also cut, as well as "Avalon", written by Al Jolson and Vincent Rose), and performed by Al Jolson. All three songs, as filmed, still exist. 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

The Vamp
(uncredited)
Written by Byron Gay
Performed by Alice Faye and Tyrone Power
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User Reviews

 
Fanny Brice thinly veiled
24 November 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Rose of Washington Square' is notable for being the third, and last, film with Tyrone Power and Alice Faye starring together. The previous two being 'In Old Chicago' and 'Alexander's Ragtime Band'.

Comparing the three, 'Rose of Washington Square' is better than 'In Old Chicago', which had a number of impressive elements but generally left me lukewarm, but is not as good as 'Alexander's Ragtime Band', which is not perfect but a must watch for particularly Irving Berlin's glorious songs.

Oddly enough, 'Rose of Washington Square' is just as notable for being a loose and thinly disguised biopic of Fanny Brice and for being a vehicle for Faye and Al Jolson. Generally, while it is never going to be one of my favourites, it's good fun.

The story is very flimsy, and sometimes with Jolson's involvement it does disconcertingly at times feel like two different films. The characterisations are often undercooked, Power's character in particular is so severely underwritten that it was amazing that he was even able to get anything out of it. Power does have a roguish charm and has good chemistry with Faye, but due to his character and how he's written he's also a little bland compared to everything else. The direction by Gregory Ratoff does sometimes lack the necessary zip and is a bit too staid in places.

However, 'Rose of Washington Square' is an attractive-looking film, with lavish set and costume design and beautifully shot in black and white. The music is similarly terrific, Faye and Jolson getting the lion's share. Faye sings beautifully and with heartfelt emotion and enthusiasm in her numbers, of which "My Man" is the most memorable, but Jolson's songs (some of which are among his biggest hits) make even more impact.

The script is sweet and humorous, and there is a great vaudeville atmosphere throughout and scenes do have a nice energy especially Jolson's. Although there are reservations about Power, the rest of the cast do very well. Faye is luminous and sings a dream, singing every song like she knows what she's singing about and means it. Jolson is electrifying, with the film coming to life in his musical numbers. Entertaining support from William Frawley and Hobart Cavanaugh, Ben Weldan and Louis Prima are also fun to spot.

In summary, good fun if not great. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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