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Everything comes up roses when you let Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood and Karl Malden entertain you in the lavish movie musical of the Broadway hit about Gypsy Rose Lee and her formidable mother. Year: 1962 Director: Mervyn LeRoy Starring: Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden
Widely considered, top to bottom, one of the finest musicals in Broadway history, Gypsy got lucky in its film version. Granted, Rosalind Russell doesn't have the bell-ringing voice one craves for in "Everything's Coming Up Roses," but as a domineering stage mom, she's truly fearsome. Trouping through vaudeville with her is her daughter, the future celebrity stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, played by Natalie Wood in all her youthful lusciousness. The production is studio-bound, but this actually fits the unreal show-biz world depicted. The Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim score has no weak spots, and some of the burlesque numbers ("Let Me Entertain You" and the riotous "You Gotta Get a Gimmick") are so authentic, you'd swear they were at least 100 years old. Gypsy is one of those big, somewhat stately musicals that does satisfying credit to its stage origins; no cinematic ground-breaking here, but a swell way to spend a rainy afternoon. --Robert Horton
- Terrific Musical, a definite "MUST WATCH"!!!
I wish I could have rated this film much higher than just 5 stars, because it's truly a MASTERPIECE. Based on the infamous story of Burlesque stripper (more teaser in my opinion) Gypsy Rose Lee, the movie is an amazing re-creation of the book. Roz Russell portrays Mamma Rose and she's excellent in this role. All of the songs were NOT dubbed by professional singers (as many think); Roz in her biography wrote that she did the singing (as well as Natalie Wood) and they both had terrific voices. Natalie Wood is very convincing as an innocent neglected Louise and later is luminious as Gypsy, already the stripper and a famous star. But as Mamma Rose dominates the story, she also dominates the movie and stands out as an eccentric but very positive character. The last scene of reconciliation between Rose and her daughter is beautifully done, it sort of makes you realize that there is always a place in your heart for forgiveness......more info
You can not beat Rosalind Russell in this film she is a powerhouse with an amazing supporting cast! The only thing is I would have choosen a singer to dub her with a higher voice. I like Peters more than Lupone so that explains that. This movie takes you on a wonderful two and a half hour ride. This musical works because it is solid from start to finish. Ms. Wood is constantly complementing the domineering mother. The different periods of the ride are all equally entertaining. No wonder this story keeps getting told on stage on Broadway, it is truly great. Thank you for getting it right Hollywood with the most talented Russell, i just love her. No one like her today or ever in my opinion!...more info
- A fantastic film adaptation of a great Broadway show.
Broadway rats always denigrate Rosalind Russell's performance as Rose in this film version of "Gypsy," preferring instead the Broadway bombast of Ethel Merman's original performance, but pay no mind -- she's terrific. I guess those same Broadway rats always conveniently forget that Russell originated the lead role in "Wonderful Town" (currently in revival on Broadway) to great acclaim, but no matter. Merman always defended Rose's excesses and monstrousness and inexplicably thought she was a "warm" character, but Russell's performance demonstrates that she is well aware of the character's voraciousness and selfishness. Russell's Rose is a monster, but a surprisingly sympathetic one. And no matter what anyone says, her singing is great and very affecting -- I don't think any subsequent Rose (Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters) has done a better job with Stephen Sondheim's clever lyrics on "Some People." And oh yeah -- Karl Malden, Natalie Wood and a very young Ann Jillian are terrific as well (as are the very talented dancer who plays Tulsa and the three hilarious strippers who essay "You Gotta Have A Gimmick" with such aplomb). In short, "Gypsy" is a fabulous film musical (even though they do leave out the great "Together")....more info
- And we'll have a real good time!
I've seen countless versions of Gypsy from movie to stage and have never been disappointed in any of them. For the film version Rosalind Russell, one of my all time favorite actresses shines bright as Mamma Rose. Critics tore her apart but they are nothing but want-to-be actors anyway. I know enough about theatre to see that Rosalind had everything it took for this part and next to Angela she is my next choice.For Louise, Natalie Wood also shines and has given this role all the class of a great Broadway performance. She's beautiful and next to West Side Story the role of Gypsy (Louise) is what i'll always remember her for.The movie production itself isn't bad. I would have liked it more if they stayed closer to the stage version but considering Hollywood they did do a wonderful job. The Stereo 5.1 Sound is breathtaking, the colors are sharp and the extras are very much appreciated but don't know why they just didn't edit them into this production.You won't be disappointed, you'll enjoy all the wonderful songs, wonderful production numbers and see really fine actors of yesterday at their very best. "And you'll have a very good time."...more info
- None too bad
Rosalind Russell's singing was actually dubbed, and while it is a bit underwhelming, she's got great presence in the songs, epsecially in "Rose's Turn". I really can't say what made the producers choose her for such a vulgar role so unlike her Auntie Mame image, but she gives a pretty complex portrayal of Mama Rose. It reveals that she wasn't all hard-driven, single-minded monster, but that she actually had a heart, too. I haven't seen the Bette Midler version, though knowing her, she'll probably be good and remeniscent of Ethel Merman. I wish I'd seen Merman perform it on stage, but Roz Russell is a worthy substitute! I'm not sure the movie would have worked well had Merman done it, though. I have no doubt that she was phenomenal on Broadway, but her kind of big-'n-brash, no-holds-barred singing is better suited to the theater than the movies. She might have been to overbearing. Then again, she might have been sensational if she toned it down a little. Still, it's pretty good movie anyway. Natalie Wood is very expressive as Gypsy, really showing us her vulneribility and depth. Ann Jillian is wonderful as June, belting out those songs wiht just the right amount of gusto. Karl Malden does overact, but at least I could tell he was smitten with Rose. Overall a pretty good movie, even without Ethel Merman....more info
I've always loved this movie. Natalie Wood is one of my favorite actresses. Some people might not like this because it is a musical. But it is a wonderful movie. Rosalind Russell gives a great performance. It is well worth watching. ...more info
- Everything's Coming Up Rose!
I loved this version of "Gypsy." I was a part of a school production of the musical, so I decided to see what the movie version was like. There are several differences, but this movie has the same flare that the stage production does. The DVD has the two songs that are missing from the movie (they are located in the bonus features area) which I enjoyed very much. I only wish that they had been in the movie in the first place!
Rosalind Russell is WONDERFUL as Rose, a mother who wants to make her children, mainly her youngest, June, a star. She travels, along with her other daughter Louise (played by the wonderful Natalie Wood) and Herbie (Carl Malden). All three characters gave great performances. I always get a lump in the back of my throat when Herbie leaves Rose after she refuses to set a date for their marriage and tries to make Louise the star.
After Louise discovers that she is very successful in her new profession--stripping, she changes her name to Gypsy Rose Lee and leaves her mother behind. Rose then goes on to sing the greatest song of the movie, 'Rose's Turn.' Rosalind Russell does a great job with the song, even if her voice is a little scratchy. Her acting was superb. I have always loved the ending (which I will not give away for those who have yet to see the movie). If you're a musical fan, rent this movie. You will not be disappointed!...more info
- Wonderful (if not entirely faithful) film version!
Let's get this out of the way first. Yes, Rosalind Russell is not a singer. She really does not have the pipes for songs written for someone with the belting ability of Ethel Merman. Yes, she was dubbed for most of the songs by the wonderful Lisa Kirk, save for a bit of "Rose's Turn" and all of "Mr. Goldstone" (though Lisa Kirk makes an excellent effort to mimic Rosalind Russell in her singing). Yes, it is less thrilling to hear the songs sung in a lower key to accomadate Ms. Russell's vocal abilities, which can slightly hurt the film in its more dramatic moments.
But why should we find fault in the parts when the sum of the film is as wonderful as it is? Rosalind Russell completely gives her all for this performance, surpassing what she lacks musically with a fierce determinated attitude worthy of the most infamous stage mother of all time. She infuses her Rose with true passion and vigor while still keeping her grounded in reality, something that perhaps even Ethel Merman would not have been able to effectively pull off on screen. Natalie Wood, doing all her own singing, is perfectly cast as the future Gypsy Rose Lee, both insecure and awkward, yet pulling a very convincing transformation to seductive and classy. The film itself suffers from a problem that plagues many movie musicals of the era, such as occasionally flat staging reminiscent of the show itself, but, again, why quibble? You quickly get so caught up in the story that such things are easily overlooked.
