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Nobody can sing a song like Gordon MacRae. If you like nothing else about
the movie it is worth the time just to hear him sing. I think the movie
really good. It takes you back to a time that no longer exist and it has
good story line too. June Haver is beautiful and one of the best for song
and dance. She and Gene Nelson trip the light fantastic in several
I think they are just fun to watch. I may be a little over the top for
some of you but one of my passions are the old musicals. Then you add in
Debbie Reynolds as the cute innocent little sister and the movie just
I have never seen a movie that S.Z. Sakall was in that wasn't very funny. He is without a doubt one of my very favorite actors. He made appearances in so many of the old musicals and as always was great. He and James Barton who played Dennis O'Grady were really good together. All in all if you like old musicals you should love this one. I just wish they would blow off the dust and get this one out on DVD, soon!
A pleasure to see such a great team as Gordon McRae and June Haver on
the big screen together. Debbie Reynolds, as her little sister, added a
delightful touch (her first speaking role, I believe). June and
Debbie's Irish Dad, Barton McLane, did a great nostalgic song and dance
("My Own True Love And I") that would break any Irish person's heart.
Gordon played the part of Tony Pastor in his own bright inimitable way.
His singing was particularly terrific. Always liked the man. No one
else I can think of sang the gay nineties songs as well as he. June and
Gene Nelson's (whom I can usually do without) presentation of the title
song "The Daughter Of Rosie O'Grady", was a gem, and added much to the
show. You came out of the theater humming this tune.
Any time the movie appears on TV, I will try very hard not to miss it. It is a 'feel good about the world' musical and one of the great "escape" pieces of it's day. In my opinion, no MGM musical (including "Singing In The Rain") can make it take a back seat. My lord, how I envied that man (Gordon). He could fall off a shelf and come up singing right on the beat. Strangely enough, I cannot remember S.Z. Sakall's part in the movie; although he appears on the credits. When I track down the video (and I will track it down) I'll come back and update this. Of course, he was a street car conductor.
Here is a delightful musical comedy movie that should be put out on DVD so everyone can enjoy viewing it during the Christmas holiday season. If nothing else, it should be released in a box set of Christmas movies. In our opinion this film is drastically underrated by other critics. This is June Haver's best movie and Gordon Macrae is also outstanding and in excellent voice. Debbie Reynolds, in her film debut, and Gene Nelson are also very good. All of the songs are well done and memorable and we would like to see a CD soundtrack release, also. It has a strong plot that takes place during the 1890's. Some of the characters may have come from real life, but the plot, I am sure, is pretty much fiction. This movie is very entertaining all the way through to the wonderful grand musical and comedy finale. We try to watch it every year around the holiday season.
Rosie O'Grady's daughters (Marsha Jones as Katie, June Haver as Patricia,
Debbie Reynolds as Maureen) live with their father (James Barton), a
vaudevilian who is still in mourning for their mother and harbouring a
grudge against the theatre.
Really the interest of the film is in the musical sequences, featuring Haver with co-stars Gordon MacRae and Gene Nelson, but the story, although entertaining in parts, is so slight as to be nonexistent. It is a pleasant enough way to pass the time, though.
Pleasant, light headed nonsense still has its pleasures. Chief among
them is Gordon MacRae singing beautifully and so handsome. He really
should have been at MGM with the Freed unit to take advantage of his
gifts, Warners never had the quality productions his talent deserved.
Even though made on loan-out to Warners this was made at the height of 20th Century Fox's big push to make June Haver the new Betty Grable. June had a pleasing way about her, sang and danced adequately but didn't have the punch of Grable nor the vulnerability or flesh impact of the girl who would replace her within a couple of years, Marilyn Monroe. She's serviceable in the lead but not memorable.
Debbie Reynolds in her first featured part is pert and bursting with her special brand of energy. Her role is small but even with that she registers on screen in a way Haver never does. A good illustration of star quality and the lack of it in one film. Gene Nelson stands out in the dance department although he is made to look ridiculous in some awful costumes but his footwork compensates.
The rest of the cast all perform well and the film is loaded with color but it's all a bunch of malarkey.
