Rose of Washington Square

Rose of Washington Square
Directed by Gregory Ratoff
Produced by Nunnally Johnson
Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Jerry Horwin (story)
Nunnally Johnson
Starring Tyrone Power
Alice Faye
Al Jolson
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
May 5, 1939 (1939-05-05)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Rose of Washington Square is a 1939 American musical drama film, featuring the already well-known popular song with the same title. Set in 1920s New York City, the film focuses on singer Rose Sargent and her turbulent relationship with con artist Barton DeWitt Clinton, whose criminal activities threaten her professional success in the Ziegfeld Follies.

Although the names of the principal characters were changed, the plot was obviously inspired by vaudeville entertainer Fanny Brice's career and marriage to gambler Nicky Arnstein (both the film's title song and "My Man" were closely associated with Brice), and Brice sued 20th Century Fox for $750,000. The studio settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Written by Nunnally Johnson (who co-produced with Darryl F. Zanuck) and directed by Gregory Ratoff, it starred Alice Faye and Tyrone Power, with a supporting cast that included Al Jolson, William Frawley, Joyce Compton, Moroni Olsen, Charles Lane, and Louis Prima.


Ted Cotter, a successful singer, spots Rose Sargent performing in an amateur contest. He immediately takes a personal and professional interest in her, helping her career along as she joins the famed Ziegfeld Follies and begins to achieve stardom.

Rose does not recognize Ted's love for her, falling instead for Bart Clinton, a gambler and con man. Bart's nefarious activities get him arrested, and after Ted puts up his bail, Bart skips town. Rose pines away for him, until one night, when Bart goes to the Follies and hears her tearful rendition of the song "My Man," he realizes the error of his ways and sets out to make things right.


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