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DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #2 (From Rose Marie)

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1. In the first clip, you see him trying to woo her. He is flirting and she is not appearing to fall for him. But in the second clip when she is trying to fit in amd be someone else she was embarrassed that he saw her like that, ashamed that she was unable to fit into a crowd like that, a crowd that he appears to fit into.

2. I have not seen these actors before.

3. Everything seems so innocent in the clips. You can see that obviously likes her and continues the chase. In a movie today you would see the guy just try and kiss the girl and be more upfront with his thoughts and expectations.

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I was surprised to see some of the "loose" women in the saloon scene, but Production Code was in it's infancy, so maybe it got passed the censors. I can't imagine being employed as one and wonder how they went about advertising for this job....I mean, what qualifications did you have to have? I loved watching Jeanette "mocking" the singer....wonder if she began ad libbing and they kept it in?

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I was never a fan of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, thinking of their singing as archaic and stiff. I admit I haven't seen any of their films all the way through. But after viewing this Daily Dose #2 and the film clips, I am indeed intrigued. I was struck by their acting during both film clips, especially during the saloon scene. There is such tenderness and pathos in the looks they exchange during that scene. No dialogue, everything is in their eyes and facial expressions. Jeanette MacDonald is funny and at the same time sad in that scene. I need to give one of their films a chance after all. I am loving this film course after only two installments. :-)

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1. From these two interactions, I notice that MacDonald and Eddy's characters have a real chemistry. I found it really amusing when Marie was mocking Sergeant Bruce after he sang to her, and then said Caroline instead of Rose Marie. It did not feel mean-spirited, rather it had a very light, joking feel to it. Despite their joking, you could tell the two cared for each other, whether or not they knew it yet. In the second clip, you also see this deeper respect between the characters in the way that Sergeant Bruce looks proud of Marie's attempts to mimic the other singer. It really makes the interactions between the two characters deeper and more meaningful.

 

2. The only other movie I have seen this pair in is 1942's I Married An Angel. In that film, I also really noticed that chemistry and comfort the two had with one another. They were incredibly convincing as a couple, and had that same level of deeper respect for one another we see in these clips.

 

3. These clips tell me that male/female relationships in films of this era are depicted as much more proper, with a respectable courtship and a lack of inappropriate advances or use of innuendo. We also definitely noticed the impact of the code in the second clip when the other singer's dress fully covered her, unlike many of the outfits worn by women in pre-code musicals. 

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In these two scenes, there is a sense that the two characters are drawn to one another without actually ever being "together," perhaps in part because there is no sense of excitement really on either party as well as the fact that the audience never sees Eddy or MacDonald ever touch their co-star, which makes the romance appear more as a formal courtship than an actual interest in one another. This changes as the story progresses as the audience sees Bruce and Marie playfully banter back and forth, giving their relationship a bit more dimension. Sergeant Bruce is in active pursuit of Marie, yet she is very removed and disengaged from the conversation, which differs some from The Great Ziegfeld, where Anna Held seems overwhelmed by Ziegfeld’s gift of orchids, so much so she is willing to put off Billings in order to meet this mysterious Ziegfeld, Jr. This contrast is even more interesting when one considers that both musicals were produced by MGM and released in 1936. For Marie, it is only after Bruce sings a song about wonderful she and how much he loves her that the audience begins to see her demeanor change. The one commonality between Held and Marie is that both women become much more interested in their respective men after those men have performed some grand romantic gesture (orchids or song). Another interesting aspect of the first clip is that as Bruce is singing about Marie, he continues to row their boat across the water. When he mentions the name Maud, he stops all action almost immediately, much to Marie’s slight annoyance, indicating, that at least in this stage in their relationship, Bruce still has more of a connection to Maud than he does to Marie.

