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THE ROSE TATTOO


HoldenIsHere
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I was completely captivated by this movie!

I am so glad that Delores Hart chose it.

I thought I had seen it before but I don't think I could have since I think I would have stronger memories of such a powerful movie, especially the performance of Anna Magnani.

I agree with what Robert Osborne said about her not seeming to be speaking lines and what Delores Hart said about her "being" rather than "acting" what is in a script. 

 

There are so many wonderful examples, but the scene where Serafina (Magnani) interrogates the sailor played by Ben Cooper and when she describes to the priest the first time she met her husband especially seemed to be happening "for real."

This is the goal of "acting" but is very rarely achieved to this extent.

 

I think my favorite line is when Anna Magnani says:

"No, he don't want a cracker, Polly, no."

 

I also liked when the tattoo artist said to Burt Lancaster, "I give you a little stem."  

 

Below is the trailer for the movie.

I noticed that the part where Serafina confronts her husband's mistress at the Mardi Gras Club is different in the trailer than it was in the movie.

In the movie, there is a tighter shot when Anna Magnani throws the cards at the woman after she reveals the rose tattoo on her chest.

Also in the trailer she strikes the left side of the woman's face with the cards and the woman's head moves away from the camera; in the movie the woman's head moves toward the camera after beiing struck on the right side of her face.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZBiJFHZ1SA

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I agree that she is wonderful in this film.  If you like THE ROSE TATTOO, check out the next one she did-- the one where Dolores Hart costarred with her (also for producer Hal Wallis at Paramount)-- WILD IS THE WIND.  I think she has excellent chemistry with Anthony Quinn and Anthony Franciosa. She earned another Oscar nomination.

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Williams wrote the Rose Tattoo for Anna, but she felt she didnt speak English well enough for the stage, so she passed on it. So glad she got talked into playing it on film. Film is forever. It's too bad she didnt do many Hollywood films......

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I've read some fascinating correspondence between Tennessee Williams and his producer, Cheryl Crawford, about try to get Magnani for The Rose Tattoo.  But it worked out for the best, since both Maureen Stapleton and Eli Wallach won Tony awards for their performances. Also Williams won for best play, and the great Boris Aronson for best design.

 

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I've read some fascinating correspondence between Tennessee Williams and his producer, Cheryl Crawford, about try to get Magnani for The Rose Tattoo.  But it worked out for the best, since both Maureen Stapleton and Eli Wallach won Tony awards for their performances. Also Williams won for best play, and the great Boris Aronson for best design.

There's something about Maureen Stapleton that doesn't capture my attention.  She just doesn't have the presence of someone like Magnani.  It is easy to see why she was passed up for film roles, even when she did them on Broadway and earned raves/awards. In THE FUGITIVE KIND, she takes a supporting role, and again Magnani assumes her original part, played on stage in Williams' 'Orpheus Descending.'

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An odd thing about those Tony awards: Stapleton and Wallach won for Featured Actress and Actor! The leads that won that year were Uta Hagen for The Country Girl and Claude Rains for Darkness at Noon. Both great actors, but The Rose Tattoo parts are also clearly leads. It was only the 5th year of the Tonys, maybe they weren't on their stride yet.

 

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An odd thing about those Tony awards: Stapleton and Wallach won for Featured Actress and Actor! The leads that won that year were Uta Hagen for The Country Girl and Claude Rains for Darkness at Noon. Both great actors, but The Rose Tattoo parts are also clearly leads. It was only the 5th year of the Tonys, maybe they weren't on their stride yet.

 

 

There was some rule years ago if you didnt have above title billing you couldnt be nominated for Best Actor or Actress no matter how big a role you had in the play. I dont think they have that rule anymore.........

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There's something about Maureen Stapleton that doesn't capture my attention.  She just doesn't have the presence of someone like Magnani.  It is easy to see why she was passed up for film roles, even when she did them on Broadway and earned raves/awards. In THE FUGITIVE KIND, she takes a supporting role, and again Magnani assumes her original part, played on stage in Williams' 'Orpheus Descending.'

I think Maureen was very well cast in The Fugitive Kind. I think she would have been awful in Magnani's part.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got this out of the library based upon this thread. 

