JEANETTE MACDONALD In the 30's and 40's
(Listed in Date Order)
1/3/1930 HDC Doris Denbo
John Garrick, known in Hollywood casting offices as "The Prince of Wales
of Pictures" because of his resemblance to the British royal hats, has
been signed for the leading male role opposite Jeanette MacDonald in Bride
66. Arthur Hammerstein was impressed with his voice in Married In
Hollywood, The Sky Hawk and Song of My Heart and therefore signed him for
this important role. Garrick came to the U.S. from Australia with "The
Wishing Well" musical comedy company. He is a matinee idol in Australia.
He joins Joseph Macauley, New York stage baritone, Robert Chisholm,
another noted singer, Joe E. Brown and ZaSu Pitts in the cast of this
promising extravaganza. They tell me Rudolph Friml's music for this
production is the most exquisite creation of his career. I think we're in
for a treat when this one is released.
1/17/1930 EH Screenographs
By Harrison Carroll
With all the talk about the approaching premiere of The Love Parade it is
interesting to learn that Jeanette MacDonald again is to be directed in an
operetta by Ernst Lubitsch. Everyone is chary of information, but this
column hears that the actress is to play a Polish girl, and will speak
with an accent in the new Lubitsch film. Miss MacDonald represents another
case of an actress whose reputation is established before she appears for
the first time on the local screen. Los Angeles gets its initial glimpse
of her in the Chevalier film. But in the meantime, she is on her third
picture for Paramount. When The Love Parade was finished, she did The
Vagabond King and is at present working in Let's Go Native.
1/18/1930 EH DAWN CALMS HER, SHE SLEEPS WOES AWAY
By Dick Hunt
It is a peculiar condition, but it seems that things in general are always
wrong around a studio. And the day I met Jeanette MacDonald was no
exception. While waiting on the set I listened to her sing a number over
and over again. On each attempt there seemed to be trouble. One time the
sound department was at fault, on another one the lights flickered, a
third was discarded because a supervisor, business manager or some one
decided that she should do it his way, and on and on far into the
afternoon. After all these retakes, it was natural to assume that the
Scotch-Irish Jeanette, who incidentally is partially red-headed, would be
decidedly that way.
BIDES TIME FOR HER DRAMATICS
But instead of tearing her red-golden tresses and gnashing her pearly
white teeth between certain uncomplimentary remarks about various and
sundry gentlemen she was extremely amiable. "I wait until after hours to
get dramatic," she explained. "Occasionally at night I get perturbed about
what has happened during the day. "In fact I become so bothered about it
that I frame eloquent speeches to deliver to the bosses the next day. But
comes the dawn and I can't remember my routine. "And I somehow feel that
it's just as well my memory is poor. But I have a list of "wrongs" since I
started working in pictures. "For instance, we worked half the night
recently. I went to dinner and took my bulldog with hem. He had a large
order of roast beef which Paramount paid for. I found out that was wrong
from the business manager. "Then I spent a lot of time learning dialogue
for a picture. I came in with the lines memorized and was handed a new
version of the same sequence. So you see I was wrong again. "The other day
I threw a whole basket of fruit, piece by piece, to the electricians up on
the spotlight platforms. It was a part of the set's furnishings, and the
property man discovered me just as I tossed the last apple. Like Adam, I
was immediately in trouble. He bawled me out in no uncertain terms, so
that was wrong, too. ENTERS ON CREDIT SIDE OF PAGE
But to get on the credit side of the
page, by all that I can learn from those, who have seen The Love Parade,
which is coming into the Paramount next Thursday, Jeanette is just about
"right." And personally she is very much "right." She is most attractive,
has a great sense of humor, and worlds of personality. If her real
qualities can be transferred into celluloid she should become a leading
movie figure. "Mac," as she is called by everyone around the lot, plays
the queen of Sylvania in this mythical operetta. Maurice Chevalier is the
star and Ernst Lubitsch directed. Incidentally, Lubitsch is the one who
started the nickname "Mac," and Jeanette, not to be outdone, has hung "Lu"
on the dignified Ernst.
1/24/1930 LAR Love Parade
Paramount—Maurice Chevalier in The Love Parade, with Jeanette MacDonald.
