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Maytime Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The third of MGM's profitable Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy songfests, Maytime opens in the early 20th century, with a young girl arguing with her boyfriend over her wishes to become an opera singer. The girl's neighbor, a lonely old woman whom we gradually recognize as a convincingly "aged" Jeanette MacDonald, tells the girl of her own career in opera. The old lady was once the radiant young diva Marcia Mornay. In 1868 she was the toast of Europe, thanks to the tutelage of her voice instructor Nikolai Nazarov (John Barrymore). He proposes marriage, and Marcia accepts, more out of gratitude than love. In a euphoric pre-nuptial state, Marcia finds herself on Paris' Left Bank, where she meets handsome café crooner Paul Allison (Nelson Eddy). They meet again at a lavish Maytime festival, falling in love (to the accompaniment of Sigmund Romberg's most dazzling duets) in the process. Sadly, Marcia returns to Nazarov, while Paul goes off to America to lick his wounds. Seven years later, Marcia, making her New York debut in a fictional opera based on the works of Tchaikovsky, finds that the leading baritone is none other than Paul. Unable to envision life without her new love, Marcia begs Nazarov for a divorce. He smiles slyly and promises to give her her freedom-whereupon he heads to Paul's apartment and kills the poor fellow. The flashback done, Marcia advises her pretty young neighbor that one can never have both love and a career. Out of tragedy grows the happy ending, in which the spirit of the now-deceased Marcia is reunited with Paul in a blossom-filled Hereafter. On paper, Maytime may seem to be the ultimate in Hoke, but even in recent revival showings the film never fails to cast its spell over an audience. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:March 26, 1937

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Douglas Shearer Best Sound 1937 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Herbert Stothart Best Score 1937 Nominee

Cast

Jeanette MacDonald
as Marcia Morney/Miss Morrison
Nelson Eddy
as Paul Allison
John Barrymore
as Nicolai Nazaroff
Herman Bing
as August Archipenko
Tom Brown
as Kip Stuart
Lynne Carver
as Barbara Roberts
Rafaela Ottiano
as Ellen
Charles Judels
as Cabby
Paul Porcasi
as Composer Trentini
Sig Rumann
as Fanchon
Walter Kingsford
as Rudyard
Edgar Norton
as Secretary
Anna Demetrio
as Mme. Fanchon
Gus Leonard
as Concierge
Blair Davies
Billy Gilbert
as Drunk in Cafe
Harlan Briggs
as Bearded Director
Iphigenie Castiglioni
as Empress Eugenie
Grace Hayle
Henry Roquemore
as Publicity Man
Charles Requa
as Stage Manager
Helen Parrish
as "Merry Month of May" Singers
Ivan Lebedeff
as Empress' Dinner Companion
Albert Pollet
as Cabbie
Barlowe Borland
as Stage Doorman
Sidney Jarvis
Paul Weigel
as Prompter
Maurice Cass
as Opera House Manager
Oscar Rudolph
Harry Hayden
as Opera Director
Paul Cremonesi
as Opera Critic
Hans Joby
as Doctor
Russell Hicks
as Monsieur Bulliet
Pat Somerset
as Gossiper
Ian Wolfe
as Court Official
Frank Sheridan
as O'Brien, a Director
Fred Graham
Sarah Edwards
Leonid Kinskey
as Student in Bar
Clarence H. Wilson
as Waiter
Howard Hickman
as Opera Director
Belle Mitchell
as Maid
Christian Rub
as Sleeper outside Cafe
Frank O'Connor
as Servant
Claude King
as Noble
Frank Puglia
as Orchestra Conductor
George Davis
as Usher
Guy D'Ennery
as Aide
Bobby Watson
Brandon Hurst
as Master of Ceremonies
Harold Entwistle
as Roues
Adia Kuznetzoff
as Dubrovsky, Czaritza's Minister
Adia Kuznetzoff
as Student in Cafe
Douglas Wood
as Massilon, Hotel Manager
Ben Welden
Alberto Morin
as Student
Mariska Aldrich
as Opera Contralto
Forbes Murray
as Aide

Crew

Robert Z. Leonard
Director
Robert Z. Leonard
Producer
Hunt Stromberg
Producer
Noel Langley
Screenwriter
Oliver Marsh
Cinematographer
Herbert Stothart
Composer (Music Score)
Herbert Stothart
Musical Direction/Supervision
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Frederic Hope
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Set Designer
Adrian
Costume Designer
Val Raset
Choreography
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