Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rosalie (1937)

Growing up, my family owned really just a few old movies. We rented some here and there, and as I got older I started building my own collection. "Rosalie" is one of the movies that I watched over and over again as I was growing up. It's not a film that is considered a "classic" now, it's even widely forgotten. Still, there are many reasons why I love this movie!

"Rosalie" was made in 1937, and directed by W.S. Van Dyke. It stars Nelson Eddy as Dick Thorpe, a West Point cadet, and Eleanor Powell as Princess Romanikov of Romanza. This was the first starring role for Eddy after his many successes with Jeanette MacDonald. There really wasn't a better partner for for Nelson Eddy than Jeanette MacDonald, but his paring with Eleanor Powell was wonderful. They played very well opposite each other. I am very disappointed that they never made another film together. Ray Bolger co-stars in this film as Nelson Eddy's best friend. He of course is wonderful! Frank Morgan and Edna May Oliver play Powell's parents, The King and Queen of Romanza.
Princess Rosalie of Romanza (Powell) has been a student at Vassar, concealing her royal identity. She meets West Point cadet and football champion Dick Thorpe (Eddy) at a party one night, and they agree to meet again at Romanza for their festival. Dick Thorpe doesn't realize that she is a princess, and flies across the ocean to find her dancing in the festival. Soon after he learns that she's a princess and he flies back home knowing that they cannot be together. At this time there is an uprising against Rosalie's father the King of Romanza (Morgan), so the family leave the country and wait it out in the US. Rosalie and Dick reunite, he's hesitant, but eventually of course they live happily ever after.

Nelson Eddy sings "Rosalie" and "In the Still of the Night", among other shorter songs here and there. Eleanor Powell dances beautifully throughout the movie. There is one dance in particular that is wonderful! Powell dances on several large drums, eventually spinning down each one to the floor. It is a marvelous sequence that she does very well. This movie also has gorgeous art deco costumes and sets. There are enough things about this movie that makes it hard to believe it is not more popular. I know that there are many reviews out there criticizing this movie, but I disagree with each of them. "Rosalie" is a very delightful movie that deserves better treatment than it has been given. This film is not yet on DVD, but you can still find copies sometimes on Amazon or Ebay. Also, you can try your library. Please take time to find this film and watch it. I do not think that you will be disappointed one bit!

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