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Friday, December 24, 2010

ROSALIE (1937)

Stupefyingly stupid. M-G-M hoped to repeat the big commercial & critical success of last year’s bio-pic THE GREAT ZIEGFELD by filming (sort of) an old Ziegfeld success. But Nelson Eddy. Eleanor Powell, Frank Morgan, Edna May Oliver and thousands of other unfortunates sink like stones in this large piece of cheese about a West Point cadet who falls for a Ruritanian Princess. Wm. Anthony McGuire, an old Ziegfeld hand, produced & wrote the thing, but everyone earns their fair share of infamy. Two exceptions were Cole Porter, who wrote the new score and managed to land a classic (‘In The Still of the Night’) and the very young Ray Bolger, two years before THE WIZARD OF OZ, who’s charming when they allow it. He’s just off a year on B’way for Richard Rodgers & George Balanchine, dancing ‘Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" as the lead in ON YOUR TOES. Naturally, he’s given almost nothing to do. Stick around if you want to see Powell come thru with a swell military drill ‘numbo,’ but try to navigate your way around ‘Nappy,’ the ventriloquist dummy from Hell.

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