And of course, there is the 1993 Bette Midler version, which is somewhat enjoyable in its own right if a bit campy and fake, but nothing can compare to this classic movie musical complete with the great star turns of Natalie Wood and the always wonderful Rosalind Russell....more info
- Natalie Wood Shines!
I, too, read Rosalind Russell's autobiography. She recorded all the songs herself, but in many places, her voice was replaced by that of Lisa Kirk, who herself is no great shakes as a singer. The overall effect, however, serves the purpose of getting the performances across.
It is Natalie Wood who dazzles, despite her less-than-great singing voice; the somewhat raw and untrained voice just adds poignancy to her earlier songs and her characterization. The glitzy, bass drum-underlined "Let Me Entertain You" is dazzling and difficult to get out of one's memory, as are the costumes in the entire sequence. Miss Wood was never costumed as fetchingly before or after. A very underrated actress, this role shows her talent and versatility. Karl Malden deserves kudos for demonstrating a strength and sensitivity that his reputation as an actor so justly deserves. A nubile Ann Jillian as June Havoc is also a winner.
Gypsy Rose Lee's autobiography was fictionalized to a substantial degree; she often gave different versions of her early days and what led to her becoming a star. However, this doesn't matter, since what she delivered, and what the dramatization turned out, gave us a true classic. Lee was a fascinating raconteur, right up there with the late Judy Garland in wit and style.
The film is a keeper, by all means!...more info
- BUY THE ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST ALBUM
I have heard the original cast album of the 1959 Broadway
production, and the cast changes made for this movie degrade the musical score enormously. Ethel Merman's songs in the show were
specifically designed to show off her voice; Rosalind Russell's
singing is very amateurish and no match for Merman. Karl Malden is a good dramatic actor (see On the Waterfront), but he seems very awkward in this musical. Natalie Wood comes off best and looks great....more info
- Great Movie!
This is one of my favorite movies! Natalie Wood is great! A must see if you enjoy great Hollywood Musicals!...more info
- Not enough Natalie!
I thought overall the film Gypsy was very good and entertaining (hence the four stars). However, I didn't feel it was a five star film because of the fact that Natalie Wood, one of my favorite actresses, was not in much of the movie, in the beginning at least. It focused on her overbearing stage mother the most. When the movie did begin to focus more on Natalie, it was when she became "Gypsy Rose Lee" but by then the movie was nearly done!
I think this movie is definitely worth seeing, but don't anticipate, as I did, very much Natalie....more info
- A Classic
I loved this version as a little girl , and grew up with it.
I usually do not comment on others reviews , but I feel I MUST respond to a comment ,that this version of Gypsy is definately NOT a classic.SO WRONG ! How could anyone say this masterpiece is NOT a classic ??
It is the role that made Natalie Wood a star!
The movie is wonderful,and as far as Roz not having a good singing voice,I believe that was done ON PURPOSE.I am quite sure the producer/director knew she had a rough voice. She portrayed a "tough broad" as some might say , who was street smart , and some songs don't have the typical "good voice" to them - Look at Joe Cockers "You are so beautiful" His voice cracks more than once , and especially at the end of the song, and THAT song STAYED number one for a very long time , and is still a classic today...so yes , her voice is rough , but again I say , that was intentional.Her whole demeanor was rough around the edges.
As far as all the characters being mismatched , I feel quite the contrary. They meshed beautifully.The movie has that wonderful nostalgic quality that puts you right there , and you really feel for all of the characters.
This musical has such DEPTH , Great acting/singing , It's fun , and snappy ,and happy ,and sad ,and ... just everything that movies today aren't .This musical is pure entertainment ,It actually takes you away and puts you right there ,feeling all the emotions of the characters :The sadness of Mama's favortism toward June. Louise's anger toward her mama, The Mama's sadness at Louise's rejection of her after she becomes a stripper. The sadness of Joe(?) (It's been so long I can't even remember if this was his name) when Roz wouldn't marry him. The upbeat song "Mama get married today" and the so very sad song "Little hen Little fish" that Louise sang to her Birthday present...you definately get caught up in the performances.
I say , If you've never seen it: Watch it. If you HAVE seen it: Revisit it again. It is like seeing an old friend. I haven't seen it in a long time, but I have looked for it in different stores under musicals or classics, and I can never find it. Hopefully I can find a copy on Amazon.
I always wished they would make a Gypsy 2 set in that era , but of course , even if they did , it couldn't touch the original...Which brings me back to my point in the beginning , It is a CLASSIC , and a great one at that , and always will be.
I just wish I could give it TEN stars !...more info
- Decent, But Lacking Something.
Rosiland Russell is one of the best dramatic actresses of all time. Tragicly, this is a musical. Trouper that she is, she gives it her all, as do her co-stars Natalie Wood and Karl Malden. However, none of them can really carry a tune, and without a strong musical base, the classic Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim score doesn't get fair treatment. Luckly, everyone in this movie has spunk and dramatic presence, so it isn't a disaster. Regardless, one has to feel like this could have been much better. How could they turn down Ethel Merman for the part of Mama Rose! To hear how this show should sound, buy the original cast album....more info
- The "PERFECT" Musical
It is sad that this film did not get its due during its original run in 1962. It is beautifully produced. There were some alterations to the script for cinematic purposes, but praise the Lord, the greatest score in the history of musical theatre was not butchered. Roz was a perfect choice for Rose. She brought control and substance to a role that could have been too bombastic if Merman had been cast in the film. Natalie Wood was perfect. Gypsy Rose Lee was not a singer or a dancer, nor was Miss Wood. The DVD transfer is flawless. Crystal clear picture and glorious 5.1 dolby digital. My only complaint is the lip snyc is off during some of the musical numbers, most notably in "Small World" and "If Mamma was Married." This should have been fixed before the films original release....more info
- Everything's Coming Up Roz
Some spend the winter hibernating. I spend it hibernating AND watching musicals. This past winter in the Northeast wasn't quite as severe as some we've seen, but it was LOOOONG. The winter that wouldn't die. So I needed a goodly supply of classic musicals on hand.
What a treat it was to re-watch GYPSY after lo these umpteen years. Rosalind Russell's Rose is a study in great force-of-nature type acting. As it happens, hers is the only Rose I've ever seen, so I cannot really get into the who-was-better argument with any real authority. But it's hard to imagine that Merman could have played this archetypical stage monster, uh, mother with more authority on the big screen. My guess is that those who maintain that Russell brings subtlety to the character that Merman could not have are right. Merman may have been great on stage, where bigger is better (voice, manner, gesture and all out pizzazz), but what works wonderfully on stage may be deadly on screen (and vice versa).
Roz was the quintessential tough broad on screen. She projected warmth, as well as street smarts though--and that was the order of the day with the screen version of GYPSY. She's supported by a wonderful cast: Karl Malden, just great as always, as her big lug/softie of a suitor. And Natalie Wood, fetching as always, as the young, sweet vulnerable Louise.
GYPSY is as good a musical as you're going to find. Smart, touching, sassy. They don't make 'em like that anymore. Well, of course, they don't really make musicals much anymore, but you know what I mean.
I hope I won't leave Roz Russell fans crushed when I mention one thing, however. For years, I used to tout Russell's talk-singing as proof that a talented actor with even moderate vocal ability could always learn to put over a song. Now I learn from imdb.com that the vocals (some? all?) may have been supplied by actress Lisa Kirk. I am shocked--not appalled, but shocked. If those vocals aren't Roz's own, well, it's just about a perfect match. The songs are sung in as gritty a voice as Roz uses in delivering the lines. I have no doubt that Russell could have pulled it off herself, and it may have been the case that some suit at the studio chickened out and brought in Lisa.
Well, it could have been worse. At least they didn't go against type and drag in Marni Nixon.