   The second clip is where their relationship meets its high point because the playing field has been leveled. Anna can no longer be standoffish and in control of how their relationship unfolds because she herself is intensely vulnerable. It is this vulnerability as she is performing in the saloon that truly allows the audience to see the depths of their affections for one another. For Anna this is the case because her vulnerability drives her to embarrassment; she wants to be in control and nonchalant in front of Bruce, so as to maintain this boy chases girl relationship that they have. Her embarrassment, however, indicates that she is, in fact, very much attracted to Bruce and that his seeing her perform in such an establishment (and outperformed by one of his apparent companions), only adds to her vulnerability, emphasizing her humanity and her love for him. For Bruce, this moment of vulnerability allows him to be the hero, as seen when he follows her outside after her “disaster” of a performance. His love is best expressed by the fact that he feels an intense amount of both sympathy and embarrassment for Marie, and tries to maintain this tenuous balance of being there for her without making her too uncomfortable. Following her out, and leaving those at his table behind, tells the audience and Marie that his affection for her has not changed from that song in the boat, only perhaps now there is a greater sense of respect for Marie’s character.

 

2. Not applicable.

 

3. These clips both emphasize the "politeness" of male/female relationships. The male pursues the female, but it is all very stately and almost a-passionate. In some ways, it is reminiscent of the courtship proceedings during the Regency Era, polite conversation, lack of physical touch. Both Eddy and MacDonald are “in love” with one another, yet each in their own little world. There is some coy flirtation, yet it is never too overt or bawdy. Additionally, the final scene reinforces the damsel in distress in need of a hero trope, as Bruce goes to comfort, or “rescue”, Marie. In many ways, the relationship depicted in this film is the perfect example of Code norms as it creates a romance that has distance, modesty, and restraint woven into the fabric of its very essence as well as the fact that it reinforces what many considered, or desired, male/female normative relationships to be: he the protector, she the beautiful protected who is ultimately dependent on her masculine counterpart.

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In the first clip, Rose Marie is indifferent to the Sergeant, until he starts to sing.  You can see her thinking, "oh, he can sing...I wonder if he plays an instrument...hmmm", because, as all women know, if he can sing AND play, we are but putty.

The two have an unspoken attraction; a look from across the room, their eyes meet, oh no, look away, is he still looking?, look back and on and on. They "fall in love" without ever having to touch or even speak to one another.

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1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.

In the first scene, you can tell that they like each other, but she is not wanting to give in. Eddy is more flirtatious. In the second scene, MacDonald seems embarrassed about her "out there" moves, and Eddy seems to be sympathetic while also embarrassed for her. In both scenes, you can tell that they are attracted to one another. 

2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.

I have never seen Nelson Eddy in anything else. I have, however, seen Janette MacDonald in "San Francisco" with Clark Gable. I have always thought of her as a breath of fresh air. 

3. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?

As with a lot of films during this time period, attraction occurs between two characters, but it is not necessarily brought up right away. The man does the subtle to over-obvious pursing while the woman pretends not to care (even though she does). Because of the code, nothing is over-sexual. The tension is there, but it is not grossly displayed. To me, this is more romantic than movies they make nowadays. 

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  1. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)?
  2. Based on this scene, what are some of the things you notice about the scene’s use of sound? Describe a specific sound or line of dialogue you hear and what you think it adds to the scene’s effectiveness.
  3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals?

1.  I cant say that i notice too much of the Lu**** touch.  I am guessing that the fake gun and the lady might be Lu**** touches?.

2.  I found myself almost thinking that this scene play well without dialogue and could have been silent, as i did not understand the french dialog.

3.  The fancy rich life, that takes you away from anything real.  Fancy home, clothes and no real problems other than being rich and i;m guessing a womazier?.  

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What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.   The connection was quite visible and smitten.  It was refreshing to see that kind of flirtation in the film.  While in the boat, he had no trouble crooning her and showing his affection.  She tried her darndest to fight off what she was feeling but the smirk on her face told us differently.  The second scene made me feel a bit more sad for her.  However, she didn't see the smile on his face after she left.  I'm sure he was happy to rescue her from her embarrassment.

 

If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.  I do not recall any films that I have scene with these actors.

 

What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?  I believe that the love that was being shown was done so without much skin shown or physical affection.  Even the singing competition with the lady in the tighter dress got some attention but it wasn't the attention of a man for a relationship.

