An elderly Miss Morrison recounts her life as the once young and beautiful opera singer Marcia Morney-then the toast of Napoleon III's Paris. One evening, she encounters an American voice ... See full summary »
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An elderly Miss Morrison recounts her life as the once young and beautiful opera singer Marcia Morney-then the toast of Napoleon III's Paris. One evening, she encounters an American voice student, Paul Allison, and the two unexpectedly fall in love. Unfortunately for her, she has already accepted the marriage proposal of her mentor, Nicolai Nazaroff-more out of obligation than any feeling of love for him. As a result, she breaks off her relationship with Paul, and reluctantly marries Nicolai. After 7 years of marriage, Nicolai sets up Marcia for an engagement performance in the United States of the opera "Tsaritsa". Nicolai signs up Paul as her leading partner, not knowing of Marcia and Paul's past. When he realizes what he has done, Nicolai becomes enraged with jealousy... Written by
When filming began in 1936 (in color), the original opera finale was also recorded, staged and shot. This was to have been Act II of Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca", one of the few operatic works with major roles for baritone (Scarpia) and soprano as equals (Tosca). It also allowed Jeanette MacDonald to sing the famous aria "Vissi D'arte". By the time shooting recommenced in black and white, this idea was scrapped and replaced with an elaborate fake Russian opera "Czaritza" created by Herbert Stothart to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, presumably to allow for a big Duet (in "Tosca", she murders Scarpia by stabbing him through the heart!). The rewritten story of "Maytime" presumably demanded it. Sadly, the Technicolor "Tosca" sequence does not appear to have survived, which is a pity as it would have been fascinating to see MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in a major operatic sequence and in color. See more »
During the ball scene, Marcia Mornay sings Les filles de Cadiz by Delibes at the command of the Emperor Louis Napoleon. However, the piece was not composed until 1874, whereas Louis reigned from 1852-1870. See more »
Be prepared for tears, no matter how hard your heart!
I usually have great control over my emotions, but was not able to control them in this movie. I had seen some of the lighter Eddy/McDonald films (Rose-Marie, Naughty Marietta), so was not prepared for the emotional depth of this film. Just when you think it is over, it sneaks up on you and all control is gone! I grew up in a family that has loved these films for two generations, but must admit I was not wholeheartedly a part of that tradition. After watching MAYTIME over Christmas, however, I am a convert. The joy of this movie, despite the sadness, is enduring. The ending is a complete surprise, and is what brought tough old me to tears. My sister and mother didn't spoil the ending for me and my partner, and I won't spoil it for you. BUT, be prepared for an ending as good as any you see in this day and age.
My Mom and Sister say they have watched this movie over 100 times. And that they still cry when they watch it. I hope you enjoy it as much as me and my partner did.
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