PS--Ah yes, it only occurred to me to check a little further to see if there was a soundtrack album on CD to see what the real scoop on the Lisa/Roz business was. It's true that Lisa was brought in after Roz had already recorded her versions. Since Roz's outtakes are included on the CD, it's doubtless enlightening. The reviews (all customer reviews, in this case) are penned by fans in the know, and although no one can agree, they're well worth taking a look at if you're at all curious. Purchasing the CD may well be worth it if you're very curious....more info
- Gypsy Is A Winner
My mother took me to the movies to see Gypsy, starring Rosalind, when I was about 10 years old. I fell in love with the movie. Natalie Wood became a beautiful swan. I just love that movie. I watched the movie with my daughter although she had seen it on tv with all the commercials. She enjoyed it so much I am going to purchase her a copy. ...more info
- 3 Stars for the DVD
I really was looking forward to this DVD. I had only seen this film on TV or pan-and-scan video and thought it missing something. I previewed my new version by checking out the opening and a couple of the bigger numbers and thought it seemed pretty good. Now, unfortunately, I have been only been able to get through about an hour of the movie in two sittings. I have always liked Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood, and Karl Malden. But, I'm sorry, the musical numbers are flat out -- flat! No oomph, no guts -- I guess I'm just too familiar with the original cast recording which I have been listening to since it was first released on LP, and although I saw the less-than-musically talented Tyne Daly onstage in the role, at least the production sparkled and kept moving. I give the three stars for the DVD because it is an extremely good transfer. The wide screen looks great and the sound is not bad at all, but, again, it just doesn't make it. As Auntie Mame, Ros Russell is out of this world, but as Mama Rose, she seems more like Hyacinth in "Keeping Up Appearances" -- just goes rolling right along not even realizing anyone else is around. Maybe that's the way she and/or the director thought she should be. Oh, well!...more info
- This is why movie musicals went out of fashion
I tried to watch this thing, after my infatuation with Rosalind Russell's incredible performance as "Auntie Mame", but this is really an old-fashioned drag. Russell's singing is obviously dubbed by someone else, and the character she plays is too abrasive and unlikeable. I can understand Ethel Merman doing it, but Russell is much too ladylike to pull this off. And Karl Malden as her love interest? I couldn't believe that either. This is just a waste of time. Watch "Auntie Mame" with Rosalind Russell at her peak instead. ...more info
- Rosalind is amazing
I thought I wouldn't see Rosalind Russell in a better role than in His Girl Friday. But then I saw Gypsy, and was once again blown away by her talent. She plays a mother that is simply obsessed with being a mother--and stayin' in show biz. Russell won a Golden Globe for Best Actress as Rose in this film.
Natalie Wood plays Russell's daughter, Louise. Poor Louise has always been overshadowed by her "famous" sister, June. But once June gets fed up with doing the same baby performance every year on Vaudeville, she decides to run away.
Heartbroken, Rose tries to turn Louise into a star. The result? Louise becomes a stripper named Gypsy Rose Lee. The catch? She never actually strips (how could they get away with that in a 1962 movie?).
Karl Malden is also in the film, playing Herbie, who falls in love with Rose--only to regret it later.
My favorite song in this movie is "Rose's Turn"--sung obviously by Rose. Russell has such power, and it is such a moving piece. Other great songs are "You'll Never Get Away From Me," "Small World," and the movie's theme, "I Had A Dream."
This movie is an amazing classic that all should see!...more info
- Natalie at her best.
Great movie. Natalie at her luscious best, and Rosalind Russell is excellent. A must for any Natalie Wood fan....more info
- rosalind russels cd's
I was very happy with the transaction and will deal with this person again in the future....more info
- LET GYPSY ENTERTAIN YOU!
You want a good Sunday afternoon musical? That was when I discovered "Gypsy". I had never before known of Gypsy Rose Lee, and was interested when I was promised by John Burke of AMC that I would "love the movie". And love it I did! I am a big Rosalind Russell fan, and this makes for one heckuva showcase for her! She plays the role of Gypsy's Mama Rose with a vim and vigor unlike she shows in any other of her movies. She is A PRESCENCE. She plays the role with explosive power, but with the understanding and heart that (hopefully) the real Rose possessed. And Natalie Wood adds a glistening sparkle to this cast with class as the vibrant Gypsy Rose Lee, dazzling and beautiful. She plays against her child star image by lustily singing and grinding to a stripper beat and playfully tossing her clothes off. Karl Malden is excellent as Rose's fiancee Herbie. And the Sondheim/Styne songs are all incredible, each a production and thrill: the showpiece "Let Me Entertain You", the bouncy "Have An Eggroll, Mr. Goldstone", the charming "Small World", and the exciting final number, "Rose's Turn". WHAT A MOVIE! See this one and "you'll have a real good time, yes, sir!"...more info
- You gotta get "Gypsy" if you wanna get ahead!
Buy this wonderful DVD issue of the 1962 "Gypsy" NOW! Fantastic color, film quality, sound...it's like seeing it for the first time. Wonderful stars and music. The two numbers "You Gotta Get a Gimmick" and "Let Me Entertain You" alone are worth the price. When Natalie takes those long legs to the runway, circling the stage performing the latter - whew - TOO hot to handle! "That's how burlesque was born!"...more info
I remember watching this movie as a child, however, the message is still the same today......you have to make yourself happy. Love this movie....more info
- It`s Roz`SHOW
Because of numerous reviews in moviebooks I have avoided this film... "No... she`s nothing like Ethel Merman on the stage!"
However! Rosalind Russel gives a depth to the character that Miss Merman NEVER could have achived(and I`ve seen a lot of Ethel`s films).. True... we do miss the vocal power of the Merm(for instance Some People and Coming Up Roses), but the greatness of Russell is a treasure to behold. It could have been a good vehicle for Garland in good health, but faith wanted it differently...
But Miss Russell: YOU GOOO GIRL - GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO:-))))...more info
- NATALIE WOOD Steals the Show in GYPSY
This is truly one of the best musicals ever filmed. Natalie Wood does a superb job in the title role of Gypsy Rose Lee. Despite what others have said, Natalie did ALL HER OWN SINGING in this film and she shines bright in her musical numbers which include the heart-wrenching "Little Lamb", "If Mama Was Married" and of course her splashy version of "Let Me Entertain You". Roz Russell plays the role of Mama Rose, and Herbie is played by Karl Malden who each do a fine job with their roles. But it is NATALIE WOOD as the determined Stripper that really makes this a film worth watching. This movie is a must for Natalie's fans AND one that will be enjoyed for years to come....more info
- Oh that Roz!
I love musicals and "Gypsy" is one of my faves.
I adore Rosalind Russell's portrayal of Rose and love Natalie Wood, too.
It's really got it all. Great songs, great performances...a classic I can watch over and over....more info
- A Must for Movie Purists and Collectors!
All right, so it's not the Grand Diva Ms. Merman in the powerful role of Momma Rose, but Gypsy fans will surely appreciate this newly released original aspect ratio version nonetheless.
Finally, footage containing the deleted scene where Momma Rose, Gypsy, and Herbbie sing "Together Wherever We Go" can be seen at last. Once you view it, you will understand why it was deleted; however, it is a nice treat for those who have often wondered why this song was cut, to finally view this rare gem and draw their own conclusions.
I'm extremely pleased that more and more movie studios and distributers have begun releasing its movies in their original aspect ratio. Now the beauty of CinemaScope and Panavision can be seen in all its glory. I often use the analogy that a movie is like a painting. If you find a Piccaso that you love, but decide to crop it to fit in a smaller frame, people would proclaim you insane. This same feeling of angst is felt when a cinematographer views his or her work which has been modified for television. Bravo to Warner Brothers and bravo to the stuidos that continue to bring us real entertainment in its purist format.
Cinemajohn Dallas, TX...more info
- Very good musical
I love musicals...and I really liked this one...Natalie Wood was very pretty in this film and her acting was very good...Rosalind Russell was awesome in this film as the overbearing mother or stage mother...If you really like musicals then you probably will like this one......more info
- ROSALIND RUSSELL SUPERB AS "MAMA ROSE"!
When Warner Bros purchased the rights to the 1959 musical hit GYPSY it was intended to make a purely dramatic film, with songs from the Jule Styne & Stephen Sondheim Broadway score confined to the theatrical sequences. Rosalind Russell was chosen for the starring (but non-musical) role of Mama Rose along side Natalie Wood as Gypsy Rose Lee. However just as this version of GYPSY began filming, THE MUSIC MAN opened in theatres and scored a huge hit. It was then decided that GYPSY should be filmed as a musical follow-up to THE MUSIC MAN. The production closed down and was revamped as a musical. Rosalind Russell could sing but not in the style her role demanded (all of Mama Rose's songs in the Broadway production were written in the original Mama Rose, Ethel Merman's vocal style). It was decided to bring in singer Lisa Kirk to assist Russell with the vocals rather than re-cast the role. The end result fully justifies this decision because Rosalind Russell's Mama Rose is simply magnificent and the combination of Russell and Kirk in the songs is so perfect you never know (or care) who is doing the singing. No other actress, before or since (which includes such illustrious performers as Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Bette Midler and Tyne Daly), even comes close to conveying the monster in mother's clothing that was Mama Rose the way Russell does while still allowing the humanity of the character to emerge now and then only to become subservient once again to her driving ambition.