Wow.

I agree with everything HIH said in the OP: I too had thought I had seen it before but obviously hadn't. About halfway through I stopped it to go to the kitchen and thought to myself, "Amazing to think that's an actress playing a role she seems like a real person stuck in a movie, saying what she really feels" What IS it about this woman that's so intriguing?

And the movie was so "stagey" too!

 

The actress playing her daughter as well as Lancaster both supported her well in the story. The daughter overacted, but it was acceptable knowing she's a teen in love for the first time. Natalie Wood, Shirley Temple, there's a few who pull off this "stereotype"mooning teen. And Burt was unleashed ham, but it worked well against Magnani's powerhouse performance. I love seeing Burt sneer and use his body in a role when he can. And boy, were all the principles good looking!

 

What interests me is the play by Tennessee Williams. It's just so indicative of "southern" plays of this time period, I'm sad there's nothing in it's place today.

Were these playwrights supported by WPA?

 

I'd rather see our government fund artists again than what it's funding these days. American Art & Culture lasts. (this is a perfect example of why art is more important than sports)

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"Amazing to think that's an actress playing a role she seems like a real person stuck in a movie, saying what she really feels" What IS it about this woman that's so intriguing?

 

The actress playing her daughter as well as Lancaster both supported her well in the story. The daughter overacted, but it was acceptable knowing she's a teen in love for the first time. And Burt was unleashed ham, but it worked well against Magnani's powerhouse performance.

 

 

TikiSoo, you're right about Marisa Pavan and Burt Lancaster's work strangely supporting Anna Magnani, even though they appear to be "acting" as opposed to Magnani's "being." 

 

Lancaster also appears opposite another actress who, like Anna Magnani, seems to be living her part rather than acting it: Shirley Booth in COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA. Booth's character is a more annoying one than Magnani's (especially her TMI chattering to the new postman about her husband's alcoholism), but she is SO real---another real person stuck in a movie. 

And somehow Lancaster's  "acting performance" works opposite Booth's "being" as it does opposite's Magnani's in THE ROSE TATTOO.

 

90686-004-C50AD3A5.jpg

 

rose1.jpg

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TikiSoo wrote:

What interests me is the play by Tennessee Williams. It's just so indicative of "southern" plays of this time period, I'm sad there's nothing in it's place today.

Were these playwrights supported by WPA?

 

Yes, Tiki, Tennessee Williams was involved as an artist with WPA.  

From imdb:   He moved to New Orleans in 1939, he renamed himself "Tennessee," ostensibly in homage to the state of his father's birth. In New Orleans, Williams lived in the French Quarter, where he labored for the Works Progress Administration's writers program.

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With this recent airing, I learned I had been mispronouncing the two actresses' names.  I always said Anna Mog-nee-on-ee, but it's Anna Mon-yon-ee. LOL  And I would usually say Marisa Pave-un, but it's Marisa Puh-von. LOL

 

At least I never had trouble saying Burt Lancaster's name! :)

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With this recent airing, I learned I had been mispronouncing the two actresses' names.  I always said Anna Mog-nee-on-ee, but it's Anna Mon-yon-ee. LOL  And I would usually say Marisa Pave-un, but it's Marisa Puh-von. LOL

 

At least I never had trouble saying Burt Lancaster's name! :)

 

Eeh! Don't worry about it, TB. For YEARS I (mis)pronounced Malachi Throne's first name as "Ma-la-CHI" instead of "MAL-a-ki"! LOL

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  • 11 months later...

Thanks for sharing.that Holden. What an amazing actress,.and awesome.performance. Thoroughly deserved the Oscar imho.

 

Yes, Anna Magnani was brilliant in THE ROSE TATTOO and also in another Tennessee Williams's adaptation THE FUGITIVE KIND (which co-starred Marlon Brando).

Magnani is probably the only actor who could "steal a scene" from Brando. 

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Yes, Anna Magnani was brilliant in THE ROSE TATTOO and also in another Tennessee Williams's adaptation THE FUGITIVE KIND (which co-starred Marlon Brando).

Magnani is probably the only actor who could "steal a scene" from Brando.