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
By Llewellyn Miller
Any picture fan will leave the Paramount feeling that The Love Parade has
everything. First there is Maurice Chevalier's enchanting personality,
that can make a bad picture worth seeing, and a good picture one of the
events of the year. And there is Jeanette MacDonald's blonde and luscious
beauty. She can command a wicked fire in the eye that makes her an
excellent foil for Chevalier's insouciant graces. The picture is directed
with rare awareness for the comedy in small surprises by Ernst Lubitsch.
It has a real plot, just when I was` beginning to think that Hollywood has
passed a law against anything developed decisively. Guy Bolton and Ernest
Vadja have written a clever scenario and lines, occasionally quite
suggestive, as are the lyrics by Clifford Grey. But they all serve to
build a gay, European background, which is exactly what I needed for my
spring fever. The whole thing is played with just enough of the chic
swagger of a good musical comedy. There aren't any tiresomely repeated
shots of choruses, or unrelated shots of choruses, or unrelated comedy
skits, but there are plenty of songs. The queen of Sylvania, is stubborn,
beautiful, a trifle skittish, and obstinately single, a circumstance that
is the chief concern of her ministers. Then the military attache in Paris,
Count Alfred, is sent to her to be punished for a whole series of amorous
escapades. While her ministers gather in a whispering huddle to watch how
things go outside her open window, she dines with the attache. Here is one
of the clever bits of direction that distinguish the film. There is a
flash of the ministers, followed by one of Lupino Lane, the count's valet.
He is watching the proceedings with the queen's maid (Lillian Roth). Back
and forth the camera swings until the contrasted comments of the watchers
are ended by the retirement of the diners into the queen's boudoir. "God
save the queen," Lupino says without hope, and falls over backward with
excitement. So they are married, but they do not live happily ever after.
The marriage ceremony is one chuckle from the beginning to the end. It is
her majesty, by virtue of her superior rank, who is waiting at the altar
when the blushing bridegroom is led in. It is her majesty who is asked,
first, if she will be a "loving wife, and protect Alfred from all harm."
He is called on to love, honor and especially obey at great length. The
ceremony terminates when they are pronounced "wife and man." An
unexpected laugh, thrown in for good measure, comes when an Afghanistan
prince says that he does not see how any man is going to be happy as a
wife. He adds "no changu" three times topped with a scornful fusillade of
syllables that are pip-pip-put-top as nearly as I can remember. It means
"not a chance in the world" translated into mild language. From then on
the prince consort has little to do but take naps and eat breakfast while
his royal wife swears that she will be good to him, and never go out at
night without him. There are six songs with music by Victor Schertzinger.
"Dream Lover" is the outstanding hit, but "Paris," "Anything to Please a
Queen," "Love Parade," "Let's Be Common," and "Nobody's Using It Now," all
have their virtues, as well as their knowing indiscretions in the lyrics.
The cast is large and just about perfect, including Ben Turpin, Edgar
Norton, Lionel Belmore, Albert Rocoardi, Eugene Pallette and Russell
I shall not be surprised to see a traffic jam about a block away from the
Paramount any time this week. And without asking a policeman, I shall know
that it is The Love Parade lining up for the next show.
1/24/1930 EH The Love Parade
By Harrison Carroll
Sophistication is linked with the screen operetta for the first time in
The Love Parade, Paramount's joyous union of Maurice Chevalier as star and
Ernst Lubitsch as director. This film, now showing at the Paramount
Theater, is as sly as a wink, as humid as a secret embrace, as polished as
a monocle and as romantic as a courtier's bow.
It is told with Lubitsch's inimitable air of violating the privacy of the
leisured classes. Every member of the audience goes away feeling
comfortably wise. That rather inept Innocents of Paris, in which Chevalier
made his bow to the film public, is dwarfed into insignificance by the
glitter and the intimacy of a picture that ranks with the best in the
history of the talking screen. Chevalier's performance glows with
personality. It is the last word in elegance and charm. As far as I can
see, no one else on the screen today is similar to the French star. Like
Garbo he is unique. After The Love Parade the American public should be
IS SCREEN FIND
In Jeanette MacDonald, Paramount has discovered a feminine star capable of
crossing swords neatly with the engaging Frenchman. Miss MacDonald has a
generous amount of physical charms, a nice voice, a sophisticated manner
and the proper adroitness for the give and take of polished comedy. She is
a real screen find. The Love Parade is the story of a philandering count,
who is recalled from Paris for his escapades, only to make an immediate
conquest of his queen. Through royal edict he is declared a prince, and
they marry. Thus begins the count's first experience as an under-dog. His
rebellion is not far behind, and before the argument is over the queen is
a wiser and happier lady. Lubitsch has realized the utmost of his comedy
of royalty. There are the ubiquitous counselors, the courtiers, ladies in
waiting, the populace. Deftly, he has satirized them all, in the meantime
never forsaking the main task of keeping up the interest of his story.
