Tomboy Rose Marie Lemaitre, the orphaned ward of Mountie Mike Malone, falls in love with him, and he with her. But when she goes to "learn to be a lady", she meets outlaw trapper James ... See full summary »
Tomboy Rose Marie Lemaitre, the orphaned ward of Mountie Mike Malone, falls in love with him, and he with her. But when she goes to "learn to be a lady", she meets outlaw trapper James Duval, who also falls in love with her. But Duval is in a dispute with the local Native American chief Black Eagle, and soon Black Eagle is murdered. Written by
Albert Sanchez Moreno firstname.lastname@example.org
In this third film of Rose Marie and probably the last one we'll ever see, every single version of the film is different to each other and to the plot of the original Broadway show. Since operettas are a thing of the past I doubt another version would be made. Where would you get voices like Ann Blyth, Howard Keel and Fernando Lamas?
This version has Ann Blyth as Rose Marie, a trapper's daughter now alone out in the woods. Though she's pretty capable of taking care of herself, those in authority don't see it that way. Mountie Howard Keel brings her into what passes for civilization in the Canadian west at the turn of the last century.
Keel's seeing Ann in a whole different light when she puts on a dress, but trapper Fernando Lamas will take her any old way, so Ann's got to choose between them.
The main songs from the 1936 version make it here, you couldn't really do Rose Marie without Indian Love Call, The Mountie Song or the title number. Rudolf Friml wrote some other nice songs for the original Broadway production which didn't make it into the classic Nelson Eddy/ Jeanette MacDonald version or this one.
Friml contributed some new songs in what would turn out to be his next to last songwriting assignment and they're well suited for the voices that have to sing them. Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein, II did the original lyrics for Broadway, but in this Paul Francis Webster collaborated with Friml and provided the words.
For comic relief we have Marjorie Main and Bert Lahr, playing something along the lines of a cowardly Mountie. But actually he proves to be of invaluable help to Howard Keel.
Keel in his memoirs was not originally satisfied with the Mountie part, feeling he was written like a Dudley DooRight idiot in the first draft. Some considerable rewriting was done before he went before the camera.
He also tells of a practical joke that second unit director Howard Koch pulled on director Mervyn LeRoy by having Jack Benny show up in a Mountie uniform and mess up the takes of the Mountie Song. Benny and LeRoy were good friends and when LeRoy realized who it was, he broke up and shooting was done for the day.
Busby Berkeley got some work in this film, staging the Totem Tom Tom number. There are words to the song, but you won't hear any in this or in the earlier one. Totem Tom Tom is nicely choreographed. I'm always amazed at how Rudolf Friml who studied under Anton Dvorak in Prague before coming to America was able to capture the American Indian rhythm with that song.
This 1954 version of Rose Marie has enough merit to it that it does not suffer comparison with what Nelson and Jeanette did back in the day. Fans of operetta will like it, even devoted Eddy/Mac people.
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