Filmsite Movie Review
Rose-Marie (1936)
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Plot Synopsis (continued)

Rose-Marie (1936)Marie's Decision to Run Away:

As they parted in the hotel lobby, he promised: "I'm not gonna let you out of my sight tonight," but she declined any further interaction and rebuffed an attempted kiss. He serenaded Rose-Marie a second time with an impromptu reprise of the refrain of the twilight song: "Rose-Marie" - sung outside her second-floor room while strumming a broom. He also sang "Just For You" to her, as she sat by her open window and looked down on him.

Back in his office, the smitten Sgt. Bruce mused to himself about Rose-Marie's last name (de Flor) - translated from Spanish meaning 'Flower.' Suddenly, he realized that Rose-Marie had the same last name as the escaped convict he was searching for (he swore under his breath: "Why, the little...!"). However, when he hurriedly returned to the hotel to find her, she had already fled. He followed after her (he assumed that she would probably lead him to her brother).

Sgt. Bruce Trailing Rose-Marie and Their Camping Together:

He trailed after them on horseback, as Rose-Marie and Boniface were traveling north to Hayman's Landing, and then would proceed 18 miles further to the east to his mother's cabin, where Marie's brother was presumed to be hiding. As the horses were being watered by Boniface, Rose-Marie sang "Three Blind Mice" and marveled at the echo of her voice in the valley.

Sgt. Bruce had to rescue her from drowning when he watched them crossing a deep lake and she fell off her horse. She was floundering in the water when he saved her. At the same time, the untrustworthy Boniface, fearful of the pursuing Mountie from the shore, once again abandoned Marie. Sgt. Bruce assumed responsibility for her and gave her his coat to keep warm, although she haughtily refuted his assistance: ("I'm quite alright now...You don't worry about me anymore, please"). She lied to him about Boniface's behavior, and claimed that he would return with her horse. He obviously knew she had been deserted a second time and was lost: "You don't even know where you're going."

She stubbornly camped by the lake for the night as he stayed on a closeby hillside above her - within shouting distance. When it turned cold by nightfall and became dark - with strange noises, she realized she was very much alone and vulnerable; the hungry and still-wet Rose-Marie ventured up to Sgt. Bruce’s camp for the night. She remained too proud to immediately accept his hospitality. He playfully teased her at first by gobbling down a plate of bacon and beans in front of her which she had earlier rejected ("Didn't you say you hated bacon?"), before offering her some food, tea, and a warm fire to sit next to.

First 'Indian Love Calls' Scene:

In the film's central love scene, they listened to a male Indian love call and a response from a female Indian girlfriend in the distance, as he explained the legend of the 'love calls' - while stuffing his pipe with tobacco:

"It's an old Indian legend. Once upon a time, there was an Indian who loved an Indian girl of a different tribe. And their families were enemies - sort of a Romeo and Juliet affair. That was supposed to be their call to each other...Well, their families found out about them, and they were both sentenced to die....The Indians say that their spirits still live in the happy hunting ground. And when a lover gives that call, they echo it, sending it on till it reaches the one he loves."

She delivered her own haunting, operatic version of two short 'Indian love calls' ("Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo, Oo-Oo-Oo," repeated twice) and then he responded by singing the song "Indian Love Call" to her as a solo:

So echoes of sweet love notes gently fall
Thru the forest stillness
As awaiting Indian lovers call!

When I'm calling you Oo-Oo-Oo, Oo-Oo-Oo
Will you answer too? Oo-Oo-Oo, Oo-Oo-Oo

That means I offer my life to you to be your own
If you refuse me what shall I do? Just waiting all alone
But if when you hear my love call ringing clear
And I hear your answering echo so dear
Then I will know our love will come true
You'll belong to me, I'll belong to you

He suggested that she sleep in his tent, and hand over both her boots and clothes to dry by the fire overnight, while he would sleep by the campfire. As she prepared to sleep inside the tent by herself, she hummed the "Indian Love Call" tune to herself, and he quietly hummed the same tune in response to her to communicate by song - it was their own 'love call.'

Falling in Love - Second 'Indian Love Calls' Scene:

The next day, she was shocked to learn that she was still three days' travel away from her destination. Determined to prove herself in the wilderness, the cocky songstress unsaddled her horse by herself and promised to start the night's fire. They planned to watch the sunset before setting up camp (at the "loveliest part of the day - so peaceful and quiet"), when they spoke about his life of duty and his sworn oath to uphold the law - even in a world of nature. He began a long conversation by quoting a line of Shakespearean dialogue (the Duke speaking in 'As You Like It' (Act II, Scene 1) in the Forest of Arden):