Natalie Wood is also excellent as Gypsy Rose Lee, who succeeded beyond her mother's Dreams. Her mother and daughter showdown scene with Russell is riveting. A young, vibrant Ann Jillian gives equally great support as Dainty June, the focus of Mama Rose's machinations for most of the film, who also went on to become June Havoc, one of the most celebrated stage actresses of her time.
Besides great acting, the songs are performed with a bravura and brilliance that far outclasses all other versions of this musical. In fact the Warner Bros. Studio Orchestra plays this music so magnificently it makes the more recent Bette Midler TV version sound anemic by comparison. The Dolby Digital 5:1 Discrete Surround envelopes you into the proceedings and the sharp, richly saturated Technicolor wide screen image (2:35-1) is fully equal to the superb audio.
But it is Rosalind Russell in one of the greatest screen performances ever committed to film that drives this version of GYPSY to the top of the heap and makes this DVD a "must own."...more info
This is by far the best version of this musical. The song and dance numbers are excellent and the characters strong. Orchestration is bright and snappy and true to the original stage score.
A classic that every serious collector should have !
- A charming adaptation of a charming musical
I was really very pleased by this version of Gypsy. This movie had all the old time production values one expects from a musical of this caliber, and good acting all around. Karl Maulden is a great Herbie, and Natalie Wood handles Louise's metamorphis from awkward teenager to sex symbol magnificiently.
For what it's worth, I think that Rosiland Russel was the best of the Mama Roses I've experienced. Ethel was probably great on Broadway, but judging from the soundtrack, she would have been too stagey on screen for my taste, and Bette's version was just a little too psychotic for me. For my money, Rosiland really captured the essence of Rose: The frustrated almost-ran who lived her life vicariously through her children. The fact that she wasn't a singer just added to that image for me.
All in all, this is a great movie that is well worth the money....more info
- Captivating and Full of Heart
Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood are phenomenal in the 1962 version of "Gypsy". Based on the life of Gypsy Rose Lee (who happens to make an appearance in Russell's 'The Trouble With Angels'), Russell and Wood light up the screen as the mother and daughter duo of 'Madame Rose and Her Daughter Gypsy'. It is astonishing to find any sour reviews of this film. Bette Midler's turn as Mama Rose could never compare Russell's. When Rose first enters as the hell-bent stage mother, you know she means business. She gives frighteningly realistic and terrifyingly heart-filled performance. Every number from the classic "Everything's Coming Up Roses" to the fragile "Little Lamb" draws your attention and doesn't let go until the curtain falls. THIS IS A MUST SEE! If you only see one musical in your life, it should be "GYPSY" starring Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood. Buy it. Rent it. Steal it. whatever. Just watch it! You won't be disappointed!...more info
- Quite a movie
There's always a movie that we see as a kid that sticks in our mind, because something about it was magical and something is forever changed, but life goes on....till we see that movie again decades later and the
shivers take over again. Was it Rosalind Russell as a dedicated vaudeville Mom, was it the yound and beautifull Nathalie Wood.... i think
it was the whole movie. Its a wonderfull experience and it should leave
a smile on your face if you like this kind of stuff.
Recommended. ...more info
- Superb Screen Adaptation Of The Immortal Broadway Hit
The catch phrase used repeatedly in this 1962 Warner Bros screen version of the Broadway classic "Gypsy" is "let me entertain you!", and that is certainly what this wonderful musical succeeds perfectly in doing. Boasting off screen credentials such as Stephen Sondheim for lyrics, choreography by Jerome Robbins and direction by Hollywood veteran Mervyn Leroy, with a superb cast from the legendary Rosalind Russell, through to Natalie Wood and Karl Malden, you just know this movie is going to be something special. Debate still rages over the casting of Rosalind Russell in the central role of the stage mother from hell, Rose Hovick in place of Broadway legend Ethel Merman who had one of her greatest Broadway triumphs in the role. In much the same way as Audrey Hepburn's casting as Eliza Doolittle over Julie Andrews in "My Fair Lady" drew heated discussion, the debate over "Gypsy", will undoubtedly continue forever. Rosalind Russell certainly makes the central character of the pushy, dominering stage mum her own here and provides in my belief much of what is memorable in this film version of the classic story. Indeed "Gypsy", still has that warm appealing show biz flashiness about it that makes a viewing a wonderful nostalgic experience. There have been many back stage stories filmed but "Gypsy", is certainly one of the best of it's kind and boasts many fine qualities that allow it to stand on it's own artistic merits side by side with its illustrious Broadway parent.
"Gypsy", of course recounts the rise to notoriety of one of last centuries most famous burlesque queens, the one and only Gypsy Rose Lee. Of course the most colourful character in the story and the one most prominently featured in Arthur Laurent's book on which the play was based was that of the mother the unstoppable Momma Rose Hovick who was unrelenting in her push to see her daughters as stars of the vaudeville circuit. The film chronicles the ambitions of Momma Rose through a long series of performing engagements across America where the spot light is always on the youngest of the three times married Rose's two daughters, June. In an act headlined by "Baby" June (Morgan Brittany billed as Suzanne Cupito), who slowly develops through the years into "Dainty", June (Ann Jillian) the format never changes and finds elder daughter Louise reduced to being the front end of a cow prop used in the act. Rose has an unfailing belief in the talent of her daughters and brushes aside the attentions of besotted manager Herbie Sommers(Karl Malden), because he wants to marry Rose, settle down and give the girls a proper home in one place. As the years go by the families fortunes take a turn for the worst and the great Depression wipes out the last vestiges of the old vaudeville circuit. Living from hand to mouth "Dainty June", becomes tired of always playing a child and runs off and gets married. Rose turns her attention on the less extroverted Louise and revamps the act to spotlight her. However all the magic has gone and when the troupe are booked in as a support act at a burlesque theatre the whole group's lives are changed forever. Louise is dragged in to replace a missing act and despite it involving a strip tease number Rose sees the chance for Louise to gain star status and thus "Gypsy Rose Lee", is born. Louise becomes an unexpected sensation and celebrity in burlesque however Rose begins to feel shut out and having also lost Herbie who tired of waiting for her to marry him she sees a lonely old age on her own ahead of her. However in the best tradition of show business a reconciliation occurs at the eleventh hour which sees the overpowering Momma Rose back in her daughters life for a happy finale.
Coming on the heels of its Broadway predecessor this movie version does not suffer at all for the changes in cast. Rosalind Russell a fine comedian from right back in the 1930's does a wonderful job of bringing this monsterous but still likeable stage mother to life. The character is essentially a combination of many notorious Broadway and Hollywood stage mothers and she brings her great comic skills to the forefront to make Rose the most meaty character in the story. What is important about Russell's performance is that she always manages to bring the deep down humanity behind the ruthless ambition into her playing of Rose and her scenes towards the end of the film when Gypsy has discarded her are nothing short of brilliant in turning audiences sympathies back onto her character. Natalie Wood, one of Hollywood's most beautiful young women of the time plays the central role of Gypsy and she displays just the right elements of awkwardness and vulnerability in her early scenes combined with the supreme confidence she displays in the later scnes when she is a great success as a burlesque Queen. She has great chemistry with Rosalind Russell and their scenes when the power base in the relationship changes are especially noteworty. Karl Malden has the difficult role of Herbie, Rose's long time love and he makes great dramatic worth out of his decades long love for a woman more interested in turning her children into stars than getting married to him. His departure scene when he finally says goodbye to Rose is particulary poignant. Finally young Ann Jillian deserves special mention for her wonderful playing of "Dainty", June, Momma's favourite who is never allowed to grow up in the act. The scenes of her as a teenager still playing a baby are both comical and tragic if there is such a thing possible. The overall production of "Gypsy", does great credit to its Broadway parent and the period recreation over many decades, stunning costumes designed by the legendary Orry Kelly and the wonderful choreography by Jerome Robbins is first rate. Despite her different singing style to Broadway's Ethel Merman, Russell handles the musical numbers with relish including "Everthing's Coming Up Roses", "Some People", "You'll Never Get Away From Me",and "Rose's Turn".
