First off: hats off to Rosalind Russell, an excellent Mama Rose. Miss Russell portrays Rose as the ruthless but lovable dominating stage mother that she is. She gives an marvelous performance as Rose. Though there is controversy on whether her vocals were dubbed by another performer (a rumor which Russell vehemently denied until her death), who really cares? Even if it isn't her singing, you can clearly see her put in emotion into whatever song she is belting(or lip-synching).
Karl Malden, as the bumbling Herbie, Rose's boyfriend and manager for her two daughters, Louise and June, gives his all. He is extremely believable in his role, as well as comfortable. Though unfortunately most of his singing scenes were cut for the final movie, they can still be seen in two additional bonus tracks that were cut from the final product. His talents as a vocalist are clearly displayed, along with his happy-go-lucky stage presence.
The last true musical charmer in this movie is that of the character of Tulsa, who gave a charming and whimsical performance in the song and dance splendor of "All I Need Is The Girl". I became a true fan of this number after seeing him flit across the screen.
Though these few people bring a great musical quality to this movie, not much can be said for the others in it. Natalie Wood, who plays Louise, the awkward teenager who ends up becoming the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, definitely made her evolution believable. Though her acting was fantastic, I can't say the same for her singing abilities. Let's just say that I finally realized why someone dubbed her vocals for "West Side Story". "Gotta Get a Gimmick", possibly one of the best showstoppers I've seen on stage (about three strippers that give Louise tips on how to become a stripper), was pathetic on screen. There was more shouting than singing, and I kept counting the seconds until the end of the number so I could pretend it never happened. June was somewhat talented as a singer, but didn't give much of a performance.
Though most of the acting was splendid, the music was not. I have to give this one a 3 for the movie overall, but a 4 for the acting.