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DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #2 (From Rose Marie)

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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, Nelson Eddy is eager to let Jeannette McDonald know that he is attracted to her by singing a song that includes her name. Conversely, he wants to know that he has played the field by playfully using other girls names in the song. Jeannette MacDonald pretends to dismiss Eddy’s declarations of love to hide her attraction. In the second scene, the interaction between the two is tense: she is embarrassed for him to see her performing in a saloon and he is embarrassed for her.

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 seen them perform before and always thought of them being prim and proper. 

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. Male /female relationships depicted in film of this era are chaste; they could engage in flirting/double entrendre but that is about as far as their relationship could go. Dialogue was written in such a manner that a lot was left to the movie goer’s imagination. Norms supported under the film code would include no depiction of immorality.

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

Jeanette McDonald was really a great actress and had a wonderful voice however her work in San Fransisco (1936) was a little too dramatic and actually quite comical. She sang the theme song over and over and over - buildings crumbling, people screaming- kept right on singing to the detriment of the amazing cinematography. It felt like the studio was forcing her down your throat. Thank god for Gable. I've never seen Rose Marie buts it seems like the same situation for her - where does an operatic voice fit into this new genre?

REGARDING DRESS....

The greatest visual cue that speaks to the code (as well as the story) were the costumes in the bar scene. There's Jeanette - covered from chin to ankle dancing beside a chorus girl in a bias cut dress with absolutely NOTHING on underneath. I think it could of been a way of testing the limits- Surprised they got away with his one....

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1 - In the first scene we can see his interests on her, he wanted to woo her by means of serenade her and she blow him off, there's a certain indiference. And in the second scene, she is very embaressed to sing in salloon and he observes her and I think she was more embaressed in that moment he's looking, in two scenes I see a interest in both of parts, in different scenes.

2 - I've never seen anything with Nelson Eddy yet(who knows someday), but I see a movie with Jeanette with Maurice Chevalier and Myrna Loy, I think it's Love Me Tonight, the name.

3 - There's a steryotipe of men flirts with women, a shy woman - good girl, a extrovert woman - bad  (a woman sings with a contagious way).

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1. I love the first scene. Even though there's no physical contact, I love the banter. It sounds like smart, pre-code dialogue. I laughed out loud when Eddy says "But then, nothing worked with Maude." Both scenes depict their growing attraction for one another without actually being near one another, which is probably just the way the Production Code wanted it. 

2. I have seen Eddy and MacDonald in other films and always find that they are ... Eddy and MacDonald. they don't exactly disappear into their characters. This is my favorite of their films. I'm not a huge fan of powdered wig period films. so I liked Rose Marie's lack of artifice. I am really enjoying reading the opinions of others here who are not familiar with MacDonald/Eddy films. So interesting to read people's first impressions!

3. Even though we know that chastity wins and Jeanette will get the guy, she sure isn't having any fun in the second scene while the other performer is totally in the moment, confident and enjoying herself. She's the local Mae West, I guess.

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  • What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? In the first scene, McDonald seems to have the upper hand and the flirtation seems to be even handed. Her eyes go to the right until she finally turns around to look at Eddy. This is a romantic scene with a dash of comedy. She approves of his voice and even when he speaks of other women (including Maude), the bantering is light-hearted. In the second scene, she is vulnerable. Eddy does not interact with her directly but from his facial expression he is bemused, surprised and encouraging of her trying to sing like a femme fatale. The class distinction in this scene is pretty strong.
  • If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. I have watched a lot of their movies, maybe all of them. They epitomized romance, glamour and the singing equivalent of Fred & Ginger's dancing. Eddy's character usually comes across solid, sometimes a little dull until something pushed him to take action. The second scene reminded me of McDonald in "I Married an Angel"... 
  • What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? Ok for men to philander. Good girls get their men in the end, although Eddy is attracted to McDonald's spunkiness. What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code? "Bad girls", eg, those with skimpy dresses, wiggly hips and outright seductiveness lose in the end to sweet, innocent, modestly clad heroines with trembling lips and hips that don't shimmy