While I'm not an authority on Broadway musicals I always find "Gypsy", has a fresh and endearing quality to its story that while being at times brash is also sensitive and moving in its quieter moments. Would Ethel Merman have made the part of Rose a truly memorable creation in the movie version? Who knows but what we have here is one of the better early 1960's Hollywood musicals that succeeds on many different levels. Put some time away soon and catch this great Hollywood musical, Rosalind Russell is sure to dazzle you with her energy, and with the uniqueness of her stage mum to end all stage mums, enjoy!!!
- Everything DID Come Up Roses!!!
This movie is among my most treasured possessions! For the life of me, I can not understand why some people seem to prefer the Bette Midler version over this one. I love them both!!! To me, it seems Roz played Rose with a rougher edge, whereas Bette took a softer approach, bringing out the human aspect of Rose.
Another thing I can not understand is why people say Roz's songs were dubbed. It clearly IS Rosalind Russell singing each of those songs. If you have any doubts at all, pick up a copy of her autobiography (I found it in the library!) and read it for yourself!
This movie is wonderful!...more info
- Not enough Natalie and certainly not enough bump and grind
I suppose it's alright if you like overlong musicals focusing on maniacal, manipulative mothers....more info
- Sophisticated musical lacks zip
An unusually sophisticated musical based on the memoirs of striptease artiste Gypsy Rose Lee. Well acted by Rosalind Russell, Karl Malden, and Natalie Wood but it lacks zip - the fake looking sets don't help, neither does Rosalind Russell's obvious lip synching - and when you see Gypsy Rose Lee's idea of stripping in the latter part of the film you will wonder what all the fuss was about. ...more info
- Gypsy (Natalie Wood, Rosalind Russell)
This is a classic; I bought it to show the dance and music to my 9-year-old friend who has just begun to learn hip-hop and jazz. (I doubt anyone will be buying "classic hip-hop" movies 50 years from now.) Some people may think that the fact that Gypsy Rose Lee was a stripper would make this unacceptable for children, but I saw it many times as a child, (I know all the words to all the songs, so that's how many times!), and I didn't grow up to be a stripper. My mother explained the age of burlesque to me in the context of history. Frankly, Bratz dolls and children's television and movies are a lot more offensive, inappropriate, and sexually explicit than anything you'll find on this movie.
Natalie Wood, Rosalind Russell and the music of Steven Sondheim are examples of what was and is the best of our culture. It's important that they be passed on to future generations; it's cheating our kids to let them grow up believing that Britney Spears, Hanna Montana, the Olsen twins and their ilk define what was and is GREAT in our movies and entertainment. There hasn't been much written today that has the poignancy and depth of Mama Rose's song at the end of the movie. Watch this movie -- you'll love it! ...more info
- The Biggest Miscasting In Movie History!!!!
I give this version 2 stars, 1 for Natalie Wood, who is superb, and 1 for the story itself. Rosiland Russell who was a great actress,(Auntie Mame, The Women), but definately not a singer, is miscast big time!! If they had done the right thing and cast Ethel Merman, the combination of Merman and Natalie Wood would make this a classic today, which it definately is not. The Bette Midler version is far superior....more info
- IT JUST MISSES.
Well, Roz Russell could act but she sure couldn't sing! OUCH! It would have been much wiser if the great Ethel Merman had starred (as she did on Broadway). This part BELONGS to Merman. Natalie Wood is great. Karl Malden overacts shamelessly- pretty bad. Ann Jillian is wonderful. Everyone else is good.For the best Mama Rose on video, get Bette Midler-a superb performance....more info
- GYPSY - Simply the best
When I first saw Gypsy, I was an impressionable 12 year old. The story of a girl, ignored by her mother, overshadowed by her younger sister really hit home with me. To watch how this pitiful young girl could overcome all of her life's hardships and become a star in her own right gave me the hope for my dreams. This movie may not be as great as the stage show, but with all the stars giving it their all, the quality comes across. The music is wonderful, and presented with extreme vigor. From the first "Let me entertain you" number as kids all the way through the vaudeville acts, the essence of the time's entertainment is showcased wonderfully. Mama Rose's songs were acted by Ms. Russell to perfection. Karl Malden makes the perfect Herbie, showing both the strength and weakness of his character. Natalie Wood's progression from a quiet child to dazzling star is a must-see. Her famous striptease versions of "let me entertain you" bring the whole show together. I still get goosebumps when she sees herself in the mirror all dressed up before her first striptease and says to herself "Momma, I'm pretty, I'm a pretty girl", her self awareness awakened for the first time. And, don't miss the incredible "Gotta have a gimmic" number, a showstopper! I love this movie, watch it whenever I need a pick me up and always makes me remember that even an ugly duckling really can turn into a self confident, beautiful swan. Perhaps Gypsy Rose Lee was really the first feminist, taking her life in her own hands and making a success for herself without the help of anyone. Buy this film....more info
- One of the classics
I loved this movie when it came to theaters in the early 1960's, and I loved it just as much watching it again. This is one of those movies that I will watch again and again....more info
- RUSSELL< JILLIAN & WOOD ARE TOPS! MUST SEE!
I loved seeing the young ANN JILLIAN belt out the songs and anyone who thinks ROZ RUSSELL should have yeilded to Ethel Merman is sadly under estimating her - she's EXCELLENT! NATALIE WOOD & KARL MALDEN round out this flawless cast. Buy the new version with stereo sound, it's GREAT!...more info
- An Under Appreciated Gem!
One of my favorite musical films. In Rosalind Russell's capable hands, Mama Rose becomes a flesh and blood, living, breathing, and heartbraking character. She gets the pathos and the ambition and the humor and the hurt just right... I love it! The rest of the cast is also first-rate. ...more info
- ANN JILLIAN & NATALIE WOOD ALL BUT STEAL THE MOVIE!!!
ANN JILLIAN was perfectly casted what with her excellent singing and dancing talents, she makes the perfect "Dainty June" the June Havoc bio. NATALIE WOOD as "Gypsy Rose Lee" gives a lovely, under played performance, if she has a flaw, it's in her singing voice, she lacks the vocal ability to carry, but then again so did "Gypsy Rose Lee". Rosalind Russell & Karl Malden are GREAT support with Rose Turn, Rosalind is right on target. But it's the young, budding actress ANN JILLIAN who stole all but the cameras as she shared "Junes" dream with all us viewers. The scene with ANN & NATALIE by the piano in the office and ANN says; " Why do you do it Rose, you always think of me, never yourself" and "NATALIE says; "Because you are real show business, your a star!" - and how true those words echo now with ANN JILLIAN's Star Shinning all these past twenty years...This is the movie every Mother who thinks her child has show biz in them MUST see. J. Ballard, Los Angeles, Ca....more info
- A grate movie
I heard the story of her life but seeing the movie truly brought this young dancer to life. She was enchanting and it was amazing to see a movie about her. I had no idea that she was like that. Or that her life was like that. I say this is a grate movie to see if you love amazing storys sort of legends turned into amazing brilliant movies....more info
Love the movie but the dvd was jumping a little. I don't think it is my dvd player becaus ethe rest of the dvd's are fine...Buta at least I have this classic on DVD! ...more info
- An excellent version of the Broadway show.
This movie has always been underrated because Warners did not use Ethel Merman from the Broadway version. I've always thought this version was excellent (better than Bette Midler's), and it seems to get better with time. Rosalind Russell gives a great performance. Natalie Wood is very expressive as Gypsy and let's you understand the character's depth. The production is lavish and must be seen in widescreen to be fully appreciated. If you've owned this before, this new version has added material including "Together Wherever We Go," and is finally in stereo. The improvements are worth buying this again....more info
- CLASSIC MUST SEE FILM OF SHOW BIZ!