When GORDON MacRAE and JUNE HAVER are kicking up their heels in song
and dance or GENE NELSON is demonstrating his talent as a hoofer, THE
DAUGHTER OF ROSIE O'GRADY comes alive as musical entertainment of the
fluffiest kind. But not too much plot-wise differentiates this one from
a strong of Hollywood musicals with a backstage plot. Indeed the wisp
of a plot is just about forgettable once the film is over.
Despite this, there's a good performance from JAMES BARTON, as the father of three girls (June, Debbie Reynolds and Marcia Mae Jones), an Irisman who doesn't want his girls to have anything to do with show business. Of course, the irony is that daughter June is such a natural talent that it would be criminal neglect to keep her away from a stage door and prevent her from performing.
JUNE HAVER demonstrates a talent for song and dance that has rarely been shown to such advantage in even some of her better known films (as, for example, the Marilyn Miller role in LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING). She keeps up with GENE NELSON step for step with professional poise and ease and has a pleasant way with a song, too. She retired from films much too soon once she married Fred MacMurray.
Some old-fashioned tunes get nice treatments from the cast and David Butler's direction keeps things moving at a fairly good pace. A little too much time is given to the fumbling shenanigans of S.Z. SAKALL in one of his stereotyped roles as a Warner contract player.
Passes the time pleasantly although it's strictly a routine backstage musical, the kind done a zillion times during the '40s and '50s.
After Look For The Silver Lining Gordon MacRae and June Haver were
teamed again for The Daughter Of Rosie O'Grady another period musical.
This one is set in 1898 the year of the Spanish-American War and MacRae
plays the real life vaudeville entertainer and impresario Tony Pastor
who falls for one of the daughters of Rosie O'Grady.
MacRae looked remarkably well I have to say because in 1898 the real Tony Pastor was 61 years old and the objections of James Barton the husband and father of the daughters of Rosie O'Grady might well have been understood as cradle robbing.
June is only one of the daughters, but she's the one with the stage ambitions. Marcia Mae Jones is the oldest and is secretly married to returning Spanish American War veteran and policeman Sean McClory. But they're keeping it a secret from Barton though something is on the way that will blow the secret wide open.
Barton plays your blustering Irish American father, the part usually reserved for Barry Fitzgerald. He's got some objection to McClory so Jones and McClory are trying to work up nerve to tell him. Barton and his late wife were a vaudeville team back in the day, but her early death has soured him on show business. He has forbidden his daughters to even think about the stage and wants them to make marriages to men of substance.
The youngest daughter is Debbie Reynolds who is her usual perky self, but really hasn't a whole lot to do in this film. It might have been nice to team her with Gene Nelson who is one of the performers at Tony Pastor's. Nelson of course shows again why he came along just a tad too late to musicals.
Nothing special in The Daughter Of Rosie O'Grady, but the cast performs well and there's a nice Christmas finale to the film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Aging Irishman Dennis O'Grady (James Barton) has become an embittered,
aging father, forbidding his three daughters from going anywhere a
theater, let alone going into show business or God forbid, dating or
marrying someone in show biz. But when oldest daughter Patricia (June
Haver) unwittingly gives away her papa's lunch to a vaudevillian, that
forbodence is broken. That man is Tony Pastor (Gordon MacRae), a song
and dance man who happens to have his own theater. Papa O'Grady is
furious by all of this and disowns his daughter who ends up on the
stage just like her famous vaudeville mother, Rosie, who apparently
died years before, leaving the former song and dance man Dennis
embittered by the memory.
Barton's cuddly pal S.Z. Sakall is married to the frosty Irene Seidner, and they happen to be theater goers who uncover Patricia's presence in an amateur contest which leads her to professional success. MacRae's future "Oklahoma!" co-star Gene Nelson is his best friend here who dances while MacRae sings, particularly a big production number (although small by MGM and 20th Century Fox musical standards) called "On a Farm off Old Broadway". Of course, the three sisters get together to convince papa to change his old fashioned ways, which leads to a big Christmas finale to the tune of "Winter" where "Cuddles" Sakall makes an appearance on stage in a snow man's costume, enough of his "n'yuck n'yuck" to fill all of his movies. Poor Oscar Winner Jane Darwell is wasted as the nosy neighbor.
