No, it didn't have Ethel Merman. Most films didn't have Ethel Merman. That's because Ms. Merman was always something of a Sherman Tank personality- regardless of vocal strength- and her vocals and mannerisms would've been entirely too big on film. The jury will be forever out as to whether or not Rosalind Russell did her own singing or was partially looped by Lisa Kirk, but it ultimately doesn't matter. She captures perfectly the nuance of a driven stage mother whose ambitions cause her daughters to simultaneously love her and be frustrated by her. (In hindsight, the best possible Rose probably would've been none other than Judy Garland, named in an early casting package. Can you imagine?) As it is, I thought the most amazing performance came from Natalie Wood- who appears to age roughly fifteen years throughout the film. Note her first appearance in the film celebrating a lonely birthday with a baby lamb; she looks roughly thirteen years old. All through the troupe's vaudeville adventures she remains in the background until the train depot sequence; she then grows up overnight- first as a counselor to her mother (as 'Rose-Louise'), then begins to find her voice in the Wichita burlesque sequences as a seamstress and bit player with the strippers, then finally in the "star strip," we actually see her turn into Gypsy Rose Lee- all grown up and gorgeous. Wonderful support from manager Karl Malden and sister Ann Jillian.