Forget Merman, Roz Russell IS MAMA ROSE and ANN JILLIAN IS "DAINTY JUNE", WOOD/MALDEN, the cast is the best! To see and hear the young ANN JILLIAN belt out the tunes is worth the price alone, and everyone I show it to says Midler had some nerve to attept her remake of this Classic, she falls way short of the top mark. I'm so glad I bought it again....more info
- Pretty good, but not great
This was a pretty good movie. The musical numbers were pretty good, the staging was pretty good, and the acting was pretty good. I use "pretty good" so much because I can't think of a better word to describe this film. it wasn't great, it was just... well, pretty good. I'm still singing the musical numbers, and think Natalie Wood was well-cast as Gypsy Rose Lee. She really shows her character's vunerability and shyness very well. Ann Jillian, Karl Malden, and Paul Wallace as Tulsa were great, too. As for Rosalind Russell, she really wasn't too bad, even though it's a bit of a shock seeing her change from wacky-yet-sophisticated Auntie Mame to Mama Rose, hard-boiled, determined, and from the backwoods. Her last number, "Rose's Turn," was really great, but I couldn't help thinking that I wish I'd seen Ethel Merman in the role. So, this wasn't a bad movie, but it wasn't excellent....more info
- Another Bang Up Classic
Not many musicals do it. This one does, Ros Russell in top form and of course Natalie, can't go wrong. Even a little Karl Malden before "Streets" to round things out. ...more info
- Leonard Who?
There's a reason that Arthur Laurents is a film and theater legend, and Leonard Spigelgass, who adapted Laurents' book for the musical "Gypsy" to the screen is...well, not. Spigelgass took a taut, witty, emotionally and psychologically complex script and turned it into a padded, flabby mess; all that's good about the dialogue is lifted directly from the original. That said, there's a lot to enjoy about this film, primarily the performances. Her dubbed singing aside, I think Rosiland Russell is a fabulous Rose: driven, obsessive, flirtatious, vulnerable. As much as I would have loved to have a record of Ethel Merman's performance, she wasn't much of an actress. Russell finds subtlety and nuance in the character that Merman would have missed with a map and a blowtorch. I always felt about Natalie Wood that she was fundamentally unaware of how gorgeous she was; she had a fragile insecurity about her, and it's ideal for Louise. It's probably my favorite performance of hers, particularly as she blossoms, much to her surprise, into Gypsy Rose Lee. Malden is a solid, if overly strong, Herbie; he should have brought out more of his inner milquetoast, which is closer to the character as originally written. Which brings us back again to Mr. Spigelgass and his lousy rewrite. To be fair, it's obviously the screenplay that director Mervyn LeRoy and Warner Brothers wanted. But Spigelgass was no Ernest Lehman, who had, the year before, re-imagined (and improved upon) Laurents' book for "West Side Story," and would do the same for "The Sound of Music" in 1965.
For the three charismatic leads, this is a "Gypsy" worth viewing. But if you're a fan of the show and know it inside out, be prepared to grit your teeth and clench your armrests through a lot of it....more info
- One of my favorite Musicals
I love "Gypsy." I remember seeing this film when I was 7 with my Mom and Sister,and it was condemed by the Catholic church.My Mom was so worried she would go to hell when she found out later this was on the list of movies not to see.Everyone is fantastic,and I love Natalie Woods performance,but this is Rosalind Russell's movie.She's so funny,and the energy this women had is unreal,and for a person who can't sing,I could hear her version of "Everythings comming up Rosses" everyday,and still enjoy it.This is a Classic,and I'm going to watch this DVD again tonight....more info
- Good try - mediocre results
In this adaptation, most of the beautiful play was lost, Mama Rose was depicted as far too chic and beautiful, and three highly competent actors had the misfortune of displaying their lack of musical gifts....more info
- Good version of a great show
This is one of the "big" 1960s Warner Bros. musicals.While definitely not in the same class as "My Fair Lady" or "The Music Man",it's as good as "Finian's Rainbow" and MUCH better than "Camelot".Leonard Speigelgass's script wisely lets Arthur Laurents' book virtually speak for itself.John Beckman and Ralph Hurst's sets,Orry-Kelly and Howard Shoup's costumes,Harry Stradling's photography,and Frank Perkins's musical direction are all excellent.Mervyn LeRoy's direction is very good,
especially in the dramatic scenes.The cast is excellent,with
Rosalind Russell,Natalie Wood,and Karl Malden particularly
Faith Dane,Roxanne Arlen,and Jean Willes stop the show with a
hilarious "You Gotta Get A Gimmick".All in all,a good 1960s
musical that provides an evening of solid entertainment....more info
- You can't go wrong with Roz
I was ever so cautious about buying this DVD. First, there was the anxiety about potential editing horrors that destroy so many movies on DVD. Then there's the Herculean struggle of resolving who the best Mama Rose really was. And of course, everyone knows that the only movie that ever made full use of the medium to improve a musical was The Sound of Music. So my expectations were already low.
I saw this movie years ago, and the faintness of my memory suggested to me that it wasn't all that great. By then, I had every note of the cast album with Ethel Merman memorized. And probably, I was wanting to hear Merman's voice in the part that Rosalind Russell sings/doesn't sing in the film.
When I recently resolved to buy myself s'more Gypsy, I diligently read everything I could about all the filmed and recorded versions. And settled on this one. That was smart of me.
First, and very importantly, be sure you're buying this widescreen format that beautifully captures the original cinematic exhibition. When you get to the scene at the train station and notice how the cinematography gently echoes Rose's empty and crumbling internal landscape, you will thank me.
Second, there is no rational way to compare Rosalind Russell to Ethel Merman. Of course Merman could sing circles around her and virtually everyone else. But think about it. What would it really be like if Merman had done a film version? Ethel. In close up. Tonsils all engorged. If that had been the movie I'd watched, I think we both know I'd still be cowering under the sofa and unable to write this review. Rosalind Russell is such a very fine (and historically under-rated) film actress that she clearly fills out every inch of Mama Rose's character in the first scene. And her performance of "Some People" is just so good I get all giddy again just thinking about it. It's a pleasure to watch these songs being acted so well. Russell and Wood are the particularly strong actors here. Karl Malden left me wondering if Jack Klugman was really too busy to do the movie or what. He wasn't bad, but he wasn't stellar, and that looks bad next to what Rosalind Russell was doing with her part. Now on one hand, I was thrilled to see that the duet of "You'll Never Get Away from Me" was included in the outtakes--it's one of my favorite theater songs--but on the other hand, wow! Who knew a girl could miss Jack Klugman this much!
If you are struggling, as was I, over which Gypsy to get on DVD, struggle no more. This is the one. Sure, you may be tempted to get Bette Midler. But I caution you to remember how it always gets with Bette Midler. Things seem to be going well for a while, then by the end of the film/show/concert, you're wanting to shake her and tell her to stop making faces. Rosalind Russell won't do that to you. She's just unspeakably fabulous in this role. All the brashness necessary for Mama Rose with all the subtlety necessary for film.
As an extra bonus: If you squint a little, you'll realize that the strangely contemporary and familiar look you notice in Rosalind Russell's face is because she is a dead ringer for Alan Cumming in drag. This, needless to say, makes the film all the more enjoyable on an entirely new level....more info
- Gypsy -- A Disappointing Pleasure
As a longtime fan of the musical "Gypsy", inspired by the memoirs of the infamous stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, I was ecstatic to come across a copy of the 1962 movie version on DVD. Though the acting was superb and charming, the one of the key words in a movie-musical is "musical", which this movie certainly wasn't.
First off: hats off to Rosalind Russell, an excellent Mama Rose. Miss Russell portrays Rose as the ruthless but lovable dominating stage mother that she is. She gives an marvelous performance as Rose. Though there is controversy on whether her vocals were dubbed by another performer (a rumor which Russell vehemently denied until her death), who really cares? Even if it isn't her singing, you can clearly see her put in emotion into whatever song she is belting(or lip-synching).
Karl Malden, as the bumbling Herbie, Rose's boyfriend and manager for her two daughters, Louise and June, gives his all. He is extremely believable in his role, as well as comfortable. Though unfortunately most of his singing scenes were cut for the final movie, they can still be seen in two additional bonus tracks that were cut from the final product. His talents as a vocalist are clearly displayed, along with his happy-go-lucky stage presence.
The last true musical charmer in this movie is that of the character of Tulsa, who gave a charming and whimsical performance in the song and dance splendor of "All I Need Is The Girl". I became a true fan of this number after seeing him flit across the screen.
Though these few people bring a great musical quality to this movie, not much can be said for the others in it. Natalie Wood, who plays Louise, the awkward teenager who ends up becoming the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, definitely made her evolution believable. Though her acting was fantastic, I can't say the same for her singing abilities. Let's just say that I finally realized why someone dubbed her vocals for "West Side Story". "Gotta Get a Gimmick", possibly one of the best showstoppers I've seen on stage (about three strippers that give Louise tips on how to become a stripper), was pathetic on screen. There was more shouting than singing, and I kept counting the seconds until the end of the number so I could pretend it never happened. June was somewhat talented as a singer, but didn't give much of a performance.
