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Maytime (1937 film)

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Director  Robert Z. Leonard
Budget  2.126 million USD
Country  United States
7.5/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Musical, Romance
Language  English
Maytime (1937 film) movie poster
Release date  March 26, 1937 (1937-03-26)
Based on  Maytime 1917 operetta  by Rida Johnson Young
Writer  Rida Johnson Young (operetta), Noel Langley, Rida Johnson Young (play)
Music director  Herbert Stothart, Edward Ward
Cast  Jeanette MacDonald (Marcia Mornay), Nelson Eddy (Paul Allison), John Barrymore (Nicolai Nazaroff), Herman Bing (August Archipenko), Tom Brown (Kip Stuart), Lynne Carver (Barbara Roberts)
Similar movies  Otello, Toy Story, Looper, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Z for Zachariah
Tagline  Forbidden Love...Fatal Consequences


Maytime is a 1937 American musical romantic drama film produced by MGM. It was directed by Robert Z. Leonard and stars Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. The screenplay was rewritten from the book for Sigmund Romberg's 1917 operetta Maytime by Rida Johnson Young, Romberg's librettist; however, only one musical number by Romberg was retained.


Maytime (1937 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters394p394pv

The film's storyline greatly resembles that of Noël Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet, right down to the "frame story" surrounding the main plot. Three years later, MGM filmed a Technicolor version of Bitter Sweet, but altered the plot slightly so that audiences would not notice the similarities.

Maytime (1937 film) Maytime 1937 film Wikipedia


Maytime (1937 film) Maytime 1937 film Alchetron The Free Social Encyclopedia

At a small town May Day celebration, elderly Miss Morrison (Jeanette MacDonald) tries to console her young friend Kip (Tom Brown), whose sweetheart Barbara (Lynne Carver) has been offered a job on the operatic stage. Later, Barbara goes for comfort to Miss Morrison, who reveals that years ago she was the internationally famous opera diva Marcia Mornay. Miss Morrison then relates her story: Marcia, a young American singer in Paris, is guided to success by famed but stern voice teacher Nicolai Nazaroff (John Barrymore), who introduces her at the court of Louis Napoleon.

Maytime (1937 film) Old Hollywood Films Maytime

That night, Nicolai proposes to Marcia and she accepts, even though they both know that she is not in love with him. Later, feeling restless, Marcia takes a ride, and is stranded in the Latin Quarter when her driver's horse runs away. In a tavern, she meets American student Paul Allison (Nelson Eddy), who is also a singer, but not as ambitious as Marcia. Though they are attracted to each other, she at first refuses to see him again out of loyalty to Nicolai, but soon promises to lunch with him the next day. They enjoy their lunch together, but Marcia again says that they can no longer see each other and leaves. Paul then steals tickets to see her perform in the opera Les Huguenots that evening, and after he is thrown out of his seat by the manager, he goes to her dressing room and only leaves when she promises to join him at St. Cloud for a May Day celebration. During the celebration, Paul tells her he loves her, but she says that she owes Nicolai too much and could never break a promise to him. They then part after vowing always to remember their day together.

Maytime (1937 film) Old Hollywood Films Maytime

Seven years later, Marcia, who has married Nicolai, has become the toast of the operatic world, but upon her triumphant return to America, she realizes that her life is hollow. Though faithful and devoted to Nicolai, her lack of passion for him has made them both unhappy. In New York, Nicolai arranges for Marcia to sing 'Czaritza' (a fictional opera with music from Tchaikovsky's Symphony Number 5), co-starring with Paul, who has become a baritone of some note. Nicolai does not realize that she is still in love with Paul. At rehearsal, they act at first as if they have never met before, but Nicolai begins to suspect the truth when Archipenco (Herman Bing), Paul's singing teacher, talks about meeting Marcia in Paris many years before. Nicolai then recognizes Paul as the young man who left Marcia's dressing room after the performance of Les Huguenots .

