A very fragile lace valentine, admittedly, but performed with the conviction and style to make it work. Based on a Sigmund 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 time 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. At a May Day
celebration in 1906, Miss Morrison (MacDonald), an aged woman, meets Kip (Brown), whose fiancee, Barbara (Carver), yearns for a singing career. The elderly woman explains that she was once a famous opera star, and the film flashes back to France, 1865, where Marcia Mornay (MacDonald) accepts a
marriage proposal from Nicolai Nazaroff (Barrymore, very potent here), the architect of her success. Later, she is swept off her feet by Paul Allison (Eddy), a handsome young American singer, but remains true to her promise to marry Nazaroff. Several years pass, and when Marcia and Paul costar in
an American production, their love is rekindled. What advice will Miss Morrison give to Kip and Barbara? Get ready for the umpteenth reprise of "Will You Remember?"
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.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A very fragile lace valentine, admittedly, but performed with the conviction and style to make it work. Based on a Sigmund Romberg-Rida Johnson Young operetta that was so popular that two productions of it ran simultaneously on Broadway in 1917, MAYTIME re… (more)