Gypsy (1962) Review

Based on the Broadway hit about the life and times of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee and her aggressive stage mother, Mama Rose.

This story shows how Louise eventually came out of her sister June’s shadow and ends up becoming a burlesque dancer and thus chances her name to Gypsy Rose Lee. Throughout the story we see how much impact Mama Rose had on the lives of her daughters. Obsessed with them becoming famous and performing in front of people. She really had to be the worst nightmare of a stage mother, but it was evident that she did care a lot about her daughters.

Mama Rose has to be the ultimate stage mother, the one which you would not want to be yours at all. She is bossy, always in control and her daughters do not actually know how old they are! She is so desperate for them to have the success and life that she did not have that she will pretty much do anything for them to get it. She has been married three times, and Herbie wants to marry her but she is not so sure about it. He actually does care about her and the children.

This really is a fantastic musical, as it has some very powerful numbers. Including “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”, “Some People”, “Gotta Have a Gimmick” and the simply fantastic “Rose’s Turn” when Mama Rose eventually gets her number. It is on an empty stage and so powerful because she eventually lets everything out showing how much she longed to be on the stage. I have to admit that I do love “You Gotta Get a Gimmick” when the strippers are explaining to Louise you have not got to have talent, you have just got to have a Gimmick.

Eventually seeing Louise become the famous Gypsy Rose Lee is a special moment as throughout the film you have been lead to believe that she has no talent and cannot really do anything on the stage. She really wants to prove her mother wrong and go out there and do something, being the best at it. “Let Me Entertain You” is what she sings while stripping . . . well taking a glove off. Thats her gimmick she does not totally strip, more like teasing.

I thought Rosalind Russell as Mama Rose was a very good performance. She was very believable and has a fantastic singing voice. Especially for “Rose’s Turn” the power in her performance is shown in that song, wanting to have her time on stage and impress. I just love how passionate she is with it all, I also love that in that song she has to say “curtains up” as she is telling how she sees her performance going.

Natalie Wood is just fantastic as Louise then Gypsy Rose Lee. As Wood is so beautiful she has the naive charm going for her and plays the unlikely stripper ever so brilliantly.

It does have some very amusing moments throughout as well as heart warming but also quite dramatic moments. I really do think its a very good all round musical, with something for everyone.

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