Photo Gift from
The Perfect Movie!
Photo Gift from
(C)2005 All material is
protected and is not to be duplicated
in any form or by any
means without the author's
Exclusive for the JMFC Website
Maytime, The Perfect Movie!
From 1935 to
1942 the world was treated to eight Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
movies. Where Naughty Marietta and Rose Marie introduced the romantic acting
team to the world, their third picture, Maytime, established their artistic
talents, charms, and fabulous looks as Hollywood’s consummate, all-time,
screen magical lovers.
Great artists in their own
right, in 1937 MGM reunited Jeanette and Nelson again, hoping they could
cash in on their great success. However, this wasn’t the case when Irving
Thalberg started filming the first version of Maytime. Thalberg had an
entirely different story, dark and depressing, and one which Jeanette was
not happy with it. She knew that Nelson’s and her creative talents were
being misused. Upon Thalberg’s death, MGM started over from scratch with a
new version, a romantic story of two lovers (Marcia Mornay/Miss Morrison and
Paul Allison) who live their lives holding onto one kiss—a kiss which would
overcome the dark barrier placed in their path. In typical Hollywood style,
the lovers live happily ever after to the roaring delight of the moviegoing
audience. It became the crown jewel for the Silver Screen’s greatest
fairytale and romantic acting team, winning them the title of Hollywood’s
“Sweethearts”, one which lives on to this day.
A motion picture of
unsurpassable artistic perfection, the main role is the world of opera, and
Jeanette and Nelson are characters playing out parts in this dramatic
musical work. We are treated to three beautiful romantic scenes, culminating
in the magical, classic Garden Walk. Through the art of cinematography,
forever our two lovers shall always walk down the garden path, as their
voices sing directly to our hearts, and into the annals of motion picture
history. Seven decades later Jeanette and Nelson fans still wipe the tears
from their eyes as their two Sweethearts find their way back into each
MGM’s blending of Jeanette,
Nelson, the beautiful songs, a montage of arias, and Stothart’s adaptation
from Piotr Ilyich Tchaikosky’s Fifth Symphony (used to create the opera
Czaritza in the movie), all lend to make this Silver Screen box office smash
hit The Classic Love Story. Living up to her star billing as the Queen of
Hollywood, Jeanette once again thrills the world with her classic beauty.
She was a star with a million looks, each one a masterpiece. Her presence on
the screen was larger than life, larger than movies, larger than Hollywood!
Looking at her gorgeous sea-green eyes was like staring at two twinkling
stars in the celestial firmament.
It is clear why Jeanette
MacDonald movies—be it the Merry Widow, San Francisco, The Firefly, or the
eight movies she acted in with Nelson, were box office hits—they starred
Jeanette. Moviegoers flocked to see the dazzling and dynamic superstar on
the big screen, finding it impossible to take their eyes off of her—for she
was truly magnetic. Jeanette was the quintessence of elegance and demure
charm—the ne plus ultra. With just a bat of her eye she captivated,
captured, and conquered one’s heart. It is no wonder all of her leading men
were enthralled with her; Jeanette’s sparkling personality made a man feel
like a King.
Maytime (132 minutes long) is
filled with one fabulous scene after another, some funny, some tragic, and
then there are the three great romantic scenes. The first is where Marcia
and Paul profess their love to each other at the May Festival in the heart
rendering love song, Will You Remember. It is classic Jeanette/Nelson magic.
He is dashing, and she is delicate and luscious! Sensitive to her heart
breaking, she stares into his eyes, wishing the moment will never end.
Singing their hearts’ love to each other, the audience’s hearts beat wildly
as their lips passionately kiss.
It is true Clark Gable, Maurice
Chevalier, Alan Jones, and her other leading men had kissed other leading
ladies in other films, but they were pale in comparison to a Jeanette kiss.
And this was the same with Nelson in Maytime. Yes, one kiss did last them
all of their lives in Maytime, but that one kiss was so stupendous that
seven decades later the passion of it is still felt. They brought to the
Silver Screen a romance that was so beautiful, so perfect, and so
believable. It is no small wonder the world fell in love with them, and
would always see them on the screen as the perfect love, the perfect
romance, as Sweethearts to their last breath.
Adding to this great
romantic masterpiece is the Czaritza Kiss! In the movie a Russian opera is
composed for Marcia Mornay by the Italian composer Trentini. The stage is
cleared and the two lovers sing to the dramatic and stirring romantic music
of Tchaikovsky. Marcia and Paul pour out their passion for us like no other
film actors could ever do. Singing as one heart, desperately in love with
each other, we are thrilled to one of the all time rare film moments—the
perfect love scene. Jeanette is ravishing in her Czarina gown and a
kokoshnik, (a crescent-shaped Russian headdress, adorned with gold and pearl
embroidery, and gemstones). Nelson, our defiant heroic patriot who has dared
to challenge the Russian Empire, holds the Czarina in his arms as she
caresses his golden hair. Standing in the wings is Nicolai Nazaroff
(Marcia’s husband, played by John Barrymore) who glares in a furious rage,
hating himself for unknowingly reuniting his wife with the man she loves.
The music builds to a crescendo as the two opera stars’ lips join, but it is
Marcia and Paul’s lips that are kissing for ten riveting seconds. The
ecstatic audience bursts into applause as the two lovers embrace.
Movies become classics for
many reasons. For Maytime, it was the great acting and singing talents of
Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy that made this motion picture a true
classic. Unfortunately they were never given the proper credit for their
acting. The reason was that they appeared so natural on the screen which
made the movie so believable. In over a hundred years of moviemaking, no
other actors have ever been able to duplicate their magic on the silver
Fans love to fantasize about their
favorite stars, and many times put them on a pedestal. In Jeanette and
Nelson’s case, they were placed at the top of the world. Because of movie
stars enormous success, the line between moviemaking and real life tend to
become blurred. This was never more apparent than with Jeanette and Nelson.
Fans who fell in love with the couple on the screen, wished that their
fairytale acting team would be romantically involved in real life too. In a
sense, this wish of the millions of moviegoers who wanted them to be
romantically linked in real life only pays tribute to how great actors they
were. But then, when a motion picture has the two greatest film singers, who
are also beautiful and handsome, and a magnificent story—the end product is
cinema magic, and people always wish a beautiful story to live on forever.
For those who have seen
Maytime, they certainly understand this cinematic magic. For those who have
not yet seen it, what a wonderful experience awaits them. Never again will
they look at romance in the movies in the same way, for they have seen the
very best the Silver Screen has to offer—they have seen Maytime, The Perfect