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1) Sgt. Bruce is much more confident in his efforts to impress Marie, while making his moves through song. It is a “pass” that usually works. He is much more assertive in getting to know her. Whereas, Marie is in the defense mode. She lets him know his tricks will not work on her. 

2) I have seen them in interviews. I remember one in particular. It was soon after MacDonald passed away. He could hardly speak about her without crying. They must have been great friends on and off camera. That’s Probably why their on screen chemistry was so strong. 

3) There are two kinds of stereotypical women: good girls and bad girls. MacDonald is the good girl (probably a virgin); and, the bad girl was the “regular” singer who was dressed in a flashy way without exposiing any body parts besides arms and legs. While she danced the men appreciated her “moves” while remaining gentleman. Codes would not allow obvious touching or atempts of lewdiness. 

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What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.

The two scenes represent different stages in their relationship, with MacDonald having the upper hand in the first and that power shifting to Eddy in the second. Although Eddy remains the suitor with hat-in-hand in both, MacDonald's awareness of the slight insincerity of Eddy's overtures and the resultant power she feels over him completely dissipates in the second scene as she is personally overwhelmed by her woman-out-of-place situation. 

Eddy's lack of sincerity also dissipates as he watches MacDonald's difficulties and he begins to feel the role as her "protector", if you will. Spurred by his need to provide a shoulder to cry on, he abruptly decides to leave the saloon and comfort her. Interestingly, he is seen as the protector in both scenes and both are a result of his being in his own environment. MacDonald is clearly moving further from her own comfort zone, and of course would need a man  to ease her into her new reality.

If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.

I've seen both in their other films, though this one i've seen a couple of times. I do believe I saw her in a film without him, but can't remember what film. She definitely had the chops to act without him but they do stand out together because their mutual artificiality (coloratura?) in singing styles blends well. Her acting though sets up well against his lack of same because it gives her the upper hand which is used to the benefit of their films together by placing him in that role as suitor.

What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?

The most obvious is as I mentioned above. He's always seen as the guardian, she the self-assured though ultimately weaker partner. Me Tarzan.

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This might be off topic ,but Liza Minnelli had a similar experience as Jeanette MacDonald in a bar. She was in Mexico working on film Lucky Lady. She got up to sing in a local bar and was giving it all she got to no reaction.  

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I have never seen the entire movie-must do so.My initial reaction is similar to other comments. They are attracted to each other but do so in a coy way. Her assumption that he has had other relationships by adding other female names in the song lends itself to the idea tha a man has had many relationships and he is accostumed to wooing a girl in a beautuful setting. That really proves itself in the second scene uoon his entrance and the ladies all attach themselves to him. Her wanting to be someone different and appeal to the crowd as the other lady does her more suggestive rendition of the song . Her large dance movements her attempts to be more physical in her approach must have her thinking is this the way to be more modern. Alas, she realizes that is not her style and she looks like she needs to become invisible. She really portrays someone who knows she does have talent but does not fit in the surroundings. Nelson's quick departure shows his concern for her. His Royal Mounted  rescue seems to be the next scene. The overt good girl versus bad girl with stage performers seems to be a common theme. One of my favorite movies  San Francisco has her in both roles the opera singer she so wants and the saloon singer for ****,her love. In that role she proves that love conquers all.

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1. The characters seem relaxed with each other, more than their looks make me think would happen. They make jabs at each other on the boat, neither one being too serious. In the saloon, they could have easily made him look at her with more pity, and her with more sadness at being outshone. But instead he gives a little smile and she scowls at him, not giving him a bit of what he wants. It keeps it form dissolving into a romantic cliche that early on.

2. I've seen one other Nelson Eddy film. He appeared very stiff in it, and that led me to believe that was his usual performance. It might have been due to a different lead actress, or that it was more dance heavy versus the singing he's used to. 

3. In these kinds of movies, the man is usually the stronger character. He also gets to be the more relaxed one, while the female lead needs to be respectable and have more decorum. They also show the relationships starting very slowly and building up to a safe, innocent romance. There tends to not be much passion, even if the scene is supposed to be romantic. Musicals tended to be gentler, in a way. Your Clark Gable and Cary Grant films had them being able to drag women around and show how macho they are. The women dealt with it, but could also get fiery and attack back. 

