With their splendid voices, matinee-idol looks, vivacity (she) and stoutheartedness (he), Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy were America's Singing Sweethearts. Naughty Marietta is their first film together, a blithe tale of a French princess who arrives incognito in colonial New Orleans and falls into the manly arms of a captain with one terrific baritone.
The soaring Victor Herbert melodies -- including "Ah Sweet Mystery of Life" and "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp" -- became forever identified with the stars. This 1935 Best Picture Academy Award nominee and Oscar winner for Best Sound Recording remains a Hollywood milestone.
NAUGHTY MARIETTA was the first of nine films to pair Jeanette MacDonald with then unknown baritone Nelson Eddy, and the result was nothing less than magnificent, with the scenes in which they woo each other in song rivaling those of any musical love story from the 1930s. Their fine voices, combined with the plush sets of this opulent studio period piece, turn Victor Herbert's soulful operetta into a fine film. MacDonald plays a French princess who has been promised to an elderly nobleman. Determined to escape her horrid fate, MacDonald trades places with her maid and scurries off on a boat headed for the new world. En route to Louisiana, the boat is taken by pirates, then rescued by Captain Richard Warrington (Nelson Eddy). From here on out, the captain and the princess must escape the scourings of the French king, who yearns to drag MacDonald back to her doddering fiancÚ. The film won the Oscar for best sound recording, and the soundtrack includes the popular tune "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life," among numerous other songs.
In this operetta that teams MacDonald and Eddy for the first time, a French princess runs off to America and falls in love with an Indian scout. Songs include "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life" and "Italian Street Song." Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Picture. Academy Awards: Best Sound Recording.
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