MAYTIME (1937) B/W 132m dir: Robert Z. Leonard
w/Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, John Barrymore, Herman Bing, Tom Brown, Lynne Carver, Rafaela Ottiano, Charles Judels, Paul Porcasi, Sig Rumann
A lovely romance, told in flashback by MacDonald as an old woman and set in the Paris of 1865, between a prima donna and a baritone. There's more than just terrific music here.
From The Movie Guide: "A very fragile lace valentine, admittedly, but performed with the conviction and style to make it work. Based on a Sigmond Romberg-Rida Johnson Young operetta that was so popular that two productions of it ran simultaneously on Broadway in 1917. MAYTIME returned its $1.5 million price tag five times en route to becoming the 1937 box-office champion. The third Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald pairing, it was also reputedly the actress's personal favorite, because the famed duo had so much more to do than sing and were finally able to prove their depth as actors. ...
"Perhaps MAYTIME's most intriguing sidelight is the faked opera 'Czaritza,' written from Tchaikovsky music with French lyrics by Giles Guilbert, created in the tradition of such other great phony movie operas as CITIZEN KANE's 'Salammbo,' and CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA's 'Carnival.' The staging is surprisingly intense, as is the entire film."