Though most of the acting was splendid, the music was not. I have to give this one a 3 for the movie overall, but a 4 for the acting....more info
- wonderful wonderful wonderful
It's big! It's brassy! It's downright wonderful! Ok, so Roz and Natalie don't do their own singing, so what? Sure as heck sounds like them, though and I do believe the studio blended both actresses singing voices with professional singers! A great score and wonderful performances all around. It's not Roz's Auntie Mame but she is darn good and Natalie Wood...ah, beautiful, under rated Natalie! Ok, so she didn't have much to do but what she did do was fabulous! Swathed in gowns by Orry-Kelly she glittered and glowed and outshone and outclassed everyone else. She was a true original the likes we will never see again! For a real treat watch the far superior DVD version in Wide Screen which includes 2 out takes!...more info
- Not Bad, But Not Great Either
Rosiland Russell is one of the greatest dramatic actresses of all time. Tragicly, this is the musical! Roz has spunk, but when you can hear Angela Landsberry, Tyne Daly, or the immortal Ethel Merman (who created the role of Mama Rose on Broadway)on CD, it is nearly impossible to sit as Russell sings "Rose's Turn" flat. Karl Malden and Natalie Wood can't sing either, so we have a musical with no strong musical leads! Luckly, the score is good enough so that they are usually able to come off respectably, and as actors, they all do a great job. This film is watchable, but not as good as it could have been....more info
- Tragedy and Farce
I remember watching "Gypsy" on television as a child, when it would come on some Saturday afternoon in the days before cable. Much of the wider implications were lost on me at the time but I remember thinking even then that, in spite of the upbeat and carefree score, "Gypsy" is essentially a tragic story. Loosely based upon the life of burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, the heroine does not die in the end; she becomes rich and famous, but she spends her life taking off her clothes for crowds of leering men.
Yes, Gypsy Rose Lee tried to be a lady and perform with artistry and taste. However, by making the striptease "lady-like" perhaps she helped bring into the mainstream what was once only found in seedy theaters and cabarets. The message was that a woman can destroy the mystery and sacredness of her femininity, lavishing herself upon a multitude of men, and still be considered "respectable."
The 1962 film, as I said, always struck me as tragic for it does not so much glamorize the occupation that Gypsy embraced as it does show why she embraced it. For Gypsy, or "Louise Hovic" as she was initially called, was driven by a mother who wanted to live out her thwarted desires for fame on the stage through her children. A mother who, while always insisting that her two daughters came first, fled from the domestic life that would have given her girls the stability that they needed. Traveling throughout the countryside, living in hotels, performing in vaudeville shows, seemed a romantic way to live when I was a young girl, first watching the film. But now I see that Mama Rose put ambition and the desire for fame before what was best for Louise and June, all the while saying that she was doing it for them.
After June, the talented younger sister, runs away, Rose pushes Louise into an unwanted life as a burlesque entertainer, insisting that she be in the theater, no matter what, even if it means being a stripper. Louise, who had spent most of her life as the plain Jane, dressing like a boy, suddenly realizes that to take off her clothes on stage (or at least, pretending to take them off) makes her feel pretty and feminine. And so she takes it up as a career; her mother becomes disgusted. But she had deprived Louise of the tools needed to make a decision to become anything else.
Natalie Wood is perfect as Gypsy/Louise, since Natalie, in spite of her striking beauty, always had the vulnerable aura of an exploited child about her, in my opinion anyway. Rosalind Russell dominates the screen as the obsessed Mama Rose, whose charm, vivacity and stubbornness are as mesmerizing as they are frightening. Frightening in that anyone can see that she is going to make her children famous even if she destroys them and herself in the process. For an ambitious parent can push their child, not out of love for the child and desire for the child's greater good, but out of pride. It is such truths which truly make "Gypsy" a powerful "musical fable" on so many levels, as well as a glimpse into life of the American theater in the days of vaudeville. Tragedy, comedy and farce rolled into one, it has one singing "everything's coming up roses" even as Gypsy (and American society) prance into a future of glamorous (and not so glamorous) degradation....more info
- 1 of my favorite movies..
Let me start by saying i've seen this movie several times and think this movie has held up very well considering its 42 years old. After reading these other reviews i felt i should throw in my opinions on this movie. I cannot compare Rosalind Russell to ethel merman because i never saw the play. As far as im concerned Rosalind Russell was perfectly cast and this was her second best performance because after she was AMAZING in Auntie Mame. Theres so much trivia about this movie that most dont know so let me fill u in. Rosalind Russell was battling breast cancer while shooting this film and still went to work and did her job like a true professional. Her singing voice was partly dubbed meaning part of the songs she sang and parts were dubbed.In real life Natalie Wood had a horrible stage mother type so in every movie Natalie is saddled with a similar type of mother so thats partly why Natalie and Rosalind play so good off each other. Baby June in real life is Morgan Brittany from Dallas who in the movie was using her real namof Susanne Cupito.The older June is Ann Jillian so it seems this movie has tons of actors who were unknown in 1962.Even Harvey Korman had a bit part photographing Gypsy.Some other reviewer said they couldnt wait for the number"You gotta have a Gimmick" to end and i think the number is great and very entertaining. Watching Natalie Wood get ready in her dressing room full of art deco surroundings is so interesting to see her transform herself from a plain but pretty girl to a beautiful and sexy curvy woman. The real gypsy rose lee didnt take her clothes off either. Natalie Wood was yung and beautiful whereas the real gypsy was not pretty but she was unique and stripped with class.Natalie and Roz have great scenes toward the end of the movie and Natalie doesnt miss a note telling her mother off and to let her go and get her own life.In the end they remain as close if not closer than they have ever been because all their hard work paid off and she finally made a big success out of her daughter and gypsy proved to be 1 one person who didnt abandon rose. Natalie in her last scene is absolutely gorgeous. I love the whole movie but the last hour is the best..Some movies start out really good than turn sour by the end but this movie is the opposite and the last hour of this movie is great and the ending is fulfilling with the exception of rose not getting herbie but shes a mother first and her personal life was to take a backseat.I recommend this movie for several reasons. The dvd version is how u need to view it because its in widescreen and u see things that were missed on pan and scan. The hollywood blonds watch gypsy nervously do her first strip number which i never saw in the other version. 1 more bit of trivia.The actor who played Tulsa was in both the original play and the movie. NOBODY LAUGHS AT ME,BECAUSE I LAUGH FIRST AT ME,ME FROM SEATTLE,ME WITH NO EDUCATION,ME WITH NO TALENT AS U KEPT REMINDING ME MY WHOLE LIFE,WELL MAMA LOOK AT ME NOW, LOOK WHERE IM GOING,IM NOT STAYING IN BURLESQUE,IM MOVING MAYBE UP MAYBE DOWN BUT WHEREVER IT IS IM HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE,BECAUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME IT IS MY LIFE AND I LOVE IT,I LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT AND I'LL BE DAMNED IF YOU'RE GONNA TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME..I AM GYPSY ROSE LEE AND I LOVE HER AND IF U DONT U CAN JUST CLEAR OUT NOW!!!That scene is forever memorized......more info
- Very entertaining! A DEFINITE WINNER!!!
I think that Rosalind russel was absolutely stunning and Natalie Wood was Outstanding. I thought the casting was very good and the acting was superb....more info
- A MOTHER'S COURAGE .........?
Or, is it 'Mother Courage'? This highly sanitized version of 'struggles on the road' with two kids in tow and lord knows what else on the way - BASED on fact - kinda defies the Brecht epic, but ANYHOO . . . ., Miss Russell is Brilliant in this SPECTACULAR DVD Presentation - pristine print, fabulous color balance, perfect, YES, perfect sound! Ye Gods, you're there on stage, err set with the glorious ladies intact!
ORRY-KELLY's designs were never more awesome [and period perfect] superb color choices, and youngster, look carefully at the Art Direction [just check out how carefully the colors are chosen - to pull the viewer's focus directly to the Star]
And Natalie Wood? Beautiful cygnet to swan transformation - a part so slose to home! Check out THAT mother daughter scene in the dressing-room - acting?
Karl Malden as the long-suffering Uncle Jocko - Anne Jillian as the Young Baby June, the fleet footed Tulsa? Brilliant!