 

If I remember.correctly, I believe Brando did not want to do Orpheus Descending (the Williams play renamed THE FUGITIVE KIND for the screen) on Broadway because he was afraid if being overshadowed by Magnani. In the end, she didn't do the stage production either.

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If I remember.correctly, I believe Brando did not want to do Orpheus Descending (the Williams play renamed THE FUGITIVE KIND for the screen) on Broadway because he was afraid if being overshadowed by Magnani. In the end, she didn't do the stage production either.

 

Yes, Williams wrote the role the role of Lady  in Orpheus Descending for Anna Magnani, but she wasn't secure enough about her English to agree to a live production on stage. 

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Yes, Anna Magnani was brilliant in THE ROSE TATTOO and also in another Tennessee Williams's adaptation THE FUGITIVE KIND (which co-starred Marlon Brando).

Magnani is probably the only actor who could "steal a scene" from Brando. 

Magnani was terrific in Rome, Open City, Bellisima, The Fugitive Kind and Mamma Roma but nothing comes close IMHO to her performance in The Rose Tattoo.  Magnifico!

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Magnani was terrific in Rome, Open City, Bellisima, The Fugitive Kind and Mamma Roma but nothing comes close IMHO to her performance in The Rose Tattoo.  Magnifico!

 

Yes, her work in THE ROSE TATTOO is one of the greatest performances captured on film.

There aren't enough superlatives for it.  

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Magnani was terrific in Rome, Open City, Bellisima, The Fugitive Kind and Mamma Roma but nothing comes close IMHO to her performance in The Rose Tattoo.  Magnifico!

We should also mention Wild is the Wind (1958), in which she played a woman who emigrated to marry the husband of her deceased sister. Her English wasn't good and her husband (Anthony Quinn) seemed to be expecting her to be her late sister, so she fell into a relationship with a ranch worker (Anthony Franciosa) who understood her. There's an amazing scene where she tries to intervene to stop the shooting of a wild horse ("No! Don't shoot horse!"), sort of reminiscent of a similar scene in the later "The Misfits". Delores Hart was also in it, so it's probably a testament to her humility that she chose "The Rose Tattoo" instead, though "Tattoo" is a better movie overall.

 

I like that Holden made the comparison to Shirley Booth, since they both have that same kind of primal presence onscreen.

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We should also mention Wild is the Wind (1958), in which she played a woman who emigrated to marry the husband of her deceased sister. Her English wasn't good and her husband (Anthony Quinn) seemed to be expecting her to be her late sister, so she fell into a relationship with a ranch worker (Anthony Franciosa) who understood her. There's an amazing scene where she tries to intervene to stop the shooting of a wild horse ("No! Don't shoot horse!"), sort of reminiscent of a similar scene in the later "The Misfits". Delores Hart was also in it, so it's probably a testament to her humility that she chose "The Rose Tattoo" instead, though "Tattoo" is a better movie overall.

 

I like that Holden made the comparison to Shirley Booth, since they both have that same kind of primal presence onscreen.

While Shirley Booth had presence, I wouldn't call it primal, at least not in the way I would Magnani, who is like the earth mother perzonfied. A magnificent actress.
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While Shirley Booth had presence, I wouldn't call it primal, at least not in the way I would Magnani, who is like the earth mother perzonfied. A magnificent actress.

Agreed.  Plus she looked too much like my dear Grandmother who was anything but primal.

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While Shirley Booth had presence, I wouldn't call it primal, at least not in the way I would Magnani, who is like the earth mother perzonfied. A magnificent actress.

 

Shirley Booth didn't have the primal presence that Anna Magnani had, but both actors had a quality of realness (for lack of a better word) that moved their performances to a level beyond "acting." 

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Shirley Booth didn't have the primal presence that Anna Magnani had, but both actors had a quality of realness (for lack of a better word) that moved their performances to a level beyond "acting."

 

Shirley Booth didn't have the primal presence that Anna Magnani had, but both actors had a quality of realness (for lack of a better word) that moved their performances to a level beyond "acting."

 

Booth and Magnani definitely gave some of the best performances in films in the 50s.

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