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

Per the musical formula of the times, boy meets girl, boy tries to woo girl, girl plays hard to get until proven she is vulnerable and then boy woos again and succeeds. Eddy tries to impress Rose Marie with his singing in order to compete with the guy she is going to meet and ends up with egg on his face when she figures out his flirting routine. However, in the next clip we see MacDonald stepping out of her comfort zone and showing her vulnerability, bowing out to the better voice for the song type. Now it's time for Eddy to make his move again but with a better outcome. I think MacDonald did a beautiful job conveying her embarrassment and defeat. 

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

While I heard of Eddy and Macdonald, I have never actually watched their films or listened to their music. When listening to coloratura sopranos I prefer Jane Powell or Kathryn Grayson. After seeing these clips though I look forward to catching some of their films on TCM especially for MacDonald whom seems very earnest in her acting. 

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?

Men are always shown holding some powerful, almost royal type position (mountie, famous producer/director, soldier, etc). A position that gives them respect. Women however are always seen as good or bad girl, secretary, saloon girl, house wife, looking for a husband or wealth, and meek, unable to face challenges without a strong man behind them. So glad there were actresses like Kathrine Hepburn and Claudette Colbert who would go against these stereotypes. Pushing back towards the man. Unfortunately though the code always won so we'd get that they lived happily ever after bit at the end.

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The interaction between Sgt. Bruce and Marie seems to flip in the two scenes. In the canoe scene, Marie is initially seen as disinterested in Bruce's advances, but seems to soften towards him when he is serenading her before realizing how interchangeable her name is with any number of other girls. Later, in the saloon while Marie is singing, she is embarrassed by the fact that she has "cheapened" herself by singing for money in such a place, but Sgt. Bruce seems to be embarrassed for her much like one would be embarrassed if the object of their affection found themselves in such a embarrassing situation. Again, their stances seem to flip and, while Bruce still seems interested in her, Marie does not hold the power or confidence she held in the first scene. 

 

This type of romantic staging is typical for the era and seems to be the staging of any number of romantic comedies to this day. However, it is important to note how the man maintains his masculinity and confidence while the woman seems to be floundering in a public situation. This sets her up to be "rescued" by Sgt. Bruce it would seem (I'm basing this solely on the clips as I have not seen the movie in its entirety, yet). It is also important to note that post-code it is clear how the other female performer should be seen by the audience. She exists in direct and bawdy contrast to the morally staunch character of Marie to the extent  that she is used as an immoral figure of the post-code era. 

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In the first scene, Eddy and MacDonald have more of a playful vibe w/the banter going back and forth between them. When each of them sing, however is where you see the attraction. They are visibly affected by it. In the second scene, Marie is very embarrassed and uncomfortable about her abilities to sing correctly in that particular atmosphere and this gets heightened by Brucie's presence (when she recognizes it). On his part, he seems very interested in her singing the moment he sees her and continues to watch her throughout. To me, it is a very different level of intimacy. The idea of seeing Marie with her guard down, the vulnerability greatly interests Brucie. 

This is my first experience w/Eddy and MacDonald so I have no other references to guide me.

As far as the Production Code here and the idea of male/female relationships I see them going for purity and vulnerability in the lady which the gentleman finds attractive. And them also showing the male as a kind of wolf being changed by this pretty, more wholesome woman. 

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  1. The Nelson Eddy character is a model for the perfect gentleman. The depiction of the Mountie is other films, TV and sketches followed for years later. Anyone remember 'Dudley Dooright' from cartoon fame? Jeanette's character is the ultimate 'Lady'. The setup right off is that our Mountie has to protect our lady heroine from the perils of frontier land where corruption runs wild and rampant.  So we go from the indifference of scene 1 on the canoe then on to scene 2 and the beginning of the her vulnerability. Now we know he feels he needs to protect. Yes we know they will fall in love along the way. 

