Angie Rossini is an innocent Italian Catholic Macy's salesgirl, who discovers she's pregnant from a fling with Rocky, a musician. Angie finds Rocky (who doesn't remember her at first) to ... See full summary »
Sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood move from Ohio to New York in the hopes of building their careers. Ruth wants to get a job as a writer, while Eileen hopes to succeed on the stage. The two ... See full summary »
While working as a counselor at a summer camp, college-student Marjorie Morgenstern falls for 32-year-old Noel Airman, a would-be dramatist working at a nearby summer theater. Like Marjorie... See full summary »
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>
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 »
This is an unusual musical film, loosely based on (not directly copied from) the Broadway musical of the same name, using the music by Sondheim & Stein. (Among its better known songs are: "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "Let Me Entertain You").
The Broadway play was loosely based on Gypsy Rose Lee's fairy tale version of growing up under the strong hand of her mother (Rose Hovick) along with her younger sister, June Havoc, who earlier escaped Momma Rose's clutches and much later became a stage, movie, & TV star.
Rosalind Russell's performance (Momma Rose) has often been criticized as being inferior to Ethel Merman's although Russell (IMO) delivers a very strong performance. Much of the difference is that in the stage version, most of Momma Rose's dark side is not shown; in Russell's version, one sees a slightly more realistic version of Momma Rose.
Russell's Momma Rose increasingly becomes (IMO) an unlikeable character rather than one brassy, funny, and larger than life. This is a bit closer to the real Momma Rose (read Noralee Frankel's "Stripping Gypsy" for an excellent biography). Momma was an extremely demanding woman, more than a bit psychopathic, who not only pressed both of her daughters to earn money for her but also drove them emotionally away. Karl Malden as Momma Rose's put-upon lover-in-waiting stands in for the many men Momma Rose actually conned and he brings enough sympathy to his role that it adds more fuel to disliking the Momma Rose that Russell brings to life. Natalie Wood is a very believable Gypsy.
An interesting film, both for its presentations of family relationships and for an era. If the film was less detailed, shorter, possibly its emotional impact would have been closer to that of the stage version. As it is, Momma's selfishness, her determination to get whatever she wanted at any cost, becomes dominant and one is thankful her two daughters escaped.
The difference between the versions of Momma Rose presented in this film and that of the stage musical stimulated me to read Frankel's excellent biography ("Stripping Gypsy"), Preminger's (Gypsy's son) "Gypsy & Me" AKA "My G-String Mother," plus June Havoc's "Early Havoc" & "More Havoc." (Plus Abbot's less helpful biography of Gypsy: "American Rose.")
Fascinating family to explore!
I also read Gypsy's fantasy, "Gypsy, a Memoir," the foundation on which the musical was built. It's interesting storytelling but a fairy tale. Momma Rose died a few years before "Gypsy," her book, was published. On her death bed, Momma Rose died putting a curse on Gypsy as Gypsy was trying to comfort her. But a great story is more acceptable than the truth and, besides, Gypsy had learned quite well from her mother the marketable advantage of spinning interesting stories!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this