HAS TWO HITS
The music of The Love Parade is by Victor Schertzinger, and it contains
two probable hits, "Dream Lover" and "The Love Parade." Several other
ordinary numbers are vitalized by Chevalier's art of putting a song over.
In the supporting cast, Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth have amusing comedy
moments, while Edgar Norton is excellent as the court master of etiquette.
Russell Powell as the Afghan ambassador also does a telling bit. Ernest
Vajda and Guy Bolton have written the film story and libretto of The Love
Parade from a play by Jules Chancel and Leon Xanrof. But Lubitsch,
Chevalier and Miss MacDonald are the trio who must be credited chiefly for
this delightful picture. In the opinion of this writer Paramount could not
do better than to reunite them again at the earliest opportunity. But in
the meantime, see The Love Parade. It is the screen at its best.
1/25/1930 EE Good drawings of Jeanette MacDonald
1/25/1930 LAX The Love Parade
By Louella O. Parsons
The disarming and engaging smile with which Maurice Chevalier delivers his
complicated English in The Love Parade had the audience at the Paramount
Theater yesterday completely enthralled. Mr. Chevalier need only speak a
few words with his delicious accent to hold interest, but when you add to
his charm the smart, sophisticated comedy of Ernst Lubitsch you have
entertainment that ranks high. We speak so lightly of personality that is
probably the most misused word in the English language. Yet it is M.
Chevalier's personality that is chiefly responsible for his great success.
You can well understand why Paris looked upon him as the greatest
entertainer in the French capital. When he sings a song he puts so much of
himself into it that you care not what he sings so long as you can see him
smile and hear him laugh.
The Love Parade is a sort of glorified musical comedy with a Graustarkian
touch. It is not so much the story as the scintillating lines that capture
the imagination and the unexpected comedy touches that Herr Lubitsch puts
over with such skill. There are plenty of amusing situations when the gay,
naughty Count Alfred comes to Silvanus to get disciplined by his queen.
Silvanus, a imaginary kingdom, is ruled by a young and beautiful sovereign
and what is more natural than for her to fall in love with the naughty boy
from gay Paree? Jeanette MacDonald, one of the stage's products, has a
pleasing voice and sings very well. She also has a great deal of beauty
but almost any actress would be overshadowed by the Chevalier charm.
Scenes when Chevalier isn't on the screen seem flat and uninteresting. The
darling of the married women of Paris suddenly becomes a slave to the
queen of Silvanus. She orders him about like one of her subjects Life in
the palace becomes a bore and until the queen promises to be just his wife
their domestic happiness totters. The court scenes are delicious. The peep
through the keyhole into the royal boudoir, the advice of all the
ministers of war and the Turkish minister's prophecy that the royal
marriage will be a failure because a woman should not be the boss are all
done in the best Lubitsch fashion.
The two comedy roles are well played by Lillian Roth and Lupino Lane.
Their song numbers are particularly good. The one, "Let's Be Common," has
all the elements that make for popularity. Not all the lively musical
numbers are confined to Mr. Lane and Miss Roth. There is "The Love
Parade," and "Paris, Wait for Me," Mr. Chevalier's and Miss MacDonald's
songs, both of which are tuneful and gay. An aggregation of expert talent
is associated in the production of this prize package. There is Guy Bolton
who wrote the libretto. Ernst Vadja who authored the film story, Clifford
Grey who wrote the lyrics and others who had a hand in the production of
The Love Parade. Perhaps that is why it is one of the year's ten best. A
Paramount Newsreel and Milton Charles at the organ complete the program.
1/28/1930 EH Screenographs
By Harrison Carroll
Another picture which she is under obligation to make may prevent Lois
Moran from playing the feminine lead in Oscar Hammerstein's Bride 66. This
film, which Hammerstein is making for United Artists, is not going into
production quite as soon as was expected, hence the possible
disappointment to the young actress. It is rumored about that Jeanette
MacDonald is likely to be the new choice to play the role. It is she who
is making such a hit opposite Maurice Chevalier in The Love Song.
1/30/1930 HDC Doris Denbo
MGM has acquired the rights to Rosalie, Broadway musical comedy success.
