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Maytime Details


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


Awarded by
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


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
Belle Mitchell
as Maid
Sarah Edwards
Paul Weigel
as Prompter
Oscar Rudolph
Billy Gilbert
as Drunk in Cafe
Grace Hayle
Gus Leonard
as Concierge
Christian Rub
as Sleeper outside Cafe
Frank Puglia
as Orchestra Conductor
Ivan Lebedeff
as Empress' Dinner Companion
Harry Hayden
as Opera Director
Blair Davies
Bobby Watson
Brandon Hurst
as Master of Ceremonies
Douglas Wood
as Massilon, Hotel Manager
Alberto Morin
as Student
Helen Parrish
as "Merry Month of May" Singers
Howard Hickman
as Opera Director
Albert Pollet
as Cabbie
Sidney Jarvis
Adia Kuznetzoff
as Dubrovsky, Czaritza's Minister
Adia Kuznetzoff
as Student in Cafe
Forbes Murray
as Aide
Henry Roquemore
as Publicity Man
Frank Sheridan
as O'Brien, a Director
Barlowe Borland
as Stage Doorman
Maurice Cass
as Opera House Manager
Iphigenie Castiglioni
as Empress Eugenie
Paul Cremonesi
as Opera Critic
Ian Wolfe
as Court Official
Leonid Kinskey
as Student in Bar
Frank O'Connor
as Servant
George Davis
as Usher
Clarence H. Wilson
as Waiter
Guy D'Ennery
as Aide
Claude King
as Noble
Harold Entwistle
as Roues
Ben Welden
Mariska Aldrich
as Opera Contralto
Charles Requa
as Stage Manager
Hans Joby
as Doctor
Russell Hicks
as Monsieur Bulliet
Pat Somerset
as Gossiper
Fred Graham
Harlan Briggs
as Bearded Director


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