Rose Marie

at Loew's State and Orpheum

Easily half of the competent performances in Rose Marie are the work of evergreen and sparkling streams. In fact, one giant ponderosa pinc should get an Oscar for the best supporting role. It is visible, in Cinema-scope, in every third scene, and performs equally well with Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, and Fernando Lamas, which, everything considered, is quite an achievement.

The whole thing steps off on the wrong trail when Howard Keel, resplendent in Mountie uniform, comes down out of the Canadian Rockies to bring Rose Marie back to civilization. Spotting Ann Blyth in a canoe and coonskin cap, he mistakes her for a boy, but then covers up with a good natured, "Hey, boy, you're a girl, heh, heh." Thereafter Keel keeps turning up, in best Mountic tradition, in the place where Rose Marie has gone, understandably, to get away from him.

In between booming songs, (Keel and chorus), and snow capped mountains, Fernando Lamas slinks in from the swamp and proceeds to capture the affections of naive Rose Marie. This is singularly ungratifying because besides being a poacher and corrupter of the wilderness, he is two-timing a cute little Indian bump and grind dancer named Jane Grey. It might be said with some justification here that Lamas, "who loves zee woods, and cannot stond zee ceeties and zee thought of zee zame ever'day", does not quite come across as a lover of the aesthetic. Even when he answers Ann Blyth's plaintive "Indian Love Call" with an "oo,hoo,hoo,hoo,hoo", it sounds like he is sneering.

When Lamas and Rose Marie are not sneaking around the woods at night, Keel sings songs about Rose Marie, whose sex he has finally got straightened out. With minor acting interludes supplied by Bert Lahr, Marjorie Main, and a pot-bellied Indian chief, the film moves slowly to a rather cynical conclusion. Not only is red-faced, stalwart Howard Keel jilted, but Ann Blyth, who rivals the scenery for talent, rides off with Fernando Lamas to tend his trap lines for two or more years. They are not married.