Marilyn Miller, Jack Donahue and Bobby Arnst played the leading roles in
the stage hit which ran for a year at the Amsterdam Theater in New York.
William Anthony McGuire and Guy Bolton wrote the book. George Gershwin and
Sigmund Romberg the music and P.G. Wodehouse and Ira Gershwin the lyrics.
According to present rumors it will be a Marion Davies' starring vehicle
closely following The Gay 90's, also a musical comedy romance. They seem
to be keeping Marion in musical comedies. There is a saucy, pert way about
her that fits perfectly into musical comedy atmosphere.
2/1/1930 EHE Llewellyn Miller
She is rather tall…about five and a half fee…and quite slim. When she
walks there is a faint little swinging strut in her feet. It is not
exactly a strut. It is sort of a dancing surety with which Jeanette
MacDonald puts her frivolous size 2 ½ slippers in the path to the top of
the world. That she is bound for that rather sparsely inhabited spot is
doubted by n one who has seen her play a naughty but nice musical comedy
queen opposite Maurice Chevalier in The Love Parade at the Paramount. Her
hair is a bright uncanny gold. Her eyes are sea blue, or sea green, or
maybe they are grey. Whatever color they are they have an elusive depth
and variability that suggests the sea. She has a way of shadowing them
with fringed eyelids in a teasing defiance, or an
elaborately intense seriousness that is quite wickedly tantalizing. Her
lower lip thrusts itself out with a slight solemn pugnacity in repose with
a saving curl of humor in the corners. She is one of those rare blondes
who can wear black without looking extinguished, or like a little girl in
someone else's clothes. She has a fat, mild and patient dog called, for
some obscure reason, "Roughneck." And just because it is the last thing
that might be expected of her, she orders cream of tomato soup for
luncheon. All of that doesn't explain why Jeanette MacDonald manages to
hold her own against Maurice Chevalier's charm in her first release. She
says that it was determination and thrusts out her lower lip the
slightest, unconscious fraction of an inch to prove it.
When she was a little girl she
determined to become an opera singer. Later that picture faded a trifle.
"There wasn't enough fun…enough gaiety in opera roles," she explained. So
she went into musical comedy, dangling in the chorus at first, and
understudying the star from the wings. "I knew where I wanted to get, so I
just kept on working until I got there," she explained with a bright
reasonableness but just try that on your own vocal chords.
"There" was several seasons in Schubert shows. Now she is breaking all
records for playing queens in the movies. There are five to her credit so
far and each one quite different from the others. She would like to do a
stage part in Los Angeles. "After all, this business of making pictures is
so new that I don't know yet what I am doing in it," she said. "I'm sure
of myself on the stage. And I would like to sort of take a bow out here,
and let people see what Ican do on the stage where I am really sure of
myself. Because after all they don't know me out here." But that was
before The Love Parade was released to break records in its second week at
2/1/1930 LAX Louella O. Parsons
Joseph Schenck is due to arrive home today. He will probably confirm the
selection of Jeanette MacDonald for Bride 66.
2/2/1930 LAX IT'S NICE TO RECEIVE
By Kenneth R. Porter
"Another break for you. You're to interview Jeanette MacDonald," said the
editor. Sure enough, it was just what the boss prophesied. Practically
everything but the Eighteenth Amendment was broken in an effort to fill
the assignment. For three days, hourly reports from sincere studio
attaches revealed they were endeavoring to fill the assignment.
Finally the interview was set—almost. Violation of all known traffic
regulations caught the actress arising at noon. Conventions were broken
and a mid-day breakfast was served. Strain of the chase subsided with the
presence of "the girl with the red-gold hair and the sea-green eyes." It
is easily understood why she became one of Broadway's most popular
actresses. Her voice is a rich, golden soprano. She has a quiet beauty,
emphasized with very little makeup. Miss MacDonald is appearing with
Maurice Chevalier in The Love Parade, now playing at the Paramount
Theater. "Why, I didn't know I was to be interviewed until ten minutes
ago," said Miss MacDonald over a glass of orange juice. "I'm terribly
sorry for being so late. I was dressing when the studio telephoned."
