When people say "they don't make 'em like they used to" - Maytime is most likely the film they are referring to. I really can't imagine this film being made today using the same type of 1930's conventions and be anything but a groan-inducer to modern audiences.
Yet I found this flick most satisfying *sniff sniff* Pass the tissue for cry please *thanks*
A spinster (Jeanette MacDonald) espies her young neighbor quarraling with her boyfriend. It seems the young girl shows promise to become an opera singer if only she moves away to New York for advanced vocal training. The boyfriend has his own selfish plans for her - namely being a wife - so moving away to New York not an option *boo hiss*
The spinster consoles the crying young lady and she proceeds to tell her own tale of LOVE crossed with AMBITION...
- queue flashback -
It seems the spinster was once a famous opera singer too - the great Marcia Mornay - who at the time was betrothed to her stern, yet very competent mentor/manager Nicolai Nazaroff (John Barrymore). One evening, Marcia Mornay is out riding (for a breath of cool air) when the horse suddenly bolts loose of her carriage. She is conveniently stranded, though, in front to a beer hall filled with the sound of raucous singing. Intrigued...Marsha enters the establishment and sees that the singing is being led by one Paul Allison (Nelson Eddy) a penniless opera student...and so the love triangle is established!
Not only is this a treat for classic fans but for music lovers too. The selection of songs in this one is varied enough and is just a wonderful showcase of the vocal talents of both MacDonald and Eddy. I haven't seen all of the Jeannette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy films yet -but this one is becoming an early favorite...MGM spared no expenses with this one - the production values are quite high...and the lavish costumes that Jeannette wears - magnificent!!!
...and did I mention that nobody, but nobody can smolder like John Barrymore? He gives the mother-of-all-smolders in this one...
So just this once - leave your modern conventions behind please- and enjoy this great romantic musical...*where's that damn box of tissue?*