Jeanette MacDonald - Rotten Tomatoes

Jeanette MacDonald

Highest Rated:   100% San Francisco (1936)
Lowest Rated:   43% Naughty Marietta (1935)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
American actress/singer Jeanette MacDonald made her first public appearance at age three, singing at a benefit show. She trained her own voice by listening to recordings, and honed her dancing and acting skills in school productions. MacDonald entertained notions of starring in grand opera, but her soprano voice, though pleasant and vibrant, was not quite up to operatic standards; she settled instead for supporting roles in Broadway musicals of the 1920s. Director Ernst Lubitsch was impressed by MacDonald's movie screen test and cast her in his 1929 film The Love Parade opposite Maurice Chevalier. In this first phase of her film career, MacDonald was not yet the "iron butterfly" that her detractors described but a bewitching, sexy young lady who was seen in her lingerie as often as the censors allowed. One of her best early films was Monte Carlo (1930), which reached a wondrous peak of Hollywood artifice as MacDonald sang "Beyond the Blue Horizon" from the observation car of a moving train, with the peasants and farmers standing by the tracks picking up the lyrics as if by ESP. Offstage she clashed with frequent co-star Maurice Chevalier to the extent that neither performer would agree to work with the other after The Merry Widow (1934). Under contract to MGM in the mid-1930s, MacDonald (with studio press-agent assistance) altered her image from a kittenish provacateur to a mature, above-reproach prima donna; she also managed to drop six years off her age in official studio biographies. In 1935, MGM teamed MacDonald with baritone Nelson Eddy in Naughty Marietta, the first of eight highly popular MacDonald-Eddy film musicals. Though mercilessly lampooned by comedians and by cartoonmaker Jay Ward's "Dudley DoRight" cartoons, the pair's films were consummately produced and strove to entertain every member of the film audience, not merely opera lovers; if there were laughable moments in these films, they were usually intentional. After I Married an Angel (1942), the singing team split. Eddy wanted to establish himself in comedy roles (which he didn't), and MacDonald trained diligently to become a bonafide opera star, finally making her operatic debut in a 1943 Montreal production of Romeo and Juliet; soon afterward, she headlined a Chicago staging of Faust as Marguerite. But MacDonald failed to impress critics, who wrote her off as a mere film personality, unsufficiently gifted to carry off a live opera. She continued making films, though -- even spoofing her own image in 1942's Cairo.Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, MacDonald toured in concert and stage productions, playing to large and enthusiastic crowds, though seldom attempting to re-establish herself as an opera diva. In 1965, MacDonald died from heart complications, with her longtime husband, actor Gene Raymond, at her side.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1920s
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Lubitsch Musicals
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet The Sun Comes Up
  • Helen Lorfield Winter
1949
No Score Yet Three Daring Daughters
  • Louise Rayton Morgan
1948
No Score Yet Cairo
  • Marcia Warren
1942
No Score Yet I Married an Angel
  • Anna / Brigitta
1942
No Score Yet Smilin' Through
  • Kathleen/Moonyean Clare
1941
No Score Yet New Moon
  • Marianne de Beaumanoir
1940
No Score Yet Bitter Sweet
  • Sarah Millick
1940
No Score Yet Broadway Serenade
  • Mary Hale
1939
No Score Yet The Girl of the Golden West
  • Mary Robbins
1938
No Score Yet Sweethearts
  • Gwen Marlowe
1938
No Score Yet Maytime
  • Marcia Morney/Miss Morrison
1937
No Score Yet The Firefly
  • Nina Maria Azara
1937
100% San Francisco
  • Mary Blake
1936
No Score Yet Rose Marie
  • Marie de Flor
1936
43% Naughty Marietta
  • Marietta
1935
88% The Merry Widow
  • Sonia
1934
No Score Yet The Cat and the Fiddle
  • Shirley Sheridan
1934
100% Love Me Tonight
  • Princess Jeanette
1932
100% One Hour With You
  • Colette Bertier
1932
No Score Yet The Lottery Bride
  • Jenny Swanson
1930
No Score Yet Monte Carlo
  • Countess Helene Mara
1930
No Score Yet The Vagabond King
  • Actor
1930
100% The Love Parade
  • Queen Louise
1929

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