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 »
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
The plot of the stage "Maytime" is completely different from the one used in the film, and only one song from the stage production ("Will You Remember?") was retained for the film. 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 »
For their third screen teaming MGM gave Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy the old Sigmund Romberg-Rida Johnson Young operetta Maytime which was originally on Broadway in 1919. They kept the libretto, but scrapped the entire score except for the famous Will You Remember duet which became one of Jeanette and Nelson's most beloved songs. In its place were some operatic arias and some public domain standards like Carry Me Back to Old Virginia and La Marsellaise. This served to make the musical part of the film tilted far more to Jeanette than Nelson.
But the plot is one of the most romantic. The film opens with a heavily made up Jeanette living as an old maid in some small town. Both the neighbor's daughter and her sweetheart confide in her. The daughter has been given a chance to study music, but that would mean uprooting herself and going abroad. The boyfriend is in love and wants to marry her.
Jeanette sighs and tells the daughter about her life that at one time she was a famous opera singer who's been living in obscurity by choice because she chose a career over true love. Of course we all know who her true love is. But she marries her manager John Barrymore and in the end Jeanette has cause to regret.
The movie's message about marrying for love is an odd one indeed to come out of Hollywood. That's one place where a whole lot of people including the two stars of this film sacrificed a lot of personal happiness for careers.
Actually in another film a year later, Jeanette and Nelson were a happily married singing team in Sweethearts. I guess the idea is you should marry for love, but if you're a singer hope your spouse can carry a tune.
Will You Remember got a second go around in the Sigmund Romberg biographical film Deep In My Heart with Vic Damone and Jane Powell doing the honors. But it's not half as good as when Nelson and Jeanette sing it.
John Barrymore turns in a fine performance as the rather tightly wrapped manager of MacDonald. For a man who was brought up in the bravura tradition of Victorian stage acting, Barrymore was capable of great subtlety in his screen roles. Watch his facial expressions, they tell you far more than any dialog will. Of course he out acts the two leads.
The other supporting performance of note is Herman Bing as Nelson Eddy's sidekick/music teacher. Maybe if Jeanette had studied with him things would have turned out better.
When the flashback sequence opens Jeanette and Barrymore are going to a palace ball where she sings for Emperor Louis Napoleon, Les Filles Des Cadiz. That sequence was later seen in Jeanette's later starring film Cairo where she plays a movie star stranded in Cairo. It was a most requested item in later concert performances.
For romantics at heart and of all ages Maytime is a must see film for you.
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