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Gypsy (1962) [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 332 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ringing with the show-biz sass of its Jule Styne/ Stephen Sondheim score, the film version of the Broadway hit Gypsy takes you on a grand vaudeville tour. It sweeps you up in the roller-coaster relationship of Louise (Natalie Wood), the wallflower later to blossom into sophisticated stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, and her ambitious mother Rose (Rosalind Russell, whose performance won her a fifth Best Actress Golden Globe Award). Karl Malden scores as Herbie, the salesman who falls for Rose -- to his exasperation. Full of terrific tunes (Everything's Coming Up Roses, Small World and Some People Among Them), Gypsy will certainly entertain you and definitely make you smile.

Product Details

  • Actors: Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Paul Wallace
  • Directors: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (332 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001SVDOT4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,953 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
When Warner Bros purchased the rights to the 1959 musical hit GYPSY it was intended to make a purely dramatic film, with songs from the Jule Styne & Stephen Sondheim Broadway score confined to the theatrical sequences. Rosalind Russell was chosen for the starring (but non-musical) role of Mama Rose along side Natalie Wood as Gypsy Rose Lee. However just as this version of GYPSY began filming, THE MUSIC MAN opened in theatres and scored a huge hit. It was then decided that GYPSY should be filmed as a musical follow-up to THE MUSIC MAN. The production closed down and was revamped as a musical. Rosalind Russell could sing but not in the style her role demanded (all of Mama Rose's songs in the Broadway production were written in the original Mama Rose, Ethel Merman's vocal style). It was decided to bring in singer Lisa Kirk to assist Russell with the vocals rather than re-cast the role. The end result fully justifies this decision because Rosalind Russell's Mama Rose is simply magnificent and the combination of Russell and Kirk in the songs is so perfect you never know (or care) who is doing the singing. No other actress, before or since (which includes such illustrious performers as Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Bette Midler and Tyne Daly), even comes close to conveying the monster in mother's clothing that was Mama Rose the way Russell does while still allowing the humanity of the character to emerge now and then only to become subservient once again to her driving ambition.
Natalie Wood is also excellent as Gypsy Rose Lee, who succeeded beyond her mother's Dreams. Her mother and daughter showdown scene with Russell is riveting.
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You want a good Sunday afternoon musical? That was when I discovered "Gypsy". I had never before known of Gypsy Rose Lee, and was interested when I was promised by John Burke of AMC that I would "love the movie". And love it I did! I am a big Rosalind Russell fan, and this makes for one heckuva showcase for her! She plays the role of Gypsy's Mama Rose with a vim and vigor unlike she shows in any other of her movies. She is A PRESCENCE. She plays the role with explosive power, but with the understanding and heart that (hopefully) the real Rose possessed. And Natalie Wood adds a glistening sparkle to this cast with class as the vibrant Gypsy Rose Lee, dazzling and beautiful. She plays against her child star image by lustily singing and grinding to a stripper beat and playfully tossing her clothes off. Karl Malden is excellent as Rose's fiancee Herbie. And the Sondheim/Styne songs are all incredible, each a production and thrill: the showpiece "Let Me Entertain You", the bouncy "Have An Eggroll, Mr. Goldstone", the charming "Small World", and the exciting final number, "Rose's Turn". WHAT A MOVIE! See this one and "you'll have a real good time, yes, sir!"
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I am a big fan of "Gypsy", having seen it onstage with Tyne Dale and Bernadette Peters on Broadway and having heard the recordings with those women as well as Angela Lansbury and Ethel Merman many times. This really is one of the best shows of all time, in my view. Clearly, Mama Rose is the main character and the show really rests on the shoulders of the lady playing her. For that reason, I can never understand why casting Rosalind Russell as Rose was ever controversial at all. There can be no doubt that she was a more skilled film actress than Ethel Merman. I think Russell is wonderful in this part: driven, brassy, pushy, comic, over the top, and, often, heartbreaking. Her "Rose's Turn" at the end is just great. She moves beautifully in the musical numbers when she needs too, as well. Sure, she does not sing all of her numbers by herself (her vocals are mixed, not dubbed, with Lisa Kirk's), and that has to be pointed out in an honest review. This was a common Hollywood practice in those days. Does it really make a difference? Not to me. This is not a stage production. We are not really watching a "performance", but the amalgamation of many days and weeks of performing into an edited whole. Kirk matches Russell's vocals well enough that it is not jarring or distracting. That said, Natalie Wood, who was dubbed in West Side Story sings her own numbers here. Her singing is pretty good. She is also gorgeous to look at and very believable as plain Louise who becomes glamorous Gypsy Rose Lee. Karl Malden is also good in the rather boring part of Herbie. The costumes are great, the sets are stagy, but opulent, and the cinematography really sumptuous. This is one of the last big, splashy Hollywood adaptations of a big Broadway hit, full of songs which have become standards, and a story which is moving, funny, and, best of all, ENTERTAINING. Get it!
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By A Customer on May 4, 2001
Format: DVD
When I first saw Gypsy, I was an impressionable 12 year old. The story of a girl, ignored by her mother, overshadowed by her younger sister really hit home with me. To watch how this pitiful young girl could overcome all of her life's hardships and become a star in her own right gave me the hope for my dreams. This movie may not be as great as the stage show, but with all the stars giving it their all, the quality comes across. The music is wonderful, and presented with extreme vigor. From the first "Let me entertain you" number as kids all the way through the vaudeville acts, the essence of the time's entertainment is showcased wonderfully. Mama Rose's songs were acted by Ms. Russell to perfection. Karl Malden makes the perfect Herbie, showing both the strength and weakness of his character. Natalie Wood's progression from a quiet child to dazzling star is a must-see. Her famous striptease versions of "let me entertain you" bring the whole show together. I still get goosebumps when she sees herself in the mirror all dressed up before her first striptease and says to herself "Momma, I'm pretty, I'm a pretty girl", her self awareness awakened for the first time. And, don't miss the incredible "Gotta have a gimmic" number, a showstopper! I love this movie, watch it whenever I need a pick me up and always makes me remember that even an ugly duckling really can turn into a self confident, beautiful swan. Perhaps Gypsy Rose Lee was really the first feminist, taking her life in her own hands and making a success for herself without the help of anyone. Buy this film.
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