A simple plot in between the love songs we wait for in anticipation. The Hollywood Film Code people I'm sure were quite happy. This lesson in chivalry and doing the right thing when it comes to how a woman should be treated. Let this be your role model young men of the future and we will come out of this depression a better nation. 

I've seen Jeannette MacDonald in a couple of films that featured Maurice Chevalier. In fact one of the most romantic scenes for me is when they are dancing and singing 'Isn't It Romantic'.     

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I first became a fan of Jeanette and Nelson watching Naughty Marietta decades ago,  that is also when I realized that Frank Morgan was in almost every movie ever made in the 1930's, (or so it seemed to be back then!)   liked her best playing opposite Clark Gable in "San Francisco"  Her persona is similar to Mary Blake in Rose Marie.

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To answer the second question first, I have never seen neither MacDonald nor Eddy in a film before. Although their names are well-known to me (and I may have, in the past, seen a few minutes of one of their films), I am really not very familiar with their work.

To go back to the opening question, the interaction in the first clip was pure 1930s production code Hollywood. The manly leading man (he's a Mountie, after all!) pilots the canoe while doing his best to charm the leading lady. She in turn, comes off as a little feisty and standoffish, though we can guess where this will eventually lead. That said, to me it feels like MacDonald has the upper hand in the scene.

The second scene is much different. This scene is mostly about her. She is far less confident than in the first scene. Although the camera cuts between the two of them throughout the scene, it really isn't until the end of the scene that the two of them connect. TBH, I couldn't figure out from Eddy's facial expression what he was meant to be feeling as he watched her struggle with the musical number. I have read that his character was feeling embarrassment and sympathy for her, but he just looked annoyed to me. That, however, is an aside. When the two notice each other, its is she who looks embarrassed. The confident, feisty woman in the canoe is gone. He, on the other hand, seems to smile reassuringly at her. In this regard, he seems to have the upper hand he didn't achieve in the first scene. He looks like he is about to come to her rescue, in as much as he appears to be trying to reassure her with his smile.

As for the male/female relationship and the Hollywood code, I partially alluded to that in the last couple of paragraphs. Eddy is clean-cut, honorable and rugged (as depicted by his role as a Mountie). MacDonald, while showing an independent nature in the canoe scene, is still the epitome of the 1930s decent, modest woman. this was best highlighted by the contrast between MacDonald and the other singer who joined her in the second scene. 

Of course, all of these comments are based solely on two short film clips, since I haven't seen the whole film or any other of their films!

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In the canoe, she seemingly has "the power" in the relationship between the two characters...interesting second clip where she meets what must have been thought of as the most debased point in life that a woman could reach, and the man looks on with pity and sympathy.  So, does this level the playing ground or does this make the man the more powerful figure.   It does certainly illustrate the lengths people were having to go to during the era of the depression. 

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I think this is a really interesting example of the duality in female characters you see during this time period - the good, pure woman vs. the harlot. Marie is clearly the former - in the first scene, she and the man are clearly having a romantic moment, but there is no physical contact at all and her back is to him for most of the scene. In the second clip, we are introduced to the second type of woman in the sultry saloon singer (alliteration!). Whereas Marie is stiff and proper, the sultry saloon singer moves her hips in a suggestive manner and is dressed in silk and lace. Marie looks absolutely horrified by the singer's movements.

But ultimately, it is the good woman the man falls for - he looks absolutely entranced by her. I think this speaks to the type of male-female relationship the Hollywood Film Code sought to promote - one that was pure and chaste.

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I love seeing all the different responses and then realizing that these are just in reference, really to a few moments on film.  Awesome!

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I notice in the first scene that the Mountie is trying very hard to impress the women. She seems to be trying to give the impression that she is not impressed and not interested. Then he reacts by singing other names in the song to change that he was not so interested and has sung to many others since she didn't respond well.

In the second scene she is struggling to sing to her audience and even when another woman comes up to show her how it is to be done, she keeps trying until finally, her failure is so obvious that she wants to get away. The Mountie clearly feels bad for her. She has lost her arrogance from the first scene.

