(1962) Some people just gotta be noticed. I watched this musical comedy, based on Gypsy Rose Lee's memoirs and the Broadway play, directed by Mervyn LeRoy - book by Arthur Laurents with score from Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) - to see 24-year-old Natalie Wood as Gypsy.
However, it's mostly about Gypsy's domineering mother Rose Hovick (Rosalind Russell), a pushy stage mom ("I had a dream") with three ex-husbands, who leads on candy salesman Herbie Somers (Karl Malden), formerly in show biz for 20 years as Uncle Jocko (who likes children and their mothers), for his vaudeville connections, always promising to marry him as an encore to the next act.
On the road with her two daughters, Louise (taking the front of Caroline the cow - "I don't have any talent") and younger June (the child star), Rose with Herbie's help takes Baby June and the Newsboys on the vaudeville circuit until the Depression and movies put an end to the once-popular entertainment.
Lead male dancer Tulsa and the other boys (having become young men) quit, and June elopes with Jerry. (I'd like to know what happened to June afterward.) Nevertheless, Rose sings, "Everything's comin' up roses for me and for you," to Louise.
With one more attempt at making a go of it with Rose Louise and her Hollywood Blondes, the indefatigable mother gets a booking with a burlesque house in Wichita ("the act that keeps the cops out") where by accident Louise becomes Gypsy Rose Lee, the greatest striptease artist - "Let me entertain you!" - of her time.
However, very little - a glove here, a dropped shoulder strap there, revealing finally a glittery brief costume - actually comes off: more tease than strip. All in all, disappointing.
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