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DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #2 (From Rose Marie)

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In the first scene you get the impression that the 2 know each other, but probably not well.  Nelson Eddy's character is trying very hard to win over Jeanette's character, but she is not interested.  In fact, he's asking her about another man (that may or may not exist).  He concentrates on singing as a way to woo her so much so that he never moves the canoe forward! Lol.  In the second scene she's mostly frustrated that the saloon patrons aren't paying attention to her singing. After NE enters the scene, she's then embarrassed by their lack of interest. I think she likes seeming like a lady who has it all together and is successful at what she does.

I don't recall seeing these 2 actors in a film together before.

For male/female relationships, this one depicts the disinterested lady and the ever hopeful guy.  He is a gentleman.  After all, he does follow her when she leaves the saloon.  She wants to be a woman that can manage things herself. I love the regular singer who punches things up a bit.  She definitely uses her sexuality to capture the attention of the saloon patrons. Her moves are provocative as she runs her hands on her body, shakes her moneymaker, and does some gyrating.  She's probably not marriage material, but is available for a good time.

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1. The interactions between the two characters showed the image of the male being in control while the female was happy with the dominating role of the male. The woman always seems to need the man to come in and rescue her, knowing what she needs before she does. 

2. While I am sure that I have seem both performers in other roles, I can’t at this time recall them

3. The undertone of good vs. bad behavior is very apparent. The good girl always gets the great guy. Her attitudes are right and when she does not do everything she should, she (the good girl) suffers until she realizes her mistake. The bad girl usually ends up alone.

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  1. In the first scene, Sergeant Bruce demonstrates to Rose Marie that he is as much of a good tenor as the Italian tenor that Rose Marie is seeing. At the same time, he professes his love to her in song, while Rose Marie secretly ponders at the thought that she is in love with him while listening to his song. In the second scene, Rose Marie is dejected when she couldn't add pep to the song she was singing at the saloon and Sergeant Bruce has genuine concern for her as she could not keep up.
  2. I haven't seen them in other films, at least, not yet.
  3. These clips tell me that the male/female relationship can be a bit lighthearted and playful, but not too sexual. Norms that I expect under the Hollywood Film Code are twin beds, no double meanings that are sexual in nature, no explicit references to a male and female character sleeping together.

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During the lecture notes on Every Sunday, in which Deanna Durbin and Judy Garland square off with classical vs. popular music, I couldn't help but thinking of the Ella Fitzgerald standard "Mr. Paganini (You'll have to swing it). Same theme -- we've heard your great classic music, but if you really want to make good music, it'll have to be swing style. Same year 1936. I'd like to know more about the relationship between those two musical numbers, if any. In my family, in which all types of music are studied and appreciated, we especially liked Ella's ongoing championing of the virtues - rigors - overall value of modern styles. The influence of jazz and other pop styles into classical music is a fascinating topic, and I was delighted to see this little pairing of Deanna and Judy, great voices both!

 

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Maybe it's because I've never been a particular fan of JM or NE nor of the operetta musical genre in general, but I'm having a difficult time forming any opinions in response to the discussions questions posed. That or else I am not viewing/thinking critically enough.

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1.      There is a playfulness, and definitive gender-based roles for each person. The gentleman is the pursuer, while the female is amused, and initially interested in another. He sings of love right away, but then dismisses it as just a game. They are both getting to know each other more, looking for what’s unique but still going with preconceived notions of each other. The entire movie is full of this playfulness.

In the boat he is wooing her by singing her name, and she begins to be smitten, then he playful throws in other women’s names. She however is starting to realize there may be more to the Mountie than she thought. He notices her spunk and determined spirit at the saloon.  She is trying her best but won’t subject herself to what she may see as crass behavior and movement from the saloon regular.

2.      I have only seen the clips of the most famous song from this movie, no other films. My perception is that the song is very catchy, their voices very operatic and of the time. The lyrics are simple and easy to remember. I am sure everyone being courted at this time had this song sung to them at least once.