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  1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.
  2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.
  3. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?

1. In the first scene the couple is in an intimate romantic setting only the two of them are present seated closely in a boat on the water.  He is strong and protective, rhythmically paddling the canoe clearly smitten by her charms.  She is pleased by his attentiveness and responds by singing and bantering with him.  The camera shows both of their faces causing the actors to avoid eye contact.   

In the second scene she is uncomfortable awkwardly singing in a crowded saloon to an uninterested audience.  He enters totally relaxed and sits down with two flirtatious women who are very at home in this atmosphere.  He reacts to her anguish that she cannot please the rough fun-loving customers by rescuing her from the situation and escorting her out of the saloon. This time they do make eye contact although at first they are several feet from each other.  Their communication is non verbal. 

2. They had always seemed like ridiculous singing caricatures in early musicals when I watched clips of their performances.  He is much to stiff an actor in my opinion.  

3.  He is a stereotypical strong stolid uniformed law enforcement officer, an upright moral manly man who will provide for and protect all who are under his care.  She is the soft virginal good girl who will only allow some kisses before marriage.  They perfectly uphold the code by their proper dress, their high moral ethics, and their behavior towards each other.  

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1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.

 There is a lot of interaction between the two stars in the first scene, and The Sgt does his best against the competition.  I love his line, "I'm not an Italian but as for the singing...""  

In the second clip, there are many characters interacting.  The saloon patrons pay no attention to Marie at all.  The two guys stand in front of her while she sings. Only the piano player pays attention and tries to give her pointers.  So Marie seems all alone in the room.   Then when the Sgt, enters everyone seems to know him and like or respect him and greet him, the saloon girl included.  He is a popular and well-known person there.  Then when Marie sees him she turns away, seemingly embarrassed to be there.  The saloon owner comes over to the blonde and tells her to get up there an sing because Marie is not getting anyone's attention.  She brazenly cuts in front of Marie showing her contempt.  The piano player starts playing faster and the showgirl starts singing. Marie starts imitating her but then stops and slinks away.  The Sgt feels bad for her and decides to follow her.

2. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?

 There is respect for each other shown in these clips and a proper relationship.  The saloon girl is wearing an outfit you would expect in those days, at least as depicted in movies of the era. Marie was wearing a high collar and rather unglamorous, like a "school marm" outfit for those days.  

 

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1. Both of these characters do like each other. There is less eye contact in the first scene. Rose Marie also tries to ignore him but she can't because she is falling in love with him, and is pleased with his song. In the second scene they are making eye contact and looking at each other. Rose Marie is worried about what he might think of her, and you can tell that she obviously cares about what he thinks. They are also smiling at each other in the second scene and you can see that do care about each other. And he goes after her leaving the other women behind. 

2. This is the first and only film i have seen with Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. 

3. The male/female relationships during the 1930s are depicted as being pure. Less physical romance. Also the "good girl" is always shown getting the guy. I also noticed that the woman is always supposed to ignore the mans advances and always act innocent. 

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The interaction between the two are physically non-existent. What I mean by that is that all the interaction is done with their facial expressions, their words along with the changes in their voice. In the boat scene he could have easily have touched her shoulder to get her attention instead he said "look this way then" and she dose turn to look at him. In the second scene the iteration between the two is only communicated by the look they shared and small body changes. when she noticed him and squares her shoulder before leaving the saloon.

 

I have not seen either of the actors before.

 

From what I have seen in these two clips the male/female relationship depicted in the films during the era are what we today might call pg-13. You can hint at something but you do not show it. The norms that I would expect are supported under the Hollywood film code include but not limited to, minimal touching and no scene where one is any state of undress.

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Their personalities definitely clash and it’s visible in the early courtship. Marie is hesitant to change her ways to adapt to her relationship with Sergeant Bruce. This is reflective in the second scene where she just can’t read the room and adjust her performance accordingly. As mentioned before, interactions between supposed lovers were greatly limited.

