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Mama Rose lives to see her daughter June succeed on Broadway by way of vaudeville. When June marries and leaves, Rose turns her hope and attention to her elder, less obviously talented, daughter Louise. However, having her headlining as a stripper at Minsky's Burlesque is not what she initially has in mind. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
One of the many posters hanging on Tessie Tura's dressing room wall is a caricature of Ethel Merman, who created the role of Rose in the Broadway musical version of "Gypsy". See more »
During Mama Rose's last musical number, she rips her dress on one side to expose her leg. But by the end of the number, the rip is no longer showing. See more »
You'll be swell, you'll be great. Gonna have the whole world on a plate! Starting here, starting now. Honey, everything's coming up roses.
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Opening credits are superimposed on a closed stage curtain, below which is an orchestra and conductor, performing the film's overture. The overture has been truncated from the stage version's original overture, but is otherwise quite faithful to it. See more »
"Gypsy" is a very difficult movie to have achieved from a writer's standpoint. As is true of "Dr. Zhivago" and "The Searchers", much of the film is told from the point of view of a younger person, who serves as the viewer's alter ego within scenes while the central character does little. This book, play and film was the result of Rose Louise Hovick's biography of herself and her mother before and at the beginning of her celebrity as "Gypsy Rose Lee", burlesque icon. The film is filled with famous songs and comedy scenes, alternating with moving confrontations that for once gain by having been real ones. Among the songs are "Some People", "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "All I Need is the Girl" and "You Gotta Have a Gimmick", "Small World" and more. The memorable comedic scenes involve the repetition of Dainty June and her boys coming onstage in various guises, with a two-person cow dancing behind her; the three strippers who try to teach Louise how to succeed; the children singing, "Momma Get Married"; and "Please Mr. Goldstone" in gratitude to the producer who inexplicably likes their corny act. The moving scenes are Herbie, Mama's boyfriend, trying to convince her to give up her hard-minded pursuit of show business fame, Louise realizing the girl a young boy dancer says he needs is not she; her realization just before she goes onstage at a burlesque theater at her mother's insistence that she has one talent--she is a pretty girl, etc. the songs by Jule Styne all work, but only some are classics. the direction of the film by Mervyn LeRoy is very good, economical, and only occasionally look staged the device of theatrically closing out a scene by artificially dimming the lights for me works in this fictionalized biography; we get as viewers the feeling we are seeing glimpses of an interesting life, partly because of this device. Costumes by Orry-Kelly, Howard Shoup and others, the cinematography of Harry Stradling, Sr., excellent period sets, art direction and more are major assets to this colorful but never-splashy musical success. not the last of director LeRoy's here is that we see theatrical scenes and scenes in a theater as well or better handled than in any other film I know. The actors including the three strippers, Faith Dane, Betty Bruce and Roxanne Arlen are wonderfully funny; Benny Lessy as Mr. Goldstone, Louis Quinn, Guy Raymond and Harry Shannon get all they can out of their small parts. the children who play Rose's girls are all good, particularly Ann Jillian as June. As Herbie, Karl Malden is energetic and first-rate at conveying his love and his desire for a normal life, for the children and himself. Natalie Wood is too thin-voiced to be great but she is a seasoned performer and underplays Louise intelligently. As Rose, Rosalind Russell occupies the active center of almost every scene. There is another way to play Rose other than as someone coldly obsessed with fame; I saw Giselle Mackenzie do the role onstage as a caring obsessive, one who would not be denied justice for her children as she was for herself. But Rosalind Russell is alternately brassy and wheedling, working everyone for exactly what she needs while pretending to be pushing for the sake of her daughters. She is intelligent, always interesting and frequently epic in her hunger for what has eluded her in her own performing career. And in "Rose's Turn" we see that her extraordinary charisma and courage were indeed something special. This is a show business biography of unusual believability and intelligence for all its laughter. And a memorable musical biography that works differently on film, but does work very effectively.
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