 

3.      The clips speak to very specific gender roles.  The male is very strong, stoic and moral. He is the pursuer, while the female seems a bit more flighty, and unable to make a decision.  She seems to be losing her mind in the scene when she realizes how she truly feels. The factors she is using are not tied to love only, but other materialistic things. The film is their courtship, it is very subtle and very slow paced, which can be very nice. It doesn’t show the consummation of the relationship after only one visit or encounter, like some modern films. They kept this very romantic and virtuous. I would think these themes and this approach fall right under the Hollywood Film Code.  I will do more research to find out more, but these gender specific roles and the long virtuous courtship seem to align.

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I haven't watched many Nelson Eddy/Jeanette McDonald movies, so I don't have much familiarity with their films. I mainly relate the duo to Dudley Doright and Nell!

After watching the clips and a couple of their films, though, I have a better feel for their type of musical. Although Jeanette tries to be a strong, independent woman, Nelson has to rescue her in every movie. This relates to the, then, notion that all women are damsels in distress waiting for their Prince Charmings to come to the rescue. My, how times have changed! Or maybe not, if you watch the Hallmark channel a lot! ?

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The lesson on Rose Marie (1936) states that Nelson Eddy commingles with MacDonald vocally. I find this very interesting especially during the Production Code, because the commingling is not directly explicit but implied in different ways, here it's through singing and through the glances the characters give to one another. This is one creative way that production code films abide by the rules while at the same time subtly breaking them.

The first scene shows a romantic scene, with the lieutenant serenading Jeanette Macdonald’s character on the boat in the river, under the moonlight. And yet, the two characters still refrain themselves from even making eye contact for too long. Macdonald looks back at him a few times, only to quickly look away.

The second scene shows that the bar is a place where sinful acts occur, such as drinking, couples outright courting, dancing, and touching, and gambling. Jeanette Macdonald functions as the moral, well-behaved lady who is obviously out of place in the bar. This is evident through her classical singing not suitable for a bar, and her mannerisms and visible lack of comfort in the environment. I suppose it's thus suitable that she is the leading lady and in the end gets love and the handsome man. The other lady in the bar takes over and begins to sing differently, including dancing along and moving her hips to and fro. Jeanette Macdonald imitates her movements but it is evident she is not “truly” like the other woman. The men cheer for the second woman after she finishes singing. And, again, the woman at the bar who swings her hips does not win the lieutenant, which goes back to who is “worthy” of getting the leading man and finding love. 

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Since there's a tecnical proble and the clips are not able to be viewed, I can only answer off my memory. I do remember the two always staying out rough but having a playful.relationship and a happy ending. These filns are uplifting  giving hope to the audience. 

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I’m looking forward to watching this film (Rose-Marie).  It was funny to watch Jeanette make fun of the other woman’s way of singing and dancing in the second clip!  It’s apparent from this bar scene that although she has a great range and technique as a singer, she doesn’t have the trendy “cool girl” aesthetic or dance moves of the other girl, who seems more modern in her way of dressing, moving and singing (and is also better at figuring out what the audience wants.  Poor Jeannette!

ive only seen her act and sing in one other movie:  “Love Me Tonight” (1932) with (I almost said “avec” since he is French, lol) Maurice Chevalier.  He hooked my attention right away with his mix of great songs, good-natured humor and showy silliness.  They are supposed to be falling in love, but they are a totally odd pair - she’s much more proper and old-fashioned (as evidenced by her singing style), and he’s more loose and modern.  I love pre-codes, and “Love Me Tonight” is a wonderful pre-code musical if you can catch it.  It’s got all those little pre-code double entendres and risqué lines that were banished from films after the enforcement of the Production Code.

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The first scene MacDonald represents a “good girl” - she keeps her back to him, makes no eye contact while Eddy is  “an honorable man” and we are to draw that conclusion being he is a Mountie. He is trying to be romantic and his flirtation seems unrequited, yet she has interest in him and since he can’t see her facial expressions he continues to try.  