Sgt. Bruce: "And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything."
Rose-Marie: "There's such a contradiction. I can't understand how a man like you can spend his life tracking people down. Hunting some poor creature."
Sgt. Bruce: "It isn't always pleasant."
Rose-Marie: "Well then, why do you do it?
Sgt. Bruce: "It happens to be my duty."
Rose-Marie: "Well, I wouldn't do anything I didn't want to do."
Sgt. Bruce: "You've never had to. But I took an oath when I entered this service. I swore to well and truly obey all lawful orders, without fear, favor, or affection toward any person, so help me God."
Rose-Marie: "But, but I should think all this would make you more charitable."
Sgt. Bruce: "Don't ever think that nature is charitable. Nature is the cruelest policeman in the world. If any wild animal violates the law of the pack, the rest of them turn on him and kill him. This man's just being taken back to be tried."
Rose-Marie: "Hmm, you sound so cruel."
Sgt. Bruce: "A man has got to pay for what he does in this world. The only cruel thing is when others have to pay for it, too."
Rose-Marie: "But it, would it make any great difference to you, in your job I mean, if you didn't get your man?"
Sgt. Bruce: "It won't do me any good."
Rose-Marie: "But you don't have to go on with this work. You have such a fine voice. I know I could do something for you."
Sgt. Bruce: "I belong up here."
Rose-Marie: "No answer. (she was referring to the 'Indian Love Calls') What are you thinking?"
Sgt. Bruce: "I was just thinking about that man you're going to. You must love him very much."
Rose-Marie: "Yes, yes I do."

She mentioned it was their last night together, and then heard the 'Indian Love Call' again - she requested: "You answer him, all the way through. I want to be sure I know the words." She had him reprise the singing of "Indian Love Call" so that she could learn the words and sing along.

In the film's most memorable scene, he repeated the signature song, and she joined him for a glorious duet:

When I'm calling you Oo-Oo-Oo, Oo-Oo-Oo
Will you answer too? Oo-Oo-Oo, Oo-Oo-Oo

(together) That means that I offer my life to you (to be your own)
If you refuse me, what shall I do, just waiting all alone

But if when you hear my love call ringing clear
And I hear your answering echo so dear
Then I will know our love will come true
You'll belong to me, I'll belong to you

They ended the song with a kiss. He professed his love: "I love you. I love you. I've been wanting to tell you that for days." She also admitted: "And I love you. That's the first time I've ever told that to anyone." They kissed again to affirm their love. She asked:

Rose-Marie: (They both listened to another love call) "If I should ever call you, would you answer me?"
Sgt. Bruce: "Nothing could stop me." (They touched cheeks)
Rose-Marie: "When I think, if I had never come up here, I wouldn't have met you. I'd never have known... "

Suddenly, Sgt. Bruce's mood turned cold and he announced: "I've been thinking." He impulsively said that to avoid wasting any more time, they wouldn't camp there, but continue on that night until they arrived at Hayman's Landing.

Farewell to the Mountie:

An undetermined amount of time later, they came upon Hayman's Landing - an Indian settlement with teepees and a log cabin store, where Sgt. Bruce said simply: "This is where I leave you." He suggested arranging to acquire a new guide for her, but she declined. He also thought it might be goodbye for ever:

Rose-Marie: "Then is this goodbye?"
Sgt. Bruce: "I'm afraid so."
Rose-Marie: "But I'll see you again, won't I?"
Sgt. Bruce: "I don't imagine so."
Rose-Marie: "But, will you come to the city?"
Sgt. Bruce: "You won't want to see me."
Rose-Marie: "Well of course I shall."
Sgt. Bruce: "You think so now, but, well - it's this place, the woods, and being alone together. It makes you lose your sense of values."
Rose-Marie: "It made me realize them."
Sgt. Bruce: "When you get back to the city, you'll know I'm right. You'll see all this in a different way. You'll remember me for just what I am, a policeman. Well, goodbye."

Rose-Marie Meeting Up With Her Fugitive Brother:

She was taken by a new hired guide to the location of Boniface's cabin and her brother, Jack/John Flower, who was very surprised by her sudden arrival. He told her: "Oh, sis, why did you come? I didn't want you mixed up in this" - but she insisted on being there: "I was afraid I might never see you again."

[Note: The was the only in-person James Stewart scene, in the role of her brother John Flower, after a number of glimpses of him on 'Wanted' posters.]

As they talked, John admitted: "I guess I made the headlines myself with my getaway, didn't I? That's something that doesn't happen very often." He seemed to be guilt-free, with no regrets for killing a Mountie or escaping from imprisonment (he rationalized that he just wanted a "little excitement"). He was particularly grateful that she had brought money that would last him for a year, so that he could support himself as a fugitive. He had a canoe all packed and ready to go, and was planning to travel at night to avoid detection. He stated: "I thought I might go to China."

Rose-Marie begged for her wild and rebellious brother to become respectable and reform himself: ("You're gonna start off fresh, aren't you? You're not going on like this"), and he casually agreed without meaning it - to placate her. When she mentioned that she had been with a Mountie up until Hayman's Landing, he called her "crazy," and then asserted he must leave immediately: "I'm not gonna take any chances. I'm gonna blow out." She wanted to keep in touch with him in the future: "You're all I have left in the world. We mustn't lose track of each other again," but he seemed disingenuous and disinterested: ("All right, Sis, whatever you say"). When she wanted reassurance: "You will be good, won't you?", he half-heartedly promised he would.

