Princess Marie de Namours de la Bonfain is a beautiful, young, sophisticated French princess of 23, who finds more worth in true love than a title. On the eve of her arranged marriage, to a Spanish-grandee, whom she doesn't love, her maid, Marietta comes to her to say farewell. Marietta is to leave that night on a cargo ship bound for New Orleans where she is to make a new life and find a husband. Princess Marie trades places with Marietta to escape her unwanted marriage and takes on the maid, Marietta's identity. While sailing, the cargo ship is taken hostage by pirates, but, Captain Richard Warrington and his mercenaries soon come to the rescue. Captain Warrington is quickly taken by the beautiful princess aka Marietta and she with him. But, he has no interest in marriage and she's afraid she might be recognized. Meanwhile in France, a search and reward is out for Princess Marie's whereabouts. Princess Marie's Uncle and fiancée soon discover that she is in New Orleans and sail for ... Written by
Several modern sources, including American Film Institute of Feature Films 1931-40, include Marjorie Main in an uncredited role as a casquette girl, based on erroneous information provided by a former film historian. Marjorie Main does not appear in this film in any way, and the actress in question, properly identified in IMDb, is Margaret Bloodgood. See more »
The 17th Century French nuns have plucked eyebrows and wear make-up and lipstick. See more »
Naughty Marietta has earned it place in film history for being the first film to pair the singing duo of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, but it's also a fine example of its particular genre.
A typical variant on the boy-meets-girl theme, this film has a French princess running away from the court of Versailles to the newly- colonized Louisiana, where she meets and falls in love with a mercenary soldier who sings as well he fights. There is an excellent supporting cast including Frank Morgan and Elsa Lanchester, but it is above all a vehicle for the singing talent of Eddy and MacDonald. The script is amusing and at times quite sophisticated and the pair handle it well (MacDonald is a bit ahead of Eddy here, but he makes up for that with his glorious baritone voice). The final duet, Ah Sweet Mystery of Life is one of the great vocal duets in cinema musical history, and only slightly less orgasmic than the "Czaritza" duet in Maytime.
Obviously a vehicle for fans of the Singing Sweethearts, but the film's production values are good, and it should be interesting viewing for any student of cinema's Golden Age.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?