On a brilliant opening night, Nicolai becomes jealous over the obvious emotion in Paul and Marcia's onstage love scenes, but doesn't know that they plan to run away together. Later, at their hotel, when Nicolai questions Marcia, she asks for her freedom, which he promises to give. Marcia soon discovers, however, that Nicolai has gone after Paul with a gun. At Paul's apartment, Nicolai shoots him just as Marcia arrives. Paul then dies in her arms, telling her that memories of their May Day together did last him all his life. It is presumed that Nicolai will be arrested for Paul's killing.

Maytime (1937 film) MAYTIME 1937 In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood

At the conclusion of her story, Miss Morrison helps Barbara realize that she and Kip belong together. As she watches the young lovers embrace, Miss Morrison quietly dies. Her spirit is finally united with her own sweetheart in death.


Maytime (1937 film) NitrateVillecom View topic Surviving elements from the first
  • Jeanette MacDonald as Marcia Mornay/Miss Morrison
  • Nelson Eddy as Paul Allison
  • John Barrymore as Nicolai Nazaroff
  • Herman Bing as August Archipenco
  • Tom Brown as Kip Stuart
  • Lynne Carver as Barbara Roberts
  • Rafaela Ottiano as Ellen
  • Charles Judels as Cabby
  • Paul Porcasi as Trentini
  • Sig Ruman as Fanchon (as Sig Rumann)
  • Walter Kingsford as Mr. Rudyard
  • Guy Bates Post as Louis Napoleon
  • Awards and honors

    The film was nominated for two Academy Awards.

  • Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring (nominated)
  • Academy Award for Best Sound, Recording (Douglas Shearer) (nominated)

  • The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

  • 2006: AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals – Nominated
  • Soundtrack

  • "Now It's the Month of Maying"
  • Music by Thomas Morley ("Now Is the Month of Maying"), plus English traditional "Sumer is icumen in", arranged by Sigmund Romberg
  • Sung by chorus
  • "Will You Remember (Sweetheart)?"
  • Music by Sigmund Romberg
  • Lyrics by Rida Johnson Young
  • Sung by Nelson Eddy
  • "Plantons da Vigne"
  • Sung by Nelson Eddy
  • "Vive l'Opera"
  • Music by Herbert Stothart
  • Lyrics by Bob Wright (as Robert Wright) and Chet Forrest (as George Forrest)
  • Sung by Nelson Eddy and chorus
  • "Ham and Eggs"
  • Music by Herbert Stothart
  • Lyrics by Bob Wright (as Robert Wright) and Chet Forrest (as George Forrest)
  • Sung by Nelson Eddy and chorus
  • "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny"
  • Written by James Allen Bland
  • Sung by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald
  • "Santa Lucia"
  • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy and an uncredited singer
  • "Czaritza"
  • (based on Symphony No. 5)
  • Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy and chorus
  • "Les filles de Cadix"
  • Written by Léo Delibes
  • Lyrics by Alfred de Musset
  • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald
  • "Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse"
  • Written by Robert Planquette
  • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and chorus
  • "Nobles seigneur, salut"
  • from the opera Les Huguenots
  • Written by Giacomo Meyerbeer
  • Libretto by Eugène Scribe
  • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and chorus
  • "Cavatine du Page "Une dame, noble et sage"
  • from the opera Les Huguenots Act 1
  • Written by Giacomo Meyerbeer
  • Librette by Eugène Scribe
  • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and chorus
  • Lucia di Lammermoor
  • Written by Gaetano Donizetti
  • William Tell
  • Written by Gioachino Rossini
  • Tannhäuser
  • Written by Richard Wagner
  • Tristan und Isolde
  • Written by Richard Wagner
  • Faust
  • Written by Charles Gounod
  • References

    Maytime (1937 film) Wikipedia
    Maytime (1937 film) IMDbMaytime (1937 film)