The Apprehension of John Flower by Sgt. Bruce:

Suddenly, the Sgt. appeared at the cabin door and urged John to avoid reaching for his gun ("It won't do you any good"), and immediately hand-cuffed him. When she claimed he was detaining her brother: ("But you don't understand - this is my brother!"), he admitted he knew that they were siblings all along: ("I know...I've known it all the time. That's why I stuck with you"). She realized that he had been playing her as in a game - and using her to get to her brother. He confessed how difficult it was to perform his lawful duty to arrest John and take the fugitive into custody to seek justice, even though he had professed his love for her:

Rose-Marie: "So it was a game, the whole thing. You were using me, even telling me you loved me. That was part of the game too?"
Sgt. Bruce: "No, that was the truth. I know it's hard to believe that I could love you and still do this, but I do."
Rose-Marie: "Well then, let him go. No one will ever know. He's only a boy. Give him another chance. You won't suffer for it, I promise you. Please let him go!"
Sgt. Bruce: "Come on."
Rose-Marie: "Oh, no, no. You can't do this. I'm begging you. Don't do this! Don't let this come between us for the rest of our lives."
Sgt. Bruce: (to Flower) "Do you want to kiss your sister goodbye?"
John Flower: "It's alright, Sis. I guess I had it coming to me. Goodbye." (He kissed his sister)

She piteously begged, cried, and pleaded for the Mountie to not arrest her brother - but he was unmoved and remained stoic. As the Mountie and his prisoner rode away on horseback, she ran after them and began singing many verses of their "Love Call" song ("When I'm calling you ---"). It was painful for Sgt. Bruce to hear her calling to him, and although he turned back a few times, he remained steadfast in his duty. (He remembered that he had promised that he would answer Rose-Marie if she ever called him.)

As they journeyed on, John spoke to the Mountie: "I'm afraid I made it very tough for you," although the Sgt. dismissed the comment: "No, no, you took it very well." John also asked if the Mountie spent a lot of time in the outdoors and wilderness - Sgt. Bruce's affirmative answer brought John's reply: "I envy you." The Mountie also confirmed for John that there would probably be "much excitement" about his capture in Montreal. With elements of fear, anticipation, cockiness, and sadness in his voice, John also talked about how women (like his sister) were funny and hard to understand:

John: "You know, women are funny. They don't seem to understand you've got to have excitement. Now take sister for instance. She's been pluggin' away at that music ever since I can remember. I wouldn't work that hard for anybody. Well, this isn't gonna be so bad. At least it will be something new. I always did like something new. Tell her that when you see her, will ya?"
Sgt. Bruce: "I won't ever see her."
John: "Well, you’d think it was you takin' the rap instead of me. Come on. Buck up!"

An On-Stage Break-Down, Recuperation - and Concluding Reunion with Sgt. Bruce:

Although presumably distraught (with a fragile and anguished emotional condition), Marie de Flor returned to the world of classic opera and her singing - and was performing "He Asked Thy Life or My Love" in Act 3 of Giacomo Puccini's opera La Tosca (again opposite Allan Jones as Mario Cavaradossi) at the Royal Theatre in Montreal. During the last act of her performance, she began to hear Sgt. Bruce's "Indian Love Call" echoing in her head. Audience members speculated: "She seems to be ill," and "Something's wrong with her." Moments later, she collapsed on stage while performing a high note - and the curtain was quickly lowered.

While convalescing six months later in a mountain cabin during a snowy winter, to recover from her breakdown, she was attended to by her maid Anna and a medical nurse. Her manager Myerson visited and told her of his disappointment about her early retirement - and that she had decided to end her tour and any further opera tours or engagements: "I don't seem to care if I never sing again. I haven't even run scales since that night. I think I've forgotten how to....Oh, I suppose I'll have to start sometime." After Myerson left the room, she sadly began to sing the "Indian Love Call" song to herself:

So echoes of sweet love notes gently fall
Thru the forest stillness,
As awaiting Indian lovers call!

Sgt. Bruce (who had been sent for by Myerson) listened from outside and entered from the foyer, to reunite with her in body and song during the refrain. Instead of the words "Will you answer too?" - he sang: "I will answer too."

When I'm calling you
Oo-Oo-Oo, Oo-Oo-Oo
Will you answer too?
Oo-Oo-Oo, Oo-Oo-Oo

At first, she thought she was hearing things, and pounded her head with her fist. He kept singing two more lines by himself - changing the word 'life' to 'love':

That means I offer my love to you, to be your own
If you refuse me what shall I do? Just waiting all alone

(She saw him standing in the archway and tears welled up in her eyes - he slowly approached to grasp hands with her)

(together) But if when you hear my love call ringing clear
And I hear your answering echo so dear
Then I will know our love will come true
You'll belong to me, I'll belong to you

Marie regained her will to live and love as they finished the song together and kissed.

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