All in all, this is a minor entry in movie musical standards, but entertaining for what it is. A young Debbie Reynolds shows some of her comic moxie in a small role as the youngest sister, but unfortunately, doesn't get to sing or dance. She is cute and perky, but fans of her will be disappointed by the lack of a musical number for her. Haver is likable, but for some reason, was always considered second best to Betty Grable during her 20th Century Fox years, and now second best to Warner Brothers' top musical star, Doris Day. Barton gives the best performance, truly touching when paying tribute to his late wife with "My Own True Love and I".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My title is a quote from 'Cuddles' Sakal, who is showing his Irish
coworker Dennis O'Grady(James Barton) his prized Hungarian
sausages(wurst). For once, this inimitable old fuss body Hungarian
refugee plays a Hungarian, and appears periodically throughout the film
as a background character, mostly fruitlessly attempting to inject a
bit of humor. Dennis is the father of 3 marriageable, or nearly so,
girls, played by June Haver, Marcia Jones and 17 y.0. Debbie Reynolds.
The latter is barely recognizable, as June's tag along younger sister,
in her first Hollywood speaking role, giving no hint of her potential,
realized a few years later in "Singing in the Rain" : still very much a
work in progress even then.
Papa O'Grady, along with Sakal's character, are driver/conductors for horse-drawn trolleys in NYC. He used to be a vaudeville performer, until his wife partner, Rosie O'Grady, died. He claims she died from overwork as an entertainer and hence forbids his daughters to think about becoming a musical entertainer. Problem is Patricia(June) obviously has such an ambition and has to sneak her forays into the theater distinct. Meanwhile, eldest daughter Katie is secretly married to a returning soldier from the Spanish -American War, whom she soon tells she is pregnant. Pat happens to encounter Tony Pastor(Gordon MacRae), owner of a vaudeville theater, who invites her to become a singer/dancer, while strongly hinting a romantic interest in her. Problem is he has to improvise a story about who he is and what he does to pass the severe criteria of Papa O'Grady, in a comedic scene. After tentatively approving him, papa suggests a possible union with eldest daughter Katie, rather than Pat, unaware that she is married and pregnant! After he finds out the truth about Katie and Pat, he disowns them. But , he finds he is miserable without his daughter's company and cooking. Tony and Pat have a falling out over Pat's concern about her father vs. her commitment to Tony's show. Tony also insults her dancing partner, played by Gene Nelson, who consequently announces his intention to soon quit the show. Everyone is mad at each other at this point. But, as this is Christmas season, they gradually make amends , and even papa is invited to take part in the long winter-themed finale.
This was the second and last pairing of June and Gordon, as well as June and dancer(primarily) Gene Nelson. Gordon and Gene were contract players for Warners, whereas June was on loan from Fox. June is her usual smiling effervescent self, when given the opportunity, and Gordon's singing was quite impressive for the limited material provided. June's acting was also good, while Gordon's tended to be a bit wooden. He had a more extensive presence than in his first pairing with June, which was also his first Hollywood musical.... Gene got his new Hollywood start as June's dance partner in "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now". In the present film, he got much more dance time, he and June making a great -looking dance team, as well as performing several of their own dances. He and Gordon would be rushed into a series of musicals, mostly with Warners' up and coming musical star Doris Day. The first; "Tea for Two", also costarring Sakal, was released later that year, and is generally regarded as more entertaining than the two films in which Gordon and June costarred. For one thing, several well recognized standards were included, instead of the less memorable songs provided in this film. Also, Gene's mostly solo dances were more innovative and exciting to watch.
Except for her last Fox musical with Dan Dailey, June was typically cast with one or two other female musical talents, with or without musically -talented male stars, as was the pattern for most Fox musicals of the late '30s through early '50s. This is in contrast to her two Warners' films, where she was the sole female musical star, cast with distinct singing and dancing male stars.
