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Rose of Washington Square (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Musical  |  5 May 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 375 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 4 critic

A singer becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but her marriage to a con man has a bad effect on her career.



(screen play), (based on a story by), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Cotter
Harry Long
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 ...
Paul E. Burns ...
Chump (as Paul Burns)
Irving (as Horace MacMahon)
Paul Stanton ...
District Attorney


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Musical






Release Date:

5 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rose de Broadway  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Referenced in Warm Springs (2005) See more »


The Vamp
Written by Byron Gay
Performed by Alice Faye and Tyrone Power
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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