The second scene MacDonald is very much out of her element and extremely uncomfortable in the saloon. The “bad” girl or salon entertainer puts her in the position of being even more awkward than when she tries to sing for the patrons. Eddy makes eye contact when he arrives and as he sits to enjoy female company in the saloon he notices MacDonald seems humiliated, and when she leaves abruptly in embarrassment he leaves to check on her - typical man rescuing the damsel in distress (very much the view of female/male relationships during the period of Hollywood code). 

I do not recall any other movies with these actors, although I am sure I probably have being a classic movie/musical fan.

In movies of this era, the romantic  relationships were portrayed as chasted, wholesome, and restrained. The norms supported under the Hollywood Code were that the females were to be shown as modest, virginal, maidenly, and innocent. While the males were completely at liberty to be flirtatious, and seduce, and free to be the naughty or a bad boy.

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In clip one the two characters are in a neutral environment.   McDonald is able to verbally spare with her partner.  However,  the good girl Marie is out of her element in the second clip.  Eddy is able to mingle with the bar patrons and is right at home.  He is at home no matter where he goes.  However, McDonald feels out of place, looks out of place, and acts out of place.  At first Eddy seems amused at her attempts, but when the "regular" starts to shimmy and shake, he is able to see McDonald's embarrassment and reacts with concern.  This is not an environment for a good girl.  Code Message: if you want to have respect from your man avoid tight satin and the shimmy/shake.

 

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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 she is very confident and rather acerbic after he sings his heart out to her; in the second scene she is endeavoring to sing and make money, but cannot compete with the tart that hops up and steals her thunder; her confidence wanes and she leaves the bar.  He, however, is taken still by her and not with the shimmying lady even though he was sitting with her initially.  
  2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.  I've not seen either of them, but I do hope to catch the films this summer!  
  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?  It seems as if there are two types of women depicted in this movie - one that is prim but unsuccessful in trying to sing for money in a bar, the other woman is bawdy and getting the attention, but in an unseemly light.  The Production Code if perhaps trying to show that it is not good to be so sexy, but it may also be glorifying it in a way?

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1.  At the beginning, Rose Marie was indifferent to Bruce because she, to a certain degree, definitely was uncomfortable with someone going to arrest her brother.  Sure, romance occurred during their travelling together.  Thus, she was upset when he was with TWO other women coming in the saloon.  Typical, isn't it?!  A Little Jealousy there!

2.  To tell the truth, I don't remember IF I have seen/watched them together in films or TV shows.  Too young to remember ... even though I have watched A LOT of OLD [Musical] Films with Parents and Grandfather while Little.  But, I Do distinctively remember "Rose Marie" the Song!  And, I can still sing along with him while watching the video clip!

3.  Again, the GOOD Girl in this film, i.e. Rose Marie, had very conservative clothes on her to be Ladylike while the BAD girls had Form-Fitting fancy dresses on them to be on the daring and "fun" side.  But, for me, imagining ... the weather in Canada?!  To tell the truth, I would NOT think of "Hollywood Film Code" First.  The Stereotype on Female, Male, and Female/Male Relationship has been instilled to create Gender Inequality for sure.  A Guy can be funny and even flirting to get his girl(s), but A Gal Still has to be Ladylike and More Reserved, instead of being Daring and Showy, to WAIT for Prince Charming.

     But, we know, nowadays, Hollywood Itself does NOT follow the Morals it has put on the Big Screen ... Behind the Scene!

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In the first clip, their relationship is characterized by safe flirting, at a distance, using playful innuendo. They have obvious chemistry, displayed in a non-physical and acceptable manner. In the second clip, by juxtaposing Gilda Gray's sultry moves and impossibly tight dress with Jeanette MacDonald's good-girl performance, they're giving the viewer a morality lesson on how to win the guy and live happily ever after!

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"Rose Marie" is a Winner in many fields: male/female banter,  read between the lines, enjoy the sexy dance (it would not be allowed after "pre-code"), cheer for the couple to find each other.

