1937 lobby card
|Directed by||W. S. Van Dyke|
|Produced by||William Anthony McGuire|
|Written by||William Anthony McGuire|
|Based on||Rosalie (musical)|
by Guy Bolton
|Music by||Cole Porter|
|Cinematography||Oliver T. Marsh|
|Edited by||Blanche Sewell|
Rosalie is a 1937 American film adaptation of the 1928 stage musical of the same name. The film was released in December 1937. The film follows the story of the musical, but replaces most of the Broadway score with new songs by Cole Porter. The story involves the romantic entanglements of a princess in disguise and a West Point cadet.
Dick Thorpe (Nelson Eddy) is a football star for the Army, and Rosalie (Eleanor Powell), a Vassar student who is also a princess (Princess Rosalie of Romanza) in disguise, watches a football game. They are attracted to each other and agree to meet in her country in Europe. When Dick flies into her country, he is greeted as a hero by the king (Frank Morgan) and finds Rosalie is engaged to marry Prince Paul (Tom Rutherford), who actually is in love with Brenda (Ilona Massey). Dick, not knowing of Prince Paul's affections, leaves the country. The king and his family are forced to leave their troubled country, and Dick and Rosalie are finally reunited at West Point.
MGM's top tap dancer at the time, Eleanor Powell, was cast as the princess opposite Nelson Eddy as cadet Dick Thorpe (Lieutenant Richard Fay in the stage musical). Frank Morgan reprised his Broadway role as King Fredrick (King Cyril in the stage version). Also appearing in the film were Ray Bolger (Bill Delroy), Edna May Oliver (the queen), Ilona Massey (Brenda), Tom Rutherford (Prince Paul), and Reginald Owen (Chancellor). William Anthony McGuire was the producer, with direction by W. S. Van Dyke, cinematography by Oliver Marsh, art direction by Cedric Gibbons, and choreography by Albertina Rasch.Marjorie Lane dubbed the singing voice for Powell. The dance director for the "Cadet routines" was Dave Gould.
To capitalize upon Powell's renown as a dancer, the film was retooled to allow her several showcase musical numbers, one of which is the title number with Powell dancing on top of a giant drum, one of the largest musical sequences ever filmed. Songs included "Who Knows?", "I've a Strange New Rhythm in My Heart", "Rosalie", "In the Still of the Night", and "Spring Love Is in the Air." An excerpt from this scene is included in That's Entertainment! (1974).
The film "resembles the frothy operettas then so much in vogue, which means that Rosalie lacks much of a plot ... he [Porter] managed to compose the memorable 'In the Still of the Night' and 'Who Knows?'."
The reviewer at allmovie.com called the film an "overproduced musical extravaganza", and noted, "The flimsy plot all but collapses under the weight of Gibbons' enormous sets and dance director David Gould's ditto choreography."