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Rose-Marie

Rose-Marie(1936)

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Producer Hunt Stromberg, according to an AMPAS inter-office memo dated November 5, 1935, proposed that the writing credits for the film appear as follows: "Screen Play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. From an original screen story by Alice Duer Miller, based on the play Rose Marie." The memo goes on to state that the Academy thought that "any such credit would make the studio look ridiculous and would be confusing." A June 1935 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Grace Moore was originally set to star opposite Nelson Eddy. Also according to Hollywood Reporter, this film was to be Eddy's last picture before the start of his four month concert tour, which began in Long Beach, CA, on January 2, 1936. The same news item also listed Marcella Burke and Ross B. Willis as the adaptors. Actor David Niven was billed in the film as David Nivens, a variation on the spelling of his name that was used in some of his early films. Hollywood Reporter production charts list actors Duke York, Julie Laird, Linda Parker, James Young, Tony Beard, Alesandro Giglio, Gennaro Maria-Curci and Doris Atkinson in the cast; and Hollywood Reporter pre-production news items list actors William Steele, Margaret Zitt and Edith Holloway in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       According to the Motion Picture Herald review, word of a preview screening of Rose-Marie at the Westwood Village Theatre in Los Angeles spread so quickly that crowds of people blocks long packed the theatre to capacity two hours before the showing. A Hollywood Reporter news item notes that, as an exploitation stunt for the film, the studio offered a $2,000 reward to the first woman in 1936 to name her newborn twin daughters "Rose" and "Marie." The prize was awarded to Mrs. Esker R. Owens of Fort Smith, AR.
       The M-G-M Campaign Book for Rose-Marie notes that the filming of the "Totem Pole Dance" sequence was filmed at Lake Tahoe in six weeks and featured over seven hundred Indians from fifty different tribes. Although contemporary sources confirm that the outdoor scenes were filmed at Lake Tahoe, CA, a 1985 Los Angeles Times news article claimed that the filming took place at Lake Arrowhead, CA., where Warner Bros. filmed River's End in 1930. The article noted that the Lake Arrowhead property, on which the famous "Totem Pole Dance" sequence was allegedly filmed, was put up for sale by the Moreland Development Co. The lakeshore property was reportedly subdivided into nineteen lots and sold at prices ranging from $225,000 to $500,000 apiece. The article also noted that some of the totem poles used in the film still remained on the site. A follow-up article in the Los Angeles Times, however, disproves the Moreland Development Co.'s claim that the film was shot at Lake Arrowhead: Assistant director Joseph M. Newman told the newspaper that "not one frame was shot at Lake Arrowhead. The entire picture was made at Lake Tahoe...The totem pole was constructed at Emerald Bay at Tahoe...We never even considered Arrowhead." Newman's account was confirmed by James Stewart. In addition, an October 1935 Daily Variety news item indicates that the "hundreds" of totem poles that were used on the Lake Tahoe set were later donated to the state park bordering the lake.
       Modern sources list Slavko Vorkapich as the montagist, and list the following actors in the cast: Major Sam Harris (Guest); Ernie Alexander (Elevator operator); James Mason (Trapper); John George and Lee Phelps (Barflies); Fred Graham (Corporal); Adrian Rosley (Opera fan); and J. Delos Jewkes (Butcher at hotel). Actor James Murray, who starred in the 1928 silent film The Crowd, drowned in the Hudson River in July 1936; this May have been his last film.
       Two other films based on the same source were the 1928 M-G-M film Rose-Marie, directed by Lucien Hubbard and starring Joan Crawford and James Murray (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.4701), and the 1954 M-G-M film Rose Marie (title not hyphenated), directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Ann Blyth and Howard Keel. According to modern sources, instead of retitling its 1954 remake of this film, M-G-M decided to keep it as Rose-Marie and change the title of the 1936 film to Indian Love Call in order to distinguish its new version.