Rosita (1923)

Genres - Drama, Romance, Family & Personal Relationships  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Release Date - Sep 3, 1923 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

This historical comedy-drama resulted from the unlikely collaboration of girlish silent star Mary Pickford and sophisticated German director Ernst Lubitsch (it was also Lubitsch's first American-made film). But at least the story, adapted from the novel Don Cesar de Bazon, came closer to Pickford's persona than Lubitsch's first choice -- the baby-killing Marguerite from Goethe's Faust. Pickford's mother (who frequently advised the star on her business decisions) refused to let her even entertain the idea of playing Marguerite. In any case, Pickford is rather miscast as Rosita, the fiery Spanish singer who antagonizes the King (Holbrook Blinn) by making up a song that mocks him. The King tosses her in jail and when Don Diego (George Walsh), who Rosita loves, tries to defend her, he too is thrown in jail. While Don Diego is sentenced to be executed, the King lusts after Rosita and decides to put her up in a luxurious villa. To give her a title, he marries her to a masked nobleman, who turns out to be Don Diego. Rosita tears off the mask and resolves to save him. She cannot win the King's cooperation and believes she has failed at her mission. But the Queen (Irene Rich) has put blanks in the guns of the firing squad and Don Diego fakes his death. His body is taken to the villa where the King is trying to seduce the grief-stricken Rosita. She is ready to stab him to death when Don Diego leaps up and intervenes. The film ends with everyone happy. For reasons still not clear, Pickford came to hate this film, claiming it was the worst one she ever made. On the contrary, it's excellent entertainment and while the star is not at her very best, she still puts in a decent performance. In its day Rosita was well received critically, and it made money for United Artists. It holds up better today than some of Pickford's other vehicles.




execution, king, love, queen [royalty], singer, Spain, villa