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Roseland [The Merchant Ivory Collection]

9 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Sep 21, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Three interlocking stories set in New York City’s legendary Roseland dance palace make up this charming film, the third to be shot by Merchant Ivory Productions in America. In the first segment, The Waltz, Teresa Wright is a widow who comes to the Roseland in order to sustain the memory of her late husband, but meets Stan (Lou Jacobi), a man who offers her an opportunity for happiness in the present. In The Hustle, Christopher Walken stars as a gigolo with three women in his life, all of whom depend on him for different degrees of romance and companionship. In the final segment, The Peabody, an older Viennese woman (Lilia Skala) sets out to win a dance competition despite warnings that it could imperil her health. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s understated screenplay delivers an uncharacteristic bit of sentiment not present in other Merchant Ivory efforts.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Teresa Wright, Christopher Walken, Geraldine Chaplin, Lou Jacobi, Lilia Skala
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Writers: Ruth Prawer Jhavbala
  • Producers: Ismail Merchant
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Mono, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: The Criterion Collection / HVE / MIP
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2004
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002KPIFU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,531 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Roseland [The Merchant Ivory Collection]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Paige Turner VINE VOICE on April 13, 2006
Format: DVD
This little known film offers a peek into the world of social ballroom dancing that holds true even today. The disco contest dates this film a bit, but it's fun to go back to when disco was included as part of ballroom competitions.

The movie consists of three small stories, tied together by a main character named Cleo. Part participant, part observer, she appears in all three stories. Each story is named after a particular dance.

"The Hustle" rings true, as it is about a dance escort/gigolo (played by a very young Christopher Walken), who tries to juggle three women in his life. He is kept by an rich, older woman (Joan Copeland), but tries to woo and seduce her much younger, recently divorced friend (Geraldine Chaplin). He was also a former lover/student of Cleo's, who feels she still has some ownership, albeit secondary, with the young man. Chaplin's character tries to make an honest man out of Walken's gigolo, but cannot compete with the perks and money offered by the rich woman and Cleo.

I am a ballroom dancer, and see these types of men all the time. Like Walken's character, these "escorts" are merely users and rather sleazy individuals who prey on rich widows with an eye towards money, security, and gifts in exchange for dancing, companionship and sexual services.

"The Peabody" depicts a woman (Lilia Skala) who is never satisfied with her dance partner, always picking on him or complaining about him. She doesn't realize how wonderful her partner was until it's too late. Shortly after her partner dies, we see her talking to somebody in the restroom, an unknown person, who turns out to be Death. Her time is also limited on earth as well; she desires one last chance dancing in a Peabody competition.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Darryl K. Clark VINE VOICE on May 31, 2009
Format: DVD
this 1977 release merchant-ivory production came some years before the duo hit pay dirt with films like 'the bostonians', 'maurice' and 'howards end'. written by co-collaborator ruth prawer jhabvala, it is both aimless and sharp, unfocused and direct but always haunting and thought-provoking.

in its short running time, we get three stories that feature mostly characters that are in their 50s and 60s (a surefire ingredient for box office failure in the 1970s). the first, called 'the waltz', features academy award winning actress teresa wright as a woman that finds a little love and companionship within the decaying walls of the once-luxurious roseland ballroom.

the second, and most linear of the three, is titled 'the hustle'. christopher walken, just two years before he would create his most enduring film character in 'the deer hunter', plays a sleek gigolo-like dancer that enjoys three relationships with helen gallagher (who plays his former dance teacher), joan copeland (the rich widow that is keeping him) and geraldine chaplin (the nervy divorcee that WANTS to keep him). gallagher is fabulous as the tough, exacting dance teacher that drills her two newest protegees while pining for walken. copeland is heartbreaking in her role as well. chaplin keep slipping in and out of her new york accent but she delivers as well. walken is most interesting because he is just about to lose his once pretty boy looks at this point but still produces a slow, smoky heat and danger in his portrayal of an essentially weak and indecisive man (another ingredient for failure in the 1970s--audiences didn't like weak men in their films). his performance is echoed by the presence of conrad janis as a former ballroom dancer/gigolo type.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By acacheofjewels on May 8, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is a poignant journey back in time with three wonderful vignettes of the life and times as it was in a bygone era. Roseland never looked better and the dancing was adequate, but so many fantastic dancer's danced there it would have been nice to see better dancing portrayed. All in all a good movie.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A classic film that should be in every collection. Sadly Roseland closed its doors April 7 2014 after decades of events and ballroom dance.
This film depicts some of the drama of the human condition during the 50's 60's and 70's . Roseland was one of those special places that could never be replaced. A huge hall on 52nd street and Broadway in New York City a place of dreams and memories And I might add that
this is the only film or tape that I know of that shows the Hall as it was up to the 90' with beautiful drapes and seating as it was back then
Truly I tell you this really was a magical place and I miss it.
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By brandrewpaul on January 9, 2013
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This movie..Roseland, takes place in teh most famous Ballroom in the world. The stories within are dated but its great to hear the big band sounds and the dance competitions only Roseland can have. The ballroom is still open in NYC today but not like it was before..too much rap and not enough traditional Ballroom dancing. Very Good movie!
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