7.3/10
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44 user 5 critic

Maytime (1937)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 26 March 1937 (USA)
Trailer
4:04 | Trailer
An aging opera singer looks back on her long life, including her relationships with her vocal teacher and a student.

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Rida Johnson Young (operetta), Noel Langley | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeanette MacDonald ... Marcia Mornay
Nelson Eddy ... Paul Allison
John Barrymore ... Nicolai Nazaroff
Herman Bing ... August Archipenko
Tom Brown ... Kip Stuart
Lynne Carver ... Barbara Roberts
Rafaela Ottiano ... Ellen
Charles Judels ... Cabby
Paul Porcasi ... Trentini
Sig Ruman ... Fanchon (as Sig Rumann)
Walter Kingsford ... Mr. Rudyard
Guy Bates Post ... Louis Napoleon
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Storyline

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 Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Singing Sweethearts All the World Adores! (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opera "Tsaritsa" (also spelled "Czaritza") is fictional. However the music is from "Symphony Number 5" by Tchaikovsky. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on the water and on the bark of the trees. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released in Sepia Platinum for Roadshow engagements, this was a process most famously used in the Kansas portions of 'The Wizard of Oz' and the Panama jungle scenes in 'The Sea Hawk' See more »

Connections

Featured in Nelson and Jeanette (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Vive l'Opera
Music by Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by Bob Wright (as Robert Wright) and Chet Forrest (as George Forrest)
Sung by Nelson Eddy and chorus
See more »

User Reviews

 
A great, nearly uncredited MGM debut
16 March 2009 | by eschetic-1See all my reviews

It's fascinating to read in all the well justified praise (and occasional cavil) lavished on the glorious hodge-podge that is MAYTIME, not one word of the great feature film debut at MGM which the film also represented.

Since MAYTIME - first filmed in 1923 in a version more faithful to the original but as a "silent" film, lacking ALL of the original music - was contractually obligated to ONLY credit music to the great Sigmund Romberg (whose original show it had been when it opened on Broadway on August 16, 1917, to play for a then astounding 492 performances with songs the studio did not want to use like "Jump, Jim Crow"), the studio called in their youngest contracted composer/lyricists (then only 21 and earning a mere - but lordly during the Depression - $200 a week), Bob Wright and George (Chet) Forrest, who would be willing to do virtually the entire score (not allowed to actually compose, but adapting public domain material under chief studio composer - and early Oscar Hammerstein collaborator - Herbert Stothart's supervision). Wright and Forrest were relegated to billing only for "Special Lyrics by..." (and not even acknowledged for THAT by the IMDb, although the credits are there on the screen!). The film's "Best Score" Oscar nomination didn't even go to Romberg or supervising composer Stothart, but to Nat W. Finston, the head of the studio's Music Division!

It was years before "The Boys" would break into the public consciousness with stage adaptations of their own like SONG OF NORWAY and KISMET, and their own (always their first choice) original music for shows like KEAN and GRAND HOTEL, but the result on MAYTIME (including their faux Russian opera for the film, drawn from Tschaikowsky's 5th Symphony, translated from their original English into French by another poet not credited by IBDB - in a talk at the New York Sheet Music Society in 1989, Bob Wright said it was U.S. Sigey, but the screen credits say Gilles Guilbert) was a triumph of craft and carefully catering to the strengths of the stars who they were writing for. Witness in particular a couple numbers ("Song of The Carriage" and a number where Eddy proposes to prepare a ham and egg breakfast for MacDonald) crafted for the limited acting range of Nelson Eddy, giving him something to DO while he sang!

LOTS of great Broadway names worked under almost forgotten under-billed capacities (Larry Hart of Rodgers & Hart fame did lyrics for the Maurice Chevalier MERRY WIDOW!), but Wright & Forrest were among the most prolific and best, and MAYTIME was their first major film "credit." It's only a pity (given the high quality of their few surviving original scores) that in the ways of Hollywood, MAYTIME also "typecast" them into adapting other composers' works for the bulk of their careers.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maytime See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (tinted sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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