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Gypsy (1993 film)

Promotional poster
Directed by Emile Ardolino
Produced by Emile Ardolino
Cindy Gilmore
Craig Zadan
Neil Meron
Bonnie Bruckheimer
Screenplay by Arthur Laurents
Based on Gypsy: A Musical Fable 
by Arthur Laurents
Starring Bette Midler
Cynthia Gibb
Peter Riegert
Jennifer Rae Beck
Edward Asner
Music by Jule Styne (Score)
Stephen Sondheim (Lyrics)
Cinematography Ralf Bode
Edited by William H. Reynolds
L. James Langlois
Distributed by CBS
Release dates December 12, 1993 (1993-12-12)
Running time 142 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Gypsy is a 1993 American musical television film directed by Emile Ardolino. The teleplay by Arthur Laurents is an adaptation of his book of the 1959 stage musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable, which was based on Gypsy: A Memoir by Gypsy Rose Lee.[1]

The film was broadcast by CBS on December 12, 1993 and then released in theaters in foreign markets. It has been released to home video multiple times.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Musical numbers 3
  • Production 4
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • Home Video 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Determined to make her young, blonde, and beautiful daughter, June, a vaudeville headliner, willful, resourceful, domineering stage mother Rose Hovick will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. She drags June and her shy, awkward, and decidedly less-talented older sister, Louise, around the country in an effort to get them noticed, and with the assistance of agent Herbie Sommers, she manages to secure them bookings on the prestigious Orpheum Circuit.

Years pass, and the girls no longer are young enough to pull off the childlike personae their mother insists they continue to project. June rebels and elopes with Tulsa, one of the dancers who backs the act. Devastated by what she considers an act of betrayal, Rose pours all her energies into making a success of Louise, despite the young woman's obvious lack of singing and dancing skills. Not helping matters is the increasing popularity of sound films, which leads to a decline in the demand for stage entertainment. With bookings scarce, mother and daughter find themselves in Wichita, Kansas, where the owner of a third-rate burlesque house offers Louise a job.

When one of the strippers is arrested for shoplifting, Louise unwillingly becomes her replacement. At first, her voice is shaky and her moves tentative at best, but as audiences respond to her, she begins to gain confidence in herself. She blossoms as an entertainer billed as Gypsy Rose Lee, and eventually reaches a point where she tires of her mother's constant interference in both her life and wildly successful career. Louise confronts Rose and demands she leave her alone. Finally aware she has spent her life enslaved by a desperate need to be noticed, an angry, bitter, and bewildered Rose stumbles onto the empty stage of the deserted theater and experiences a moment of truth that leads to an emotional breakdown followed by a reconciliation with Louise.


Musical numbers

  1. "Let Me Entertain You" - Baby June, Baby Louise
  2. "Some People" - Rose
  3. "Small World" - Rose and Herbie
  4. "Baby June and Her Newsboys" - Baby June, Baby Louise, Chorus
  5. "Mr. Goldstone" - Rose, Herbie, Chorus
  6. "Little Lamb" - Louise
  7. "You'll Never Get Away from Me" - Rose, Herbie
  8. "Dainty June and Her Farmboys" - June, Louise, Chorus
  9. "If Momma Was Married" - June, Louise
  10. "All I Need is the Girl" - Tulsa
  11. "Everything's Coming Up Roses" - Rose
  12. "Together, Wherever We Go" - Rose, Herbie, Louise
  13. "You Gotta Get a Gimmick" - Tessie Tura, Miss Mazeppa, Miss Electra
  14. "Small World" (reprise) - Rose
  15. "Let Me Entertain You" - Louise
  16. "Rose's Turn" - Rose


The film features a score with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and reuses the original orchestrations by Sid Ramin and Robert Ginzler. The musical numbers were choreographed by Jerome Robbins, who directed and choreographed the original Broadway production. Bob Mackie designed the costumes.

Awards and nominations

Midler won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film. Gibb was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film and the production was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film.

The film was nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for Midler, and won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Direction (Michael Rafter).

Ardolino was nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Specials.

Home Video

It was released on videotape and laserdisc by RHI Entertainment in 1994 and on DVD by Pioneer Entertainment in 2000 and Lionsgate Home Entertainment in 2005. In recent years, the film has also been released to several digital download and streaming outlets such as Amazon and iTunes. On March 12, 2013, after several years of unavailability, Mill Creek Entertainment reissued the film on DVD in a double-feature set with the 2001 television remake of South Pacific.


  1. ^ "They're Coming Up Roses : Bette Midler headlines a new movie version of 'Gypsy,' a rare exact replication of a Broadway show. Therein lies a tale of tenacity, good timing and star power that Mama Rose herself would have appreciated - Page 2 - Los Angeles Times". 1993-12-05. Retrieved 2012-06-10. 

External links

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