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Naughty Marietta

Naughty Marietta(1935)

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Naughty Marietta marked the first of eight Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy M-G-M musicals, and was originally purchased by M-G-M as a Marion Davies vehicle. The film also provided Eddy with his first starring role. The title card in the onscreen credits reads: "Victor Herbert's Naughty Marrietta." Modern sources note that at the film's initial press showing on March 2, 1935, the running time was approximately eighty minutes. Between 2 March and 29 Mar, however, additional footage was added and the running time of the picture was boosted to 106 minutes. Although a Hollywood Reporter pre-production news item announced that Chester Hale was assigned to direct the dances in the picture, his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter pre-production news items also note that Robert Z. Leonard, who was first assigned to direct this film, was relieved of the assignment after a day of shooting at his own request. An April 1934 Daily Variety news item noted that New York playwright Lawrence Eyre was set to "handle the script," but his participation in the production has not been confirmed.
       Hollywood Reporter pre-release news items note that, despite his protests, Frank Morgan was required to shave his moustache for the film-something he reportedly had not done for seventeen years. Hollywood Reporter pre-release news items list actors Robert Graves, Rober Gray, Beatrice Roberts, Vessie Farrell, Richard Hemingway, Olin Howland, Judith Voselli, Pat Flaherty, Milton Douglas, Elena Ulana and Charles Bruins in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Actors Lawrence Grant, Crauford Kent, Georgia Caine, Kit Guard, Margaret Bloodgood, Jean Chatburn, Mary Loos, Walter Long and William Desmond were listed in Hollywood Reporter production charts, but their appearance in the released film has also not been confirmed. Modern sources, however, confirm Desmond and Long's appearance and list their characters as "Havre gendarme chief" and "Pirate captain" respectively. Modern sources indicate that the following players appeared in the film: Arthur Belasco, Tex Driscoll, Edward Hearn, Edmund Cobb, Charles Dunbar and Ed Brady (Mercenary Scouts); Olive Carey (Madame Renavent); Frank Hagney and Constantine Romanoff (Pirates); Mary Foy (Duenna); Zaruhi Elmassian (Voice of Suzette); Harry Tenbrook (Suitor); Ralph Brooks (Marie's suitor); Wilfred Lucas (Herald at ball); and Jack Mower (Nobleman). In addition, modern sources note the following about the film: Edouard Lippe was Nelson Eddy's vocal coach; and five songs from the original stage production of Naughty Marietta were featured in the film, with new lyrics added by Gus Kahn for songs "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp" and "'Neath the Southern Moon." Some controversy reportedly arose over the inclusion of the song "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life" in the film because it was known by many to be the theme song of Forest Lawn Cemetery.
       According to a New York Times news item, Woody Allen's 1971 comedy film, Bananas, features a scene in which a character is tortured by being forced to listen to the continuous playing of the record of Naughty Marietta.
       Naughty Marietta was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture of 1935, and sound engineer Douglas Shearer won an Academy Award for his work on the film. The picture was also named by the Film Daily critics poll as one of the ten best pictures of 1935, and won the Photoplay Gold Medal Award for best picture. A television adaptation of Naughty Marietta, directed and produced by Max Liebman, and starring Patrice Munsel and Alfred Drake, aired on the NBC television network on January 15, 1955.