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Wait for Your Laugh

Wait for Your Laugh (2017)

November. 10,2017
| Documentary

The life and career of comedian Rose Marie is documented through interviews with friends and colleagues as well as never-before-seen home movies shot by the actress herself.


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These filmmakers will go places. What a remarkable film. Created in the closing chapter of Rose Marie's life, the Wises unobtrusively mine the memories and memorabilia of this remarkable performer. A singer, a comedian, an actor on radio, stage and screen, Rose Marie's career pretty much covered every aspect of 20th Century entertainment. The film also has the intrigue of the mob, the hilarity of her comedy roles, the tragedy of her husband's death, the pathos of her struggle to keep working as she ages. She is the one who got Morey Amsterdam on the Dick Van Dyke Show. She is the one who launched Tim Conway's career. The movie is obviously about Rose Marie, but also about so much more-how well do we live our lives? How do we reflect back on them from the perspective of old age? How do we cope with struggle and success? Rose Marie believed in her talent. She was a person who forged her own path and followed her gut. I am so glad she did. She deserved far more accolades than she ever got in life. This film is a gorgeously made tribute.Also, be sure to watch the extras.


Most younger people probably have no idea who Rose Marie was. And, with folks who are a bit older, you might remember her from "The Dick Van Dyke Show". But there is so much more to this woman and her incredibly long career. Using mostly interviews with Rose Marie herself as well as her surviving friends in the entertainment world, you learn about her amazing life...starting as a 3-4 year-old singing professionally!! Baby Rose Marie was a big act and folks loved her...and this includes the like of Al Capone and other mobsters! Who else did she know and what else did she do? Watch this fascinating documentary.I think the best thing about this film was its timing. Rose Marie lived long enough to see the film's debut and was, briefly, a Twitter sensation...in her 90s! The DVD has a tacked on message to let you know that Rose Marie recently died...after the debut but just before the DVD release. Overall, it's a terrific and fascinating film from start to finish and is well worth seeing.


Rose Marie, a child star famous before Shirley Temple was born and who outlived her as well, had a surprisingly compelling life and this well-crafted documentary presents it beautifully. What with grabbing the spotlight at 2 years, nine months in a style that knocked audiences on their behinds and being granted her initial moniker of "Baby Rose Marie" by none other than the notorious Evelyn Nesbit to doing voiceover work in her late-eighties and so much in-between she was like a living Rolodex of show business experiences and relationships.Her early life and the key people in it are represented frequently by re-enactors and while I have never been fond of this practice (somehow it tends to give things an "Unsolved Mysteries" or "Rescue 911" vibe...!), they are generally well-handled here and even clever at times with the actors' lips moving to the voices of Rose Marie as she relays the tales in question. Fortunately, as she grows up (and the accessibility of actual footage becomes more available) the reenactments taper off. We see her grow from a dazzling child singer to a charming young vocalist who works steadily in Las Vegas and elsewhere. The presence of gangsters in Las Vegas and in her life is not ignored. She is also called to Broadway, though her shot at the movies is marred by the salacious greed and pettiness of a producer.She meets THE love of her life, the husky but beautiful trumpet player Bobby Guy and her father will have none of it, causing complications that are only partly addressed in this film. Love wins out, though, and they share a glorious couple of decades together until fate steps in. It's telling of her deep adoration for her husband that even after more than fifty years had gone by she could not speak of his passing without becoming touchingly emotional.She put on a brave face for audiences of her sitcoms and games shows and kept on plugging along. Then, she and several other ladies who were considered "washed up" by the pups then in vogue got together and proved them all wrong with a staggeringly successful group act, "4 Girls 4." Seeing that Miss Rose Marie could barely stand to be idle, even when work on TV and the stage sometimes yielded a barrage of headaches from unreliable producers or irritating costars, clues you in to what kept her alive until she was 94, even with her body failing her. She just NEEDED to perform and to win over an audience. This documentary contains beautiful visuals, a compelling format, priceless home movies (including color footage of the cast of "The Dick Van Dyke Show") and entertaining clips, but the real jewel of it is the up close and personal interview footage. It could have been an hour longer and still held attention, she was so heartfelt, charming, poignant and hilarious. Rest in Peace, dear lady.


As well as lovers of the Dick Van Dyke Show--we see the whole cast in color film taken on the set during rehearsals. And if you're interested in how Las Vegas became the neon capital of the world, you'll like the early 8 millimeter color footage of the opening of the Flamingo Hotel, and Rose Marie tells of her relationship with Bugsy Siegel and other mob guys. A well-made documentary that covers her whole nine decade career, including her 20 year marriage to trumpeter Bobby Guy.