"Yes, she has been very busy of late," spoke up her stock
broker-movie-manager. "You know, Miss MacDonald is the only actress on the
stage or screen who has everything. She can dance and sing and has the
personality to put it over right. I don't think there are many good
pictures made. Some of those released recently and lauded by critics are,
to me, simply impossible." Here the "bright boy" of movie managers
launched into a detailed description of how producers had faltered. Stock
brokers also had their slump. "One thing I have noticed," again began Miss
MacDonald, during a lull, "that I am forced to repress my voice while
singing directly into the microphone. On the stage one is trained to get
volume so as to reach the entire audience. The tricky little `mike' can
make even a weak voice strong, but if too much volume is used in singing,
is liable to blow a fuse." A general smile by all those present. "In the
talkie apparatus, I mean," concluded Miss MacDonald. "Oh, here's a fun
letter I must read to you," spoke up Mrs. MacDonald, the actress' mother.
She is exceedingly sweet, and we listened. "What gripes me," again began
the movie manager, "is the fact that people with no vocal training can
sing before a microphone and the public raves about their wonderful voice.
They just don't have any. Now Miss MacDonald doesn't have to resort to
mechanical aid for clarity, volume or tone quality. As I said before, she
has everything." So had I. But I'll leave it to my boss. Did I get a
2/5/1930 LAX Louella O. Parsons
All eyes are turned on Ernst Lubitsch to see if he will repeat The Love
Parade. That is a pretty large order, because these smart, sophisticated
comedies with a Lubitsch touch of naughtiness, are difficult to
duplicate.. Ernst Vajda has written an original musical comedy for the
next Lubitsch picture and it will be on the same order as The Love Parade.
Jeanette MacDonald, who played opposite Maurice Chevalier in The Love
Parade, will have the featured lead.
So far she is the only member of the cast selected. She will not begin on
the Lubitsch musical comedy, until she finishes Bride 66. They tell me she
asked for everything but a platinum stove for her dressing room at the
United Artists lot. That gal knows what she wants and when she wants it,
if all one hears is true.
2/23/1930 FD The Vagabond King
Paramount Time, 1 hr., 44 mins.
Artistically made all-color operetta generally slow in tempo. Ought to go
best as first run entertainment. Music mostly pleasant. Based on the
Ziegfeld production in which King starred. It has been extravagantly and
artistically produced and much resembles a Roxy pageant. King fills the
bill as the vagabond who becomes a king for seven days, with death as the
anticipated finale. He is most stirring in his vocal work on "Song of the
Vagabonds." O.P. Heggie, playing the king, gives him a run for first
honors, and Jeanette MacDonald is charming. The story, typically operetta
in character, lacks punch. It deals with a vagabond-poet who falls in love
with a princess and eventually reaches the palace when he is arrested by
the king. He is elevated by the king to grand marshal in hope of driving
off the Burgundians, who are besieging Paris. Leading his vagabonds the
poet defeats the enemy and is saved from the scaffold.
Cast: Dennis King, Jeanette
MacDonald, O.P. Heggie, Lillian Roth, Warner Oland, Arthur Stone, Thomas
Ricketts and Lawford Davidson. Director, Ludwig Berger; Author, Justin
Huntly McCarthy; Adaptor, Herman J. Mankiewicz; Dialoguer, Herman J.
Mankiewicz; Editor, Merrill White;; Cameramen, Henry Gerrard, Ray
Rennahan. Direction, satisfactory. Photography, okay.
2/28/1930 IDN Roadhouse Nights
The Vagabond King with Dennis King and Jeanette MacDonald will be peviewed
at a special performance tomorrow night at the Paramount.
3/5/1930 HDC Society In Filmland
By Elizabeth Yeaman
One of the most interesting social events of the week was the dinner
presided over by J.G. Bachmann on Saturday night, when he entertained
members of the cast and others responsible for the production The Vagabond
King. The dinner, which was given in the Roosevelt Hotel, preceded the
midnight preview of the picture, which was attended by the guests. Mr.
Bachmann, who supervised the picture, had as his guests on this occasion,
Jeanette MacDonald, Mr. and Mrs. George Bancroft, Mr. and Mrs. O.P.
Heggie, Mr. and Mrs. Ernst Lubitsch, Mr. and Mrs. Berthold Viertel, Mr.
and Mrs. Milton Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Forbes (Ruth Chatterton),
Dorothy Arzner, Lillian Roth, Doris Anderson, Ludwig Berger, Lothar
Mendes, Edwin Justus Mayer, Ernest Pascall, Louis Gasnier and Robert
Ritchie. Dennis King, male lead in the picture, who created the role of
Francois Villon in the original musical comedy production, was unable to
attend as he is on his way to Europe.
