This stellar Broadway play from Arthur Laurent, Jule Styne, and Stephen Sondheim ranks as one of the great pieces of American musical theater. The play and the subsequent film feature the enormously popular "Everything Is Coming Up Roses" and also includes "Small World," "All I Need Is the Girl," "You Gotta Have a Gimmick," "Let Me Entertain You," "Broadway, Broadway," and a half dozen others. The story follows the life of Rose Louise Hovick, the infamous queen of burlesque. Mama Rose, played by Rosalind Russell, propelled by the fame she never achieved, is determined to make her two daughters vaudeville stars whether they like it or not. Her bets rest with the older daughter, June, until June strikes off on her own, putting all the pressure on Louise (Natalie Wood), who isn't particularly interested in her mother's aspirations. At the same time, the world of vaudeville is decaying slowly around them, with many of the stages turning to burlesque acts. In a spontaneous move, Louise creates her own strip show onstage, and even though Louise doesn't display any skin, the act catches on fire. Actresses Russell and Wood pull off the difficult dramatic roles, but the real charm of the film rests in the excellent soundtrack.
This Mervyn LeRoy gem is a colorful adaptation of the Broadway play about the early life of the queen of burlesque, Gypsy Rose Lee. After years of putting her own ambitions on hold to raise a family, Mama Rose attempts to make her young daughters vaudeville stars.
Character Study |
Family Interaction |
Personal Triumph |
The film was remade for television in 1993, starring Bette Midler.
Jerome Robbins choreographed the original stage musical. His work was adapted by Robert Tucker for the film version.