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The second scene reminded me a lot of the scene in Guys and Dolls where Sarah tries to act like the Latin dancer in Cuba. There are obvious differences - MacDonald's character is sober and realizes how big of a fool she is making herself to be - but they both feature squares trying to act like sexpots. Hollywood could be saying that no self-respecting girl or woman should act this way, but both Sarah and Marie get their man in the end. And Code-era Hollywood is notorious for portraying "loose" women as antagonists or as thinly drawn characters. So what does this then represent to audiences during this time period?

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I love their interactions, the way circumstances seem to inevitably bring them together. They support each other through conversation, presence, and,of course, a sense of humor. In modern terms, they seem to "have each other's back."

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In the first clip, Nelson Eddy shows his feelings by singing to Jeanette MacDonald, She tries to be coy by ignoring him but you can see her enjoying his serenade.

I've not seen them in any other movie but always heard about their wonderful duets. I think the studios focused more on Jeanette MacDonald.

I think in the production code era, couples had to be more restraint no overt  sexy scenes but more of polite romantic feelings. 

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The interaction between the two characters is very uncomfortable to watch because clearly the woman who takes over is a bit of a show boat about her modern singing skills in comparison to Rose Marie's. She appeared to have the mentality of "step aside and let me show you what these people like." It's an interesting sort of confidence this woman has. At the same rate Rose Marie's character also has a different type of confidence when she attempts to sing a music style she is unfamiliar with in front of a full saloon. Overall their interaction with one another is uncomfortable. Rose Marie looks like she is trying to her best to work with the blonde woman in a fun and playful way at first and even tries to match her style, but it seems the blonde woman prefers the spotlight only on her. 

It's interesting to see the two females pitted against one another. I was sort of hoping the blonde woman would assist Rose Marie rather than take over, but it seems she was there to assert she was better. It's disappointing to see the two females not helping each other out and put against one another and then the man saves the day. But hey it's the 1930's I'm sure they needed some type of "simple" conflict to meet the Film Code and this is how the film maker went about it. 

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The interaction between the two characters is pretty typical of the romantic stereotype of the man pursuing the woman straightforwardly with the woman "playing hard to get." She didn't show interest until he started singing, and I found it refreshing that she didn't hide that interest. I expected her to say something like "well, you're all right I guess," but instead she complimented his voice. The interaction was very humorous as well with the name switching.

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1) I feel like in the first scene MacDonald has the upper hand, so to speak. Even though she is the woman, she is in charge. Eddy has to woo her, to prove his worth, etc. She's interested in him, but isn't going to show it, he has to work to get her attention.   In the second scene they are  more familiar with each other, they've known each other a bit longer. She is in an uncomfortable embarrassing position. She can handle it as long as no one she knows sees her, but as soon as he walks in her demeanor changes. She's still proud, but she also doesn't want to be seen in a vulnerable position. I feel like he's staying in his seat and keeping his distance for the moment out of respect. 

2) I've seen a bit more of MacDonald than Eddy, a few of her later film roles when she played more mature characters or mothers. I always felt she had a nice screen presence and could act, but wasn't the most dramatic. She's pleasant, can do a bit of comedy and a bit of drama, but probably wouldn't be called on to do a strong dramatic role.   Growing up Nelsen Eddy was always a bit of joke. He got by because of his voice, but certainly wasn't a strong scene partner. I guess when I think of Eddy the word 'fop' comes to mind!

 

  1. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?

As others have mentioned there's definitely signs of 'this is the man's job' in the first scene. MacDonald sits while Eddy rows. He woos her, she has the upper hand here, but he has to prove his worth (just like I said in answer to the first question)....But, now he has to prove his worth as a man - I will row this boat. But, then she has to remind him to row the boat. Man - brawn, Woman - brains.  In the 2nd scene McDonald is dressed very respectfully - she's all covered up, no skin showing - she sings in her polite, operatic voice, she's a good girl (but no one is paying attention). Then the other woman comes in 'scantily' clad and does some 'dirty dancing'. MacDonald wants to try it, she is interested, but then she thinks 'no, this is wrong' and leaves. A good girl may visit a 'bad' place, but she will quickly see the error of her ways and leave! Eddy comes in and is treated with respect because he is a man in uniform. 

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