Sweet Rosie O'Grady (1943)

75-76 mins | Musical comedy | 1 October 1943

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Police Gazette Man and Police Gazette Girl . The MPHPD review lists The Girl on the Police Gazette as another working title, and a Jul 1942 HR news item erroneously listed the film as Police Gazette Woman . The picture's written title cards, "Twentieth Century-Fox presents Betty Grable, Robert Young, Adolphe Menjou in Sweet Rosie O'Grady ," are also sung by an offscreen chorus.
       Information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and Produced Scripts Collection, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, indicate that when the studio purchased an unpublished story and two books by Edward Van Every in early 1941, it intended to produce a fictionalized account of the formation of the Police Gazette newspaper and of its most successful publisher, Richard Fox. The materials purchased from Van Every were: the unpublished story "The Police Gazette Man," Sins of New York as Exposed by the Polize Gazette (New York, 1930) and Sins of America as Exposed by the Police Gazette (New York, 1931). According to internal documents, however, the studio had difficulty obtaining clearances from Fox's children, and was reluctant to publicize its work on the project until the clearances had been obtained. In order to postpone any publicity about the Police Gazette project, Twentieth Century-Fox announced that Van Every was working on the screenplay for Coney Island , another Betty Grable film that was in pre-production (see above). It is unlikely, however, that Van Every directly contributed to Coney Island , ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Police Gazette Man and Police Gazette Girl . The MPHPD review lists The Girl on the Police Gazette as another working title, and a Jul 1942 HR news item erroneously listed the film as Police Gazette Woman . The picture's written title cards, "Twentieth Century-Fox presents Betty Grable, Robert Young, Adolphe Menjou in Sweet Rosie O'Grady ," are also sung by an offscreen chorus.
       Information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and Produced Scripts Collection, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, indicate that when the studio purchased an unpublished story and two books by Edward Van Every in early 1941, it intended to produce a fictionalized account of the formation of the Police Gazette newspaper and of its most successful publisher, Richard Fox. The materials purchased from Van Every were: the unpublished story "The Police Gazette Man," Sins of New York as Exposed by the Polize Gazette (New York, 1930) and Sins of America as Exposed by the Police Gazette (New York, 1931). According to internal documents, however, the studio had difficulty obtaining clearances from Fox's children, and was reluctant to publicize its work on the project until the clearances had been obtained. In order to postpone any publicity about the Police Gazette project, Twentieth Century-Fox announced that Van Every was working on the screenplay for Coney Island , another Betty Grable film that was in pre-production (see above). It is unlikely, however, that Van Every directly contributed to Coney Island , or that his literary materials were used for that film. The legal files also indicate that only Van Every's unpublished story, and not his published books, were used as a basis for Sweet Rosie O'Grady .
       In Jun 1942, after it became clear that the studio would not be able to obtain the necessary clearances from Fox's heirs, producer William Perlberg suggested that the story be changed, with the framing device of the newspaper being kept, but the main plot being adapted from the 1937 Twentieth Century-Fox picture Love Is News , which was based on a story by William R. Lipman and Frederick Stephani (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2604). [ Love Is News , which was directed by Tay Garnett and starred Tyrone Power and Loretta Young, was remade in 1948 as That Wonderful Urge .]
       According to the script files, Morrie Ryskind, Valentine Davies and Dwight Taylor worked on different drafts of the screenplay for Sweet Rosie O'Grady . The extent of their contributions to the completed picture has not been determined, however. Memos in the studio files indicate that there were disputes concerning which writers would receive onscreen credit, and that one of the writers wanted to use the pseudonym "Allan House." The matter was sent to the Screen Writers' Guild for arbitration, and the Guild decided that Ken Englund should be awarded sole credit for the screenplay.
       According to a 23 Jun 1942 LAEx news item, Victor Mature was sought to play the role of "Richard Fox" before the story was changed, and a Nov 1942 HR news item noted that the studio was in negotiations with George Raft to star in the picture. Although a Mar 1943 HR news item includes Mildred Harris, Maurice Costello, Henry Otto and Philo McCullough in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Another Mar 1943 HR news item noted that "The Bagpipers of Buckingham" was one of the songs composed by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the picture, although it was not in the finished film. Production on the picture, for which Robert Young was borrowed from M-G-M, was temporarily halted when Betty Grable suffered a knee injury and had to undergo surgery.
       The film became the object of two lawsuits, the first of which was filed by Van Every, who claimed that the studio owed him $5,700 from the purchase of his literary materials. Twentieth Century-Fox asserted that the monies were contingent upon Van Every's ability to obtain the clearances from Richard Fox's children, however, and that he was not entitled to further payment because the clearances were not provided. The owners of the Police Gazette joined Van Every's claim, stating that their waiver for the use of the newspaper's title was reliant on the film being based on Van Every's books or unpublished story. Because the picture was largely based on the earlier film Love Is News , the Police Gazette 's owners believed that their name had been improperly used. The claim was settled out of court in May 1946 for $11,500.
       In Apr 1944, songwriter Maude Nugent, the composer of "Sweet Rosie O'Grady," filed a lawsuit against Twentieth Century-Fox, claiming that the studio had unlawfully used her song. The studio countered that it had properly acquired the rights, and the case was dismissed in Jul 1946. Nugent's appeal of the case was dismissed in Feb 1948.
       On 13 Mar 1947, The Hallmark Playhouse presented a radio broadcast of Sweet Rosie O'Grady . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Sep 1943.
---
Daily Variety
22 Sep 43
p. 3, 8
Film Daily
23 Sep 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Apr 43
p. 1, 9
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 43
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Apr 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 45
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 46
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 48
p. 9.
Los Angeles Examiner
23 Jun 1942.
---
Motion Picture Daily
22 Sep 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 May 43
p. 1305.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Sep 43
p. 1553.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Dec 43
p. 1655.
New York Times
21 Oct 43
p. 30.
Variety
22 Sep 43
p. 12.
Variety
17 Oct 1945.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Ken Lundy
Oliver Prickett
Herbert Vigran
Fred Walburn
Charles Latorre
Dorothee Jarnac
Mary Stewart
Jack Barnett
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
William Goetz in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on stories by
Based on stories by
Based on stories by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
Mus numbers supv
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"Sweet Rosie O'Grady," music and lyrics by Maude Nugent
"Where, Oh Where, Oh Where Is the Groom," "My Heart Tells Me So," "The Wishing Waltz," "Get Your Police Gazette," "Goin' to the County Fair" and "My Sam," music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon
"Waiting at the Church," music Henry E. Pether, lyrics by Fred W. Leigh
+
SONGS
"Sweet Rosie O'Grady," music and lyrics by Maude Nugent
"Where, Oh Where, Oh Where Is the Groom," "My Heart Tells Me So," "The Wishing Waltz," "Get Your Police Gazette," "Goin' to the County Fair" and "My Sam," music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon
"Waiting at the Church," music Henry E. Pether, lyrics by Fred W. Leigh
"Two Little Girls in Blue," music and lyrics by Charles Graham
"Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl," music by A. Baldwin Sloane, words by Edgar Smith
"Little Annie Rooney," music and lyrics by Michael Nolan
"Throw Him Down McClosky," music and lyrics by John W. Kelly.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Police Gazette Girl
The Girl on the Police Gazette
Police Gazette Man
Release Date:
1 October 1943
Production Date:
22 February--27 March 1943
mid May 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 October 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12462
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
75-76
Length(in feet):
6,850
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9239
SYNOPSIS