3/7/1930 EH Vagabond King
By Harrison Carroll
Directed by Ludwig Berger. Opened March 5, 1930.
CAST: Dennis King, Jeanette MacDonald, O.P. Heggie, Warner Oland, Arthur
Stone, Thomas Rickels and Lawford Davidson.
Another screen operetta, The Vagabond King now takes its place among the
high ranking pictures of last year. Thee is no question but that the new
attraction at the Paramount will be hailed as one of the most stirring and
beautiful of the talkie musicals.
PRODUCTION IS COLORFUL
It is robust, melodious, gorgeously photographed in color, and rich in
production values. It introduces the fine singing voice of Dennis King to
the screen, and it gives promise of another feminine star in Lillian Roth.
In one form or another, the story of this picture has been familiar to the
public for a long time. It originated in McCarthy's novel, "If I Were
King," and recently was a great success as a stage operetta.
Briefly, it relates the adventure of Francois Villon, a leader of thieves,
who became king of France for a week, and who saved the country from the
encircling armies of the Duke of Burgundy.
The scene is laid in Paris of 1460 when the superstitious Louis XI
frantically sought guidance from the stars, while his kingdom tottered.
Villon, the poet of the gutter, vilifies the king. He is captured after a
tavern duel, and is given the opportunity of royal power for seven days if
he will consent to be hanged at the end of this time. According to Louis'
whim, Villon sets about saving France, and incidentally, winning the heart
of the King's niece, Lady Katherine. In a stirring finis, France is saved
and likewise Villon, who is snatched from the gallows by Lady Katherine's
The cast for the Paramount operetta
is a good one.
AGREES TO WHIM
Dennis King who took the role of Francois Villon in the stage production,
brings the vagabond post to the talking screen. This actor has a colorful
personality, somewhat reminiscent of John Barrymore. It is true that his
acting is rather flamboyant, but the role of Villon makes this
permissible. As to his voice, it is one of the most powerful baritones
heard in the audible films. Opposite King is Jeanette MacDonald, who is
seen to less advantage than in The Love Parade, but who, nevertheless,
brings beauty and a good voice to the role of Lady Katherine. It is
Lillian Roth, however, who is the most interesting feminine figure in the
new operetta. This young actress (she is said to be only 18) gives a
spirited characterization as the girl Huguette, who sacrifices her life
for Villon. She has a dark, eager beauty, she knows how to act, and she
can sing. Give roles as impetuous as Huguette and Miss Roth can win a
substantial niche for herself on the screen.
The acting honors in The Vagabond King go indisputably to O.P. Heggie as
Louis XI. Here is a subtle portrait, revealing sardonic humor,
vengefulness, parsimony, craft and all the devious facets of the ruler's
Paramount has spilled beauty lavishly in its operetta. The scenes at the
court of Louis XI of France are among the most vivid ever photographed by
the technicolor process. Rudolph Friml's music has not been supplemented
for the motion picture version of the operetta, but indeed there is no
call for new melodies. Few scores contain such numbers as "The Song of the
Vagabond," "Only a Rose," "Love Me Tonight," "Some Day" and "The Huguette
As in The Love Parade, Paramount has given the story a sophisticated
treatment. The direction of Ludwig Berger is notably good. Plaudits go to
the dialogue, too. Part of the latter comes from the book of William H.
Post and Brian Hooker, and part from Herman Mankiewicz.
The writer recommends The Vagabond King as a rare treat of musical
entertainment. This film is worthy of having been released in one of the
long run houses. In fact, it is infinitely superior to many of the
so-called specials of the last 12 months. As the feature is long, the
Paramount has curtailed the rest of its bill to a cartoon short and a
newsreel. Both are interesting.
3/7/1930 IDN The Vagabond King
By Eleanor Barnes
Francois Villon, renegade poet of the fifteenth century, lives on the
screen today in the personality of Dennis King, lured from Ziegfeld to
play The Vagabond King. "I am a singer of songs," said Villon. "Had I been
born in a brocaded bed, I might have led armies and told kings the truth
without dread of the gallows. I might have changed the world and left a
memory." And what a memory he left!
At the Paramount Theater yesterday vast audiences greeted King in a Ludwig
Berger production, taken from If I Were King, by Justin Huntly McCarthy,
and the famous operetta, "The Vagabond King," by William H. Post, Brian
Hooker and Rudolph Friml.
The production is superb, done in Technicolor and elaborately staged with
a mammoth