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Daily Dose #2

  • What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. In the first scene, Nelson and Jeanette are on the canoe. They are in search for Rose Marie's brother (played by Jimmy Stewart) who is deemed as escaped convict. While rowing the canoe, Nelson tried to allure her by singing a romantic song. But, Jenny was in a playful mode and made fun of his song by changing the ladies' names. Well, she liked him but maybe she was shy to profess her love to him. In the second scene, she is working as a saloon singer with an operetta voice (I didn't know saloons would hire professional opera singers). She tried her best to sing according to her capacity, but the audience were disengaged. Then, the "One" who wooed her comes along. When an attractive saloon singer took her place , she felt embarrassed. But, her eyes meet with that of Sergeant's. She went away from the scene. They felt for each other, but through a distance.                                                                                                      
  • If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. I adored the singing duo in a film called "Naughty Marietta". In this scene, Jenny sings an operetta piece which amazes Eddy. It has been my favorite scene.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3korUTUVzEk                                                                                        
  • 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? During the reign of Hays Code, the man and woman could make love but only through mild gestures, decent words and proper actions. Otherwise, it was deemed as inappropriate. Well, the lovers could hug and kiss for a certain time.  

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Viewing this clip, I am reminded of other musicals where the future relationship between characters is 'foreshadowed' in a song ('Only Make Believe' from Showboat, 'If I Loved You' from Carousel, etc.) It's obvious that there's a romantic attraction, but it's too early in the film/show or the 'slow burn' is intentional for dramatic effect when the relationship is finally allowed to bloom. These two are obviously 'into' each other, or at the least, very intrigued by that notion. The flirtatious banter and eye contact are impossible to ignore. He is hardly shy about stating his interest in her, even inquiring about the 'competition' he's facing from another suitor. She is much more coy about her interest, which is very typical (or stereotypical) behavior from a leading lady of the time. 

I've not seen either performer in a film before, but I am definitely aware of their names and reputations. I grew up with parents who adored Nelson Eddy's singing, and we had many of his records in our vast collection of vinyl. His vocal range was impressive, to say the least.

The interactions between the two leads is socially appropriate under the code, reflecting the expectation that the man will act as a gentleman and the lady will be polite, demure, and 'lady-like' in her actions. 

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1.    Specific examples. At first indifference from Rose Marie, then interest, then intrigue. Nelson appears like a boy scout until Jennette calls him on it.

 

2.    In all the films I have seen them in the play about the same type of characters. The films seemed to be styled on a formula which was very successful.  Both actors were likable and wholesome and generally succeeded and went hand in hand off into the sunset.

 

3.    Males were dominant, females strived for success but did not have complete happiness without a man in their life to love.  Nice people wind up with nice people and live happily ever after. Bad people had unhappiness and failed at their endeavors. Follow the golden rules and you will have a happy ending. If real people followed the code they too could lead a more hopeful and stress free life with love guaranteed.

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1. I thoroughly enjoyed the two “Rose Marie” film clips and can see how Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy complemented one another. Mac Donald was much more versatile actress than Eddy is. She makes the scenes come to life with her glances and the turning of the head reacting to Eddy’s attempts to gain her attention. We know  when he is succeeding and when he is not simply by her expressions. She makes the Mountie believable as he rows and belts out choruses of “Rose Marie” and she acts as a straight man as he admits that Maud would never work.

The bar room scene demonstrates MacDonald’s ability to portray a trained vocalist in an uncomfortable and comedic situation. Her gestures and her body moves, trying to imitate Gilda Gray, is really funny. She really is terrific, which as we have seen before, gives Eddy the opportunity to play off her with that stoic looks of admiration and love.

2. Frankly, until this introduction to MacDonald and Eddy, I have avoided their movies. However, now I look forward to seeing their films and becoming aware of their obvious great talents  

3. These clips are examples of the film industry’s attempts to show the value and importance of good girls and their virginity. Nelson Eddy may be acquainted with the girls in the bar and he may have had girl friends but the viewer doesn’t question for a minute that he is gentleman. He respects Jeanette and would never think of compromising her. He is an honorable man and represents what the Film Production Code believes is right and just.

Jeanette is willing to do what is necessary to get a job by rehearsing in a bar. However, like Eddy, we know that she would NEVER allow herself to become a loose woman as the ones portrayed in the bar scene. She is pure and wholesome. She is saving herself for her husband. Again this is how the Production Code wanted the actresses portrayed.

In the end, we would expect these two characters to fall in love. Eddy will pursue her never laying a hand on her or never expecting anymore than a good night kiss. Jeanette will pretend she is not interested in him and dutifully avoid his advances. All of this is simply a game she has to play to prove she is a good respectable girl.

 

 

 

 

 

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  1.       What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples Jeanette MacDonald's character Marie seems more relaxed after she hears the song. I liked her way of chiding Nelson Eddy about the other women he might name in the song. The second scene shows Marie to be out of her element. She does try to mimic the other female singer which I found humorous.

2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. I cannot remember seeing them other than in clips. I do remember that my grandmother had the sheet music for Indian Love Song. She would play it on the piano and my sisters and I would sing it. We would sing it at the top of our lungs, really exaggerating parts of the song and then collapse with laughter.

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? The "good" female (in this case Jeanette) would definitely be modest in dress, behavior (no shimmy in her dancing!) and demeanor. Nelson's character would be friendly with those girls who dress less modestly and shimmy, but would he marry one of them - heavens no!

 

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Thank you, GeezerNoir, for pointing out it was Gilda Gray with the tight dress and her famous shimmy.  I had heard of her, but I don't think I've seen her before.  I agree with your bad girl/good girl observation.

When I see a mountie on TV, I am reminded of the cartoon character Dudley Do-Right.  I automatically expect him to be a hero and save the damsels in distress.

1.  In the first clip, it seems the mountie is trying to prove himself worthy of Marie.  in the second clip, he comes in the saloon with TWO low-class girls.  This time Marie doesn't fit in at all.  (And so he sees the error of his ways in choosing "bad girls"- HAHA!)

2.  Saw "San Francisco", but didn't realize that was Jeanette MacDonald.  There she was the "bad girl" who became good.

3.  The men/women and good girl/bad girl stereotypes are shown.  Also, the good girl must remain a lady, making sure her hair is properly curled.  This stereotype often remains and is just beginning to change.

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1. Eddy is really as stiff as his collar, but still allowed a sense of playful humor, while McDonald demurely, playfully  responds. The attraction grows during this repartee, leading  you to believe a relationship in the works.as in the interchange of other women's names in his serenade to tease. (I am surprised  he got anywhere- never changing paddles strokes - he would have gone in circles :) )

2. I don't recall seeing them in any other form but film.

3. McDonald's embarrassment,tells of her moral fiber, when catching eye of Eddy sitting at the table, while she is trying with all to win her audience. Her dress, singing,and  performance style, in comparison to the "hostess", are in stark contrast. The satin, form fitting,jazzy, gyrating "hostess' overtakes the straight-laced McDonald.  I was really surprised the dancing was not censored.

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In the first clip, Jeanette has the upper hand. Nelson is paddling the canoe and sings to impress the girl. In the second clip, the tables have turned. Nelson shows up happily with a girl on each arm while Jeanette is failing to entertain the room. Jeanette can't seem to turn off that operatic voice (which, frankly, is irritating to me).

I have seen one movie of Jeanette without Nelson, but not the other way around. Jeanette was about 40 years old and was supposed to be the mother of some young adult girls. She was beautiful and talented.

I am frustrated by the MacDonald/Eddy movies. Something seems to be off. They are both charming, fun and could sing, but there is never any of the spark you see with other couples in movies. I don't know if the film code has anything to do with this because I have seen other movies from the same era that don't annoy me the same way.

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