In the 1880s, American Madeleine Marlowe, called Madge by her friends, is the toast of the London musical comedy set and is engaged to Charles, the Duke of Trippingham. Although Madge wants to become a duchess immediately, Charles assures her that they will be married in a month, when he joins her in New York, where she is to star in a new show. After boarding a ship bound for the United States, Madge's manager, Arthur Skinner, and best friend, Edna Van Dyke, show her a copy of the notorious American tabloid The Police Gazette , which has been running a series on Madge. The current article reveals that her real name is Rosie O'Grady, and that she started out as a singer in Joe Flugelman's beer garden. The article's writer, Samuel A. Magee, then implies that Madge is only interested in the duke's title, and that the duke in turn is after Madge's money. Furious that her humble origins have been exposed, Madge vows to confront Sam in New York. When Madge's boat docks, a swarm of reporters awaits her. Sam "rescues" her from the competition and pumps her for information about her engagement, but when Madge learns his identity from another reporter, she tells the crowd waiting at her hotel that she and Sam are engaged, and that after their marriage, he will live off her income. Other newspapers print the story, and the Police Gazette 's cantakerous editor, Tom Morgan, fires Sam for making a laughingstock of their paper. Sam sends a message to Madge, begging for a truce, but when they meet for lunch, Madge ... +


In the 1880s, American Madeleine Marlowe, called Madge by her friends, is the toast of the London musical comedy set and is engaged to Charles, the Duke of Trippingham. Although Madge wants to become a duchess immediately, Charles assures her that they will be married in a month, when he joins her in New York, where she is to star in a new show. After boarding a ship bound for the United States, Madge's manager, Arthur Skinner, and best friend, Edna Van Dyke, show her a copy of the notorious American tabloid The Police Gazette , which has been running a series on Madge. The current article reveals that her real name is Rosie O'Grady, and that she started out as a singer in Joe Flugelman's beer garden. The article's writer, Samuel A. Magee, then implies that Madge is only interested in the duke's title, and that the duke in turn is after Madge's money. Furious that her humble origins have been exposed, Madge vows to confront Sam in New York. When Madge's boat docks, a swarm of reporters awaits her. Sam "rescues" her from the competition and pumps her for information about her engagement, but when Madge learns his identity from another reporter, she tells the crowd waiting at her hotel that she and Sam are engaged, and that after their marriage, he will live off her income. Other newspapers print the story, and the Police Gazette 's cantakerous editor, Tom Morgan, fires Sam for making a laughingstock of their paper. Sam sends a message to Madge, begging for a truce, but when they meet for lunch, Madge again humiliates him by playing up their "romance" to Morgan and other waiting reporters. Fed up with being labeled a fortune hunter, Sam decides to turn the tables on Madge and publicly serenades her with a song he has written called "Sweet Rosie O'Grady." Sam then insists that he accompany her to Flugelman's, and although she is reluctant at first, Madge enjoys singing at her old stomping grounds. Sam and Madge, who have called off their feud, are drunk when they return to her hotel, and Charles, who has come to New York to surprise Madge, is furious to see them together. Madge becomes angry that Charles does not trust her, and after she breaks off the engagement, Charles and Sam commiserate in the hotel bar. Sam suggests that Charles pursue the wealthy Edna, and shortly after, Charles and Edna become engaged. Meanwhile, Skinner persuades Madge to take advantage of the publicity and stage a new show around Sam's "Sweet Rosie O'Grady" song. Sam attends the show's opening night, and is horrified by the lampooning of him during the second act. Madge, who now realizes that she loves Sam, is hurt when he disappears after the show, and enraged when it appears that he has stolen her love letters to the duke, which were returned by Charles after his engagement to Edna. When Madge goes to the Gazette 's office, however, she finds Sam beating up Morgan for stealing the letters. Pleased that Sam is defending her, Madge gets him to admit that he loves her, and after Morgan agrees to re-hire him, Madge accepts Sam's proposal of marriage. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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