The comedic highlight of this film is provided by an unheralded man & woman comedic acrobatic routine: very Charlie Chaplin-like. Otherwise, the humor mostly relates to Papa O'Grady's unraveling relationships with his daughters. James Barton(papa) was an old time vaudevillian, as he plays here. He also played a similar character in the Betty Grable film "Wabash Avenue", also released in '50. He probably gets as much (too much!) screen time as June in this film, certainly more than leading men Gordon and Gene. We could have done without his drunk period, over his daughter's disobedient romantic shenanigans. Jane Darwell("Grapes of Wrath") fruitlessly tries to provide a bit of humor as neighbor Mrs. Murphy, heckling papa.
Gordon's character's name: Tony Pastor, is the namesake of the generally recognized founder of the vaudeville show format. However, the real Tony was in his 60s at the turn of the century. We might imagine this Tony to be his son.
Should not be confused with the prior Fox musical "Sweet Rosie O'Grady", starring Betty Grable. Is currently available as an on-demand printed DVD.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Growing up I was huge fan of the TV show My Three Sons which aired on various networks in the 1960 & early 70's. Fred MacMurray was the stoic rock of Gibraltar Widower of three boys with the help of his house servant Uncles. I caught a Lucy Desi Comedy hour featuring the MacMurray's Fred and his lovely blonde wife June. June Haver MacMurray was a Movie Actress in her day as a triple threat, Singing, Dancing and Acting. I caught this movie totally by accident on TCM and it's a typical 1950's period piece musical from Warner Brothers. Our movie takes place in turn of the century Manhattan. Vaudeville was the main and affordable means of entertainment for the masses at that time. To further explain what Vaudeville was; a variety of entertainment filled with unrelated vignettes with a mixture of song. dance, magic and comedy acts. Vaudeville theaters sprung up all over the country like Starbuck's franchises of today. Streetcar conductor Dennis O'Grady (James Barton)a widower with Three daughters is a traditionalist with a strict code of rules for his Lassies to abide by. Meet only Irish men with a college education and most importantly don't bring home any Show Business performers.You see Dennis O'Grady was also a showman in his day with an act featuring wife Rosie. But his dear departed Wife Rosie died from the strain of show business and that's where he puts the blame never to return or even patronize the theater. The eldest of the three lovelies Kate tells her two younger sisters that she just eloped to an Irish Policeman Sean McClory (James Moore)Meanwhile an incident involving a forgotten Lunch-pale by Father O'Grady causes the two Sisters Patricia (June Haver) and a very young Maureen (Debbie Reynolds)in tow as they pass the (forbidden zone) passing the theater. A man who's wearing a hobo's costume makes a conversation with Patricia as he asked for a crust of bread. Pat panics and gives her Father's lunch to the bum. Unbeknownst to Pat that bum was the owner of the theater and he wasn't interested in food but more importantly wanted to make her acquaintance. That owner is the leading man in this story Tony Pastor (Gordon MacRae). After mistaken identities Pat and Gordon hit it off from the start as Patricia was always fascinated by the stage. Patricia would even put on her late Mother's costumes to the disdain of her Father. The Movie is really about silly traditions and mistaken information. One character of reason throughout the story is the chubby European knockwurst carrying S.Z. Sakall known as Cuddles plays Dennis O'Grady's best friend and co- worker. You know Cuddles from the movie Casablanca as Bogie's Cafe manager. One more player of noteworthy mention is dancer Gene Nelson who plays Doug Martin who is a headliner dancer for owner Pastor.. Patricia enters amateur contest as a singer but Doug comes to the rescue and saves her act and Patricia joins Tony Pastor's theater company as a regular. Doug and Patricia practice feverishly as Tony's jealousy brews watching the two bond as an act. Meanwhile Father O'Grady learns that his daughter is pregnant as the Doctor leaves his flat assuming it's Patricia with the showman Pastor responsible. To add to the confusion older married sister Kate is Pregnant with twins on the way but Father doesn't know she's married to Officer McClory. What does a Father do? Go to the tavern and get stewed and then disown the lot of them. As bad as it sounds it makes for a light hearten musical/story. Great movie to watch at Christmas or St. Patrick's Day.
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