Maytime (1937): Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy Third Film

The third of MGM’s popular screen lovers, Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy film, “Maytime” unfolds in one long flashback, begins in the early 20th century.

A young girl argues with her boyfriend, because she wishes to become an opera singer. The girl’s neighbor, a lonely old woman (Jeanette MacDonald in heavy makeup), then tells the girl of her own career in opera.

The old lady was once the radiant diva Marcia Mornay, and the toast of Europe, due to training from her voice instructor Nikolai Nazarov (John Barrymore). He proposes marriage, and Marcia accepts out of gratitude, if not love.

In Paris, Marcia meets a handsome café singer, Paul Allison (Nelson Eddy), and then again encounters him at a Maytime festival. They fall in love, but Marcia returns to Nazarov, while Paul goes off to America.

Seven years later, Marcia, making her New York debut in an opera based on Tchaikovsky, she realizes that the baritone is Paul. Marcia begs Nazarov for a divorce, but he kills Paul at his own place.

Back in the present, Marcia tells her young neighbor that she cannot have both love and a career. In the happy ending, the spirit of the deceased Marcia is reunited with Paul in heaven.


Oscar Nominations: 2

Sound Recording: Douglas Shearer

Score: Herbert Stothart


Oscar Awards:

The Sound Oscar went to Thomas Moulton for The Hurricane.  Charles Previn  won the Score Oscar for One Hundred Men and a Girl.


Directed by Robert Z. Leonard
Written by Noel Langley