Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »
Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
Bob Gordon is staging a new Broadway Show, but he is short of money. He gets an offer of money by the young widow Lillian, if she can dance in his new show. Bert Keeler, a newspaper man, ... See full summary »
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
Reportedly, some controversy arose over the inclusion of the song "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life" in the film because it was known by many to be the theme song of Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary. See more »
The 17th Century French nuns have plucked eyebrows and wear make-up and lipstick. See more »
[after rescuing the Casquette girls]
Alright, boys. Turn away and grit your teeth; that's contraband.
See more »
This is just a flat out good movie! Maybe I should say a GREAT movie. Although I've been a fan over the past few decades of many films and performers of the 1930s--including the amazing dancing team of (who else?) Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers--until yesterday I'd never seen a film featuring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. Then, by chance a couple of weeks ago, I heard some singing by Eddy and started checking his and Jeanette's work on Youtube.
This led me to many scenes and songs on good old Youtube. The singing was, well, fabulous, and the chemistry between the stars was kinetic, but I figured that, outside of the songs themselves, the movies would probably be syrupy sweet and impossibly dated. That seemed to be the buzz, and otherwise, why weren't they more popular with today's audiences. Still, I had to see a whole film after those tantalizing Youtube scenes.
Still, actually finding their films isn't all that easy. There is nothing much on Netflix and few videos of any kind seem to be currently in print. Still, I managed to track down and buy a DVD of 'Naughty Marietta' from an independent outlet--and was amazed at how good it was, and not just the songs!
It has a compelling plot, a whole variety of settings going up and down the social ladder from posh Louis XV Paris to the bayous of the rugged Louisiana frontier. It also features some appealing comic moments from MGM's team of crack character actors. Frank Morgan (later the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz) particularly stands out as the likably incompetent governor of French colonial New Orleans.
And even in their non-singing scenes, the chemistry between the two stars remains electric. I somehow hadn't realized, at least until my Youtube explorations, that Jeanette MacDonald was drop-dead gorgeous--but she was. She also had a great deal of vivacity and charm-- and, boy, could she sing. Eddy's acting has been criticized, and maybe he didn't have tremendous emotional range, but he does have a real presence on the screen along with that electric connection with Jeanette. And when he sings, his voice acts for him! Moreover, as a singer, he's even better than Jeanette.
All in all, the effect is remarkable and one can see why these movies were so immensely popular in their own time. Moreover, overall, I'd rate the non-musical elements of Naughty Marietta (plot, dialog, characterization, acting, setting, thematic development) as superior to most or all of the non-musical moments of Astaire-Rogers, although their movies are, of course, far better known today. In Astaire-Rogers one is often wishing they'll get through this silly scene of dialog and get to the next dance, but that doesn't happen in Naughty Marietta, where the songs seem to grow organically out of the intriguing dramatic situations.
I'm going to track down more films in the Eddy-MacDonald series. This one certainly far exceeded my expectations!
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