New Moon (1940): Starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald

Starring the team of Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald at the height of their popularity, New Moon, directed by Robert Z. Leonard,  is the second version of the Sigmund Romberg operetta, formerly made in 1930 with Lawrence Tibbett and Grace Moore.

Set in 18th century Louisiana, the tale depicts the relationship between plantation owner Marianne de Beaumanoir (MacDonald) and her handsome bondservant Charles (Eddy), who’s actually a French nobleman in disguise, leading his fellow bondsman in revolt.

In one of his adventures, he captures a vessel carrying Marianne and a cargo of mail-order brides. Though the bondsmen and the brides get along, the romance between Marianne and Charles is predictably rife with tension. Things change on all fronts when the French Revolution comes along.

The film is lavishly produced in terms of sets, costumes, and extras.  The glorious Romberg musical score includes such favorites as “One Kiss”, “Stout-Hearted Men” and “Lover Come Back to Me.”

Curio Item

Comedian Buster Keaton, whose supporting role was cut from the final release print of New Moon, can still be glimpsed among the bondsmen.