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Rose of Washington Square

(1939 b 86')

En: 6 Ed: 5


A singer falls in love with a gambler, who gets in trouble with debts and the law; but her singing mentor helps her go on.

Ted Cotter (Al Jolson) sings "Pretty Baby" as he sells items and then goes to see Rose Sargent (Alice Faye) sing. At a hotel Bart Clinton (Tyrone Power) sees Rose singing "Ja-da" and plays piano for her. Bart takes Rose to a party at the home of Buck Russell (Moroni Olsen) and kisses her. Bart received stolen jewelry there, and the District Attorney (Paul Stanton) makes him give it back. Ted in black face sings "Rock-a-bye Baby with a Dixie Melody" and "Toot Toot Tootsie, Good-bye." Harry Long (William Frawley) hires Whitey Boone (Hobart Cavanaugh) to get drunk and make jokes during Ted's act. Bart goes to a speakeasy to play poker and hears Rose sing "I'm Just Wild About Harry." During a raid Bart helps Rose get away. When drunk Bart brings her home, Ted says Bart is a thief and knocks him down.

Ted sings "California, Here I Come." Rose tells Ted that Bart has changed. Bart owes Lefty $2,500, and Toby (Ben Welden) tells him to pay. Ted lets Rose sing "I Never Knew Heaven Could Speak." Harry tells Ted he paid Bart $2500 to handle Rose. Bart pays his debt, and Ted complains that he sold Rose; but Bart says Rose will get the money. Bart sells his friend's furniture for $3500. Rose tells Ted she got married.

Harry gets Rose hired by Ziegfeld. The D. A. warns Bart to behave. Rose sings "Rose of Washington Square" and dances. Dexter complains that Bart sold his furniture and demands $15,000, or Bart goes to jail. Bart snaps at Rose and apologizes. Bart tells Toby he needs money from Lefty. Bart is indicted with Lefty's gang. Ted pays Bart's $50,000 bail, and Bart explains to Rose. She tells Ted she is worried about Bart. Ted advises her to express her love in the new song. Rose asks Bart to listen, but he fears prison and jumps bail. Rose feels bad for Ted, but he is cheerful and sings "Mammy."

Peggy (Joyce Compton) tells Ted that Rose is distressed over Bart. Rose sings "My Man," and unshaven Bart watches. Bart turns himself in to the D. A. and gets five years. In the final scene Rose kisses Bart good-bye and says she will wait for him.

Despite the disclaimer, this story was so close to the life of Fanny Brice that she sued and won a settlement. Jolson's singing is uplifting, and the character Bart learns that shady dealings have their consequences.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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