6.9/10
436
16 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on a story by) (as John Larkin) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The O'Leary brothers -- honest Jack and roguish Dion -- become powerful figures, and eventually rivals, in Chicago on the eve of its Great Fire.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Second Fiddle (1939)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Studio publicist (Power) discovers Minnesota skating teacher (Henie) and takes her to Hollywood. She goes back to Minnesota but he follows her.

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Sonja Henie, Tyrone Power, Rudy Vallee
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Although she comes from an aristocratic family, beautiful Prudence Cathaway defies convention by joining the WAAFs and becoming romantically involved with an AWOL soldier.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Fontaine, Thomas Mitchell
Johnny Apollo (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Tyrone Power is a pilots' pilot, but he doesn't believe in anything beyond his own abilities. He gets into trouble by flying a new fighter directly to Canada instead of to New York and ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Betty Grable, John Sutton
Rawhide (1951)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A stagecoach stop employee and a stranded woman traveller find themselves at the mercy of four desperate outlaws intent on robbing the next day's gold shipment.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An unscrupulous agent for the Borgias suffers a change of heart when asked to betray a noble count and his much younger, very beautiful wife.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Wanda Hendrix
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Living in India with her crude husband, a British aristocrat is reunited with an old flame at a party, though she truly has her sights set on a handsome doctor.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, George Brent
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A scientist obsessed with the past transports himself back in time to 18th-century London, where he falls in love with a beautiful young woman.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Tyrone Power, Ann Blyth, Michael Rennie
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Harry Long
...
Peggy
...
Whitey Boone
...
Major Buck Russell
...
Barouche Driver
...
Band Leader
...
Police Lt. Mike Cavanaugh
Hal K. Dawson ...
Chump
...
Chump (as Paul Burns)
...
Toby
...
Irving (as Horace MacMahon)
...
District Attorney
Edit

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rose de Broadway  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The pairing of Louis Prima and Alice Faye in this film has a unique connection to Walt Disney's The Jungle Book (1967). Prima voiced King Louie, while Faye was married to Phil Harris, who voiced Baloo the bear. Together, Prima and Harris sing "I Wan'na Be Like You" in the film. 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 »


Soundtracks

Pretty Baby
(uncredited)
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne and Tony Jackson
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Performed by Al Jolson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet!"
5 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

The history of the cinema is filled with great movies; but more than that, there are special `moments,' from the great and even the not-so-great films that thanks to the magic of the movies have been preserved for all time, and now thanks to video and DVD are readily accessible for the viewing pleasure of audiences in living rooms everywhere. These movies are treasures to be cherished and savored, because they're not simply entertainment, but time capsules in which history has in some cases been inadvertently gathered and stored for posterity. And one of the jewels in this vast treasure chest that is the cinema is `Rose of Washington Square,' a 1939 picture from 20th Century Fox, filmed in glorious B&W, directed by Gregory Ratoff and starring Tyrone Power, Alice Faye and Al Jolson.

Power is Bart Clinton, a charismatic petty thief and con man whose charm and good looks keeps him one step ahead of the law as he moves from one scam to another. He's not such a bad guy, but more like a salesman without a product who utilizes his natural abilities to put a buck in his pocket. Faye is Rose Sargent, a struggling vaudeville singer, teamed up with Ted Cotter (Jolson), who together have hopes and dreams of making it to the big time. But worlds collide when Bart and Rose meet and fall in love. Ted sees Bart for what he is, but his advice to Rose falls on deaf ears, blinded as she is by her unconditional love for a man who stands in the way of not only her success as an artist, but her happiness, as well. And in the grandest tradition of Hollywood, their story plays out amid the excitement of that most famous of all avenues of aspirations, Broadway, and that town of towns, New York.

It's a good story, but with a plot that's far from unique, which in the grand scheme of things doesn't make any difference. This is solid and involving entertainment that affords the viewer the opportunity of seeing three bona fide stars together, and all doing what they do best. And just seeing them together on the screen is a moment all it's own; Power, Faye and Jolson, captured forever and immortalized through the magic of the motion picture. And at the time, who knew? To Darryl F. Zanuck this was no doubt just another picture that hopefully would produce a profitable bottom line for the studio. Did any of them have any idea what this would mean to audiences sixty years later, or what kind of legacy they were creating for future generations?

One of the best looking actors ever to grace the silver screen, Tyrone Power had a dominating presence and commanded attention in any role he played, from light, romantic fare like `Thin Ice,' to bringing the anti-hero, `Jesse James,' to life or the swashbuckling title character in `The Mark of Zorro.' He could play a heel like Bart Clinton and make him believable, or a guy soul searching for something better, as he did in `The Razor's Edge.' And if there's any doubt as to how good an actor Power was, one only has to look as far as his performance in `Nightmare Alley' to realize that he was so much more than just another pretty face. He was the man women wanted and the one other men envied because he seemed to have it all. He did; and it showed in every character he ever created for the screen.

Power, however, did not corner the market on talent and charisma in this film, but was matched every step of the way by his absolutely beguiling co-star, Alice Faye. Beautiful and gifted, Faye could sing and interpret a song in a way that was nothing less than transporting. Her vocal expressions and the emotion that dances in her eyes and plays across her face while she sings created a number of those special moments in a number of films. In this one, when she sings the heart-felt `My Man' while an incognito Power (Bart's on the lam at this point) sits huddled in the audience at the back of the auditorium, it'll grab you by the throat and send chills down your spine. And that is truly one of those memorable `Moments' that have made movies such an everlasting part of our lives and culture. When Faye turns those eyes of hers, fraught with emotion, to the camera as she sings, it's mesmerizing-- a moment that will hold you transfixed and sweep you away to another time and another place.

Which is exactly what happens when Al Jolson takes the spotlight as Ted Cotter. Jolson was perhaps the entertainer of his time, a man who entertained millions from the footlights of the most famous stages around the world. And what a treasure it is to have even part of his act preserved here on film. Some of the songs he made famous, like `Rock-a-bye-Your-Baby With A Dixie Melody,' and the one that became his trademark, `Mammy,' are seamlessly integrated into this story. Although this kind of entertainment may not be readily embraced by younger viewers-- those raised on hard rock and grunge, for example-- there is a magic in Jolson and his songs that defines an era, and with his unique voice and magnetic personality, it is riveting to watch him now in this film.

The supporting cast includes William Frawley (Harry), Joyce Compton (Peggy), Hobart Cavanaugh (Whitey), Louis Prima (Bandleader), Horace McMahon (Irving) and Moroni Olsen (Buck). It may not be the greatest musical-- or movie-- ever made, but nevertheless, `Rose of Washington Square' is a treasure, for all the reasons discussed here and more. It's a film that will be enjoyed and appreciated on any number of different levels by anyone who watches it; pure entertainment, with a particular magic all it's own. This one's a keeper. It's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.


16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page