Great companion to Miss Russell's other Triumph - "Auntie Mame" [also costumed by Orry-Kelly]; AND Miss Wood? Double this with "Inside Daisy Clover"; AND "This Property is Condemned" [more manic mothers.....]....more info
- Have an eggroll.
I also love this version of the musical. Yes, Ethel Merman essayed it on Broadway, but loud and brassy does not always make a better perfomance; on the small screen she may have been more than overwhelming. And, as someone else noted below, there was something manic, almost batty, in Bette Midler's essay of Rose. Only Rosalind Russell got it right, combining an obsessive drive and frustration to get her girls into stardom with a true warmth and pathos that makes you love Rose while being frustrated with her at the same time. As daughter Rose-Louise/Gypsy, Natalie Wood supports Russell nicely, and while it's a little hard to believe that she could ever be plain or unattractive, she does a convincing, bewitching, job of growing up throughout the film- from awkward girl (short hair, no makeup, knickers), to her mother's confidant/business manager, to a defiant 'toreador,' to a beautiful woman. Note the next-to-last scene where she makes up for her strip debut by stepping into an evening gown and gloves and twisting up her hair. It's a kind of rite of passage....more info
- The Wallflower Blooms
Based on the hit Broadway play, Mervyn LeRoy directed this under-appreciated musical gem. Rosalind Russell is Mama Rose, the mother of all stage mothers, grooming her two young daughters for stardom on the vaudeville stage. She pays special attention to her youngest child, blond Baby June, while Louise is relegated to the background. As time goes on, the vaudeville craze fades with the coming of talkie films, and now her bubbly blond darling, Danity June (Ann Jilliann), is desperate to break free, deserting the family act. Rose is forced to start from scratch, with wallflower Louise (Natalie Wood, who was always in her sister's shadow), as the headliner in a new act, which basically goes nowhere. One day, Rose and her troop, now called Rose Louise and her Hollywood Blondes, wind up in a burlesque theater, and young Louise finds herself drawn into the the role of a stripper. She sheds her shy persona and becomes the world's most famous stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee.
Ethel Merman originated Rose on the stage, but Roz Russell does more than an adequate job, despite the fact that her singing voice was dubbed in some musical numbers. She is strong, overbearing, a little eccentric, but at the same time, she commands the audience's sympathy when she realizes that her ambition has just driven her daughters away, and she finds herself alone, with no one to live through anymore. Natalie Wood gives a touchingly vulnerable performance, her thin but endearing singing voice expressing Louise's pain and confusion in extraordinary volumes. Since she was groomed by an obsessive stage mother herself, Wood really had the the material to draw from; her lessons from the real Gypsy Rose Lee undoubtedly helped in her character's transformation from a shy girl to sophisticated stripper (the striptease numbers are fabulous). Who doesn't shed her a tear when she sings, "Little Lamb", or feels enthralled as she performs "Let Entertain You"? As she studies herself before a mirror prior to her first night on the burlesque stage, she sees her beauty for the first time - "I'm pretty - I'm a pretty girl, Mama!" When she makes her mark, she engages in an argument with her controlling mother, bringing both to a heartache, and later, an understanding. "You really could have been something, Mother," Louise informs Rose after catching a bit of her "performance" on the empty stage.
Having seen the 1993 version starring Bette Midler, I still prefer this one; no matter what anyone says, Roz is not miscast, and this film does not, in my opinion, have any "clumsy" moments; it is a vintage Hollywood musical. Karl Malden gives a comedic and committed performance as Rose's suitor Herbie, who wants her to marry him and who wants to provide a home for her kids. A young Morgan Brittney plays little Baby June; seeing her makes you think of her as the "Jon Benet" of the 1920s. It's finally on DVD, as it deserves to be; the letterbox enhances the film in a way that pan-and-scan videos never could.
Everything's coming up roses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...more info
- Great Show, Great Film
I am a big fan of "Gypsy", having seen it onstage with Tyne Dale and Bernadette Peters on Broadway and having heard the recordings with those women as well as Angela Lansbury and Ethel Merman many times. This really is one of the best shows of all time, in my view. Clearly, Mama Rose is the main character and the show really rests on the shoulders of the lady playing her. For that reason, I can never understand why casting Rosalind Russell as Rose was ever controversial at all. There can be no doubt that she was a more skilled film actress than Ethel Merman. I think Russell is wonderful in this part: driven, brassy, pushy, comic, over the top, and, often, heartbreaking. Her "Rose's Turn" at the end is just great. She moves beautifully in the musical numbers when she needs too, as well. Sure, she does not sing all of her numbers by herself (her vocals are mixed, not dubbed, with Lisa Kirk's), and that has to be pointed out in an honest review. This was a common Hollywood practice in those days. Does it really make a difference? Not to me. This is not a stage production. We are not really watching a "performance", but the amalgamation of many days and weeks of performing into an edited whole. Kirk matches Russell's vocals well enough that it is not jarring or distracting. That said, Natalie Wood, who was dubbed in West Side Story sings her own numbers here. Her singing is pretty good. She is also gorgeous to look at and very believable as plain Louise who becomes glamorous Gypsy Rose Lee. Karl Malden is also good in the rather boring part of Herbie. The costumes are great, the sets are stagy, but opulent, and the cinematography really sumptuous. This is one of the last big, splashy Hollywood adaptations of a big Broadway hit, full of songs which have become standards, and a story which is moving, funny, and, best of all, ENTERTAINING. Get it! ...more info
- Russell, Wood, and Malden in GYPSY
The 1962 movie version of "the ultimate musical comedy," GYPSY, has both good and bad points. Its weakest aspect is the singing. Vocally, Rosalind Russell (Rose) and Natalie Wood (Louise) are no match for Ethel Merman and Sandra Church on the original Broadway cast recording; as a result, justice is not done to Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim's glorious score, which includes an extraordinary number of classic songs: "Some People," "Small World," "You'll Never Get Away from Me," "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "You Gotta Get a Gimmick," and "Let Me Entertain You," as well as "Together Wherever We Go" -- which is, unfortunately, cut from the movie. Arthur Laurents' Broadway script is one of the most concise and effective librettos ever written for a musical. By contrast, the screenplay is in places overwritten, and the movie is simply too long.
However, the movie leads give intense acting performances. Russell conveys the full magnitude of "Momma" Rose's character. Wood, stunning in appearance (especially when elegantly gowned as "Gypsy Rose Lee"), is mesmerizing in the scene in which she sees herself in a mirror and realizes, for the first time, that she is "a pretty girl." Her subsequent performance of "Let Me Entertain You" is influenced by this new realization, as she has gained confidence by the time the song is finished. As Herbie, Rose's kind-hearted but weak lover, Karl Malden is outstanding in a role that was played on Broadway by an equally fine actor, Jack Klugman. In fact, the scene in which Herbie finally asserts himself and leaves Rose (as he realizes that her only real interest in life is in being a "stage mother"), is unforgettable, and from this scene to the end the movie plays like a five-star hit.
- Roz is Underrated!
I am always amazed to hear people criticize Ms. Russell's performance as Momma Rose! This is an incredibly difficult role to portray, especially with the legendary Ethel Merman having immortalized it on Broadway. The challenge Ms. Russell faced was enormous. She had to make the role of Momma Rose her own by delivering an interpretation that differed from Merman's while still maintaining the integrity of the original. I personally believe she carried this off with great aplomb. Although she does not have a fabulous singing voice, her numbers are each performed with tremendous style and believability. Her personality shines through each of several majour production numbers and her performance in the "11:00 song" "Rose's Turn" is sensational. Merman was Broadway's Momma Rose, and Roz is Hollywood's Momma Rose. Both portrayals are derserving of great praise.
The rest of the cast is excellent. Mr. Malden is an appropriately frustrated and enamoured Herbie and Natalie Wood sparkles as the one and only Gypsy! But the film really is a tour de force for Roz Russell and I predict her performance as Momma Rose will ultimately be recognized as a truly inspiring contribution to American Musical Films.
The beauty of this new DVD release is in the widescreen presentation. It allows us to see the film as it was meant to be viewed with the full stage area shots during the theatrical productions as well as the background scenery and sets that are a highlight of the entire production. The old pan and scan format just simply does not do justice to this "Broadway" classic. Even if you already own the VHS version, I highly recommend you purchase the DVD release. It is like seeing the film again for the first time....more info