In both scenes, you see that both of them are interested in each other.

I am showing my age here as I remember years ago a TV show with Carol Burnett and Lucy Ball doing a spoof of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald. And over the years I have seen many other comedians doing spoofs of them singing the Indian Love Call song.  I am sure they are on the internet somewhere.  But that is my only reference as I am not familiar with their films.

These clips are very upstanding and formal compared to some earlier love stories. The two people are almost childlike in their game playing in the canoe. I like you, you don't like me so I will tell you how popular I am.

In the salon the mood is sad. The singer is in a different place than the working class folks she is trying to sing for. The Mountie is clearing feeling bad for her. I think the code is still trying to be pushed with the women dancing but there is a different feeling from some of the pre-code movies especially with the women's clothing.

 

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The interaction between Nelson and Jeanette is very well played with mild flirtation/wooing?  With the Hollywood Film Code there was probably a lot of experimentation to determine what is in good taste where romance is concerned.

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The first scene reminded me of the way that Astaire and Rogers start their relationships--overtly annoying or avoiding each other while privately finding each other attractive and amusing. Those closeups of JM smiling at the camera are like soliloquies where she is telling the audience that she kind of likes this guy--so similar to Rogers in films like The Gay Divorce. I really like JM--and Nelson Eddy is adorable in his wooden but good-humored way. Viewing the clips in today's lesson, I realized that his song with an open slot for the latest woman's name is exactly the device that Rock Hudson used in Pillow Talk ("Your are my inspiration,_____", much to Doris Day's eye-rolling disgust. JM takes it much more in her stride. Part of the charm of these musicals is that they are in code. The people on screen and in the theatre both know what is going on, but no one admits it. I have seen Naughty Marietta and The Chocolate Soldier.  Though operetta is not my thing, I have to say that the series actually has very good operetta--terrific composers like Victor Herbert and Sigmund Romberg and truly talented singers in JM and NE. 

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I agree with some commenters that the difference pre- and post- code is not that discernible. Perhaps the standards associated with post-code films reflected more closely those of the more 'decent' sectors of the population, or more 'hi-brow', (similar to the traditional distinction between the Friday night beer crowd, and the Saturday night wine drinkers)? Or perhaps Hollywood was reflecting those areas of America who did believe that saloon singers, whores and gangsters were members of the seedier class, and therefore distinguishable from members of a class with a more ethical, moral standard.  It would seem that actors and actresses with operatic training would appeal to the latter.  Just some thoughts...

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In these scenes it is noticeable that between Bruce and Marie is happening a game of conquest, they approach and move away like a dance. In the beginning she is distant from him and then while he sings she will soften and finish the first scene by mocking each other and the effect of the music already dissipated. In the second scene where there is no dialogue between the two, all the feelings are transmitted by the exchanges of looks and the tenderness with which Bruce looks at Marie. Marie seems to be strong and does not want to deliver that she is fond of Bruce while Bruce tries to woo her but does not know if she is in love. He wooes because he was raised to be a home m wooing women. I will see the film to confirm my theories, but in the musical romantic comedy of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers the same game of conquest and the plot over appearances and first impressions is made present. Really a feature of the courteous novels of this period of Hollywood.

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

While the two characters are playful with one another in the first scene, there doesn’t seem to be any genuine emotion there.  One factor in the “lack of feeling” is the lack of eye contact, which is very limited due in part to their position in the canoe.  The female character’s playfulness is illustrated when she mockingly impersonates the singing of her love interest (i.e. operatically).  At the end of the second scene, the characters make eye contact.  His face softens, and you can see his affection for—and also pity of—her.  You can see that she is humiliated and uncomfortable with her love interest seeing her in such a state.  Having her love interest witness her failed attempt at singing in the pub exacerbates her deflation.

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

I don’t think I’ve seen Jeanette MacDonald in anything before.  I saw the 1943 version of Phantom of the Opera, but it was too long ago for me to remember Nelson Eddy’s performance well.

