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New Moon Reviews

Although filled with music from fade-in to fade-out, NEW MOON leaves much to be desired in many departments, especially its plot, which is highly derivative of 1935's NAUGHTY MARIETTA. In 1788, Marianne de Beaumanoir (MacDonald) sails from France to New Orleans to take over a plantation left her by a late uncle. On board the ship is a horde of indentured servants, including Charles, the Duc de Villiers (Eddy), who has hidden his noble identity to escape the wrath of the king. Before long Charles has mightily impressed Marianne with his courtly ways, and when the evil Vicomte Ribaud (George Zucco) reveals the duke's identity, Charles leads a slave escape, aided by Marianne. Later, Charles and his followers, who have become pirates, waylay the New Moon, the ship that is carrying 100 brides to Martinique and Marianne back to France. Marianne is enamored of Charles, the brides like the crew, they all establish a new island, and all ends happily. The plentiful songs, pleasant enough on their own, have little to do with the plot, which drags along under the wholly uninspired direction of Robert Z. Leonard. Although given prominent billing, the great Buster Keaton is barely visible, while Warren Rock, MacDonald's brother-in-law, and Mickey Rooney's father, Joe Yule, contribute bits. Songs include: "Dance Your Cares Away" (Sigmund Romberg, sung by chorus), "Stranger in Paris" (Romberg, sung by Jeanette MacDonald), "The Way They Do It in Paris" (Romberg, sung by MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, chorus), "Lover Come Back" (Romberg, Oscar Hammerstein II, sung by MacDonald, Eddy, reprise by MacDonald), "Shoes" (Romberg, sung by Eddy), "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" (Romberg, Hammerstein, sung by Eddy), "One Kiss" (Romberg, Hammerstein, sung by MacDonald), "Troubles of the World," "No More Weeping," "Wailing" (traditional songs, sung by chorus), "Wanting You," (Romberg, Hammerstein, sung by Eddy, MacDonald), "Stout Hearted Men" (Romberg, Hammerstein, sung by Eddy, chorus), "Ombre Ma Fui" (George Frederic Handel), "Marianne" (Romberg, Hammerstein, sung by Eddy, MacDonald, chorus), "The Marseillaise" (Claude Rouget de Lisle, sung by chorus), "Bayou Trouble Tree" (Hebert Stothart, D. Jones).