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?

Under the code, there was limited physical contact between characters who were romantically involved.  The pursuit of romance is a rather chaste affair.  I got a good laugh when Nelson Eddy says the following in the first seen: “It doesn’t work with some names.  It didn’t work with Maude.  But then nothing worked with Maude.”  The implication?  Wooing Maude with song didn’t escalate things to the physical level. 

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

In both scenes, NE seems to be able to "read" JM pretty well. Almost like reading her mind. He clearly wants to impress in the first scene, and in the second, he shows a compassion that she may respond to favorably, but his compassion is not so that she will look on him favorably - instead it shows his character's uprightness (upright mountie style). In both scenes, I have the impression that JM is drawn to NE against her will. First by his singing voice, and secondly by his noticing her in the dancehall, and her embarrassment of his seeing her there. 

 

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

I don't think I've seen either actor in another film. I may have, but didn't notice

 

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?

Sexuality is sublimated, and intimated, but never shown. The dancer in the saloon scene is a replacement for today's raunchy sex scene in a bedroom. It shows the sexual act between them without any of the players taking off their clothes.

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  1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.  The two major characters in both scenes, he seems to be attractive to her, but she is rather aloof to him.  In the first scene she does not notice him until he starts to sings then she becomes attractive to him.  They play a cat and mouse game with each other creating more of a love interest.  In the second scene, he does not notice her until she is singing, but she does not sing like what he us used to she sings different.  She is more operatic than the every man style that the audience in the saloon likes.  
  2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.  Rosalie is the only movie that I can think of that Eddy Nelson is in.  He always seems to play the all American man.  He is always the hero and protects the leading lady.
  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?  She is coquettish while he plays the strong hero.  She is expected to be sweet and innocent while he is bold and protective.  The norms are women will be women and they both will live happily ever after.

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The characters in these scenes were trying to one up each other in different ways. For Nelson Eddy, it was to show is prowess by having two dates at the table, and for Macdonald, it was to show off that she could be as talented and peppy as the girls themselves, that’s why she mocks them, until she realizes it’s only because she can’t beat them.

 

From these clips, you can probably tell that male sexuality is rewarded while female sexuality is shunned. The man has to be victorious over the females, as if he is supposed to beat out temptation or something like that.

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In these two clips from "Rose Marie," I definitely notice the back-and-forth between the characters. It's almost like a dance - they flirt and tease, but they never really come together. I have not seen the full movie, but according to the synopsis I just read, it has a happy ending. I expect the entire movie features this delicate dance as our leads get closer to each other, only to pull away. A perfect example is the way that Bruce sings a whole song about Marie, but when she wants to talk about it, he starts singing the song with a different woman's name. He can't really admit to Marie how he feels - he deflects and they "dance" apart again.

That ebb and flow of their courtship makes me think that films of this era, under the Film Code, couldn't show a lot of the passion that would naturally come from a courtship. The ebb and flow of their relationship gives the film some emotional stakes while keeping things pretty chaste. It's a clever way to give the audience the highs and lows of a romantic entanglement while still making sure that nothing too naughty gets through to their delicate eyes. I expect that a lot of romantic movies during this time do the same!

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I loved both these clips! I laughed out loud at both. The banter in the canoe, then the attempt to sing like the other woman in the saloon!

I’ve never seen any of their movies together, but I can see why the worked together multiple times. What great chemistry! From just these 2 clips you can see how the romance progresses. In the canoe she is uninterested, then tries mocks him to cover it up when she becomes interested; he is trying to impress a beautiful woman. Then in the saloon it’s clear that she is embarrassed for him to see her, but he shows compassion and perhaps a bit concern. I imagine they eventually admit their love and sing their way into the sunset.

I agree with others that the good girl vs. harlot angle is at play here. There’s a feeling that Marie can’t be successful as a saloon singer because she’s not the kind of girl who belongs there. Bruce, however, can walk in, link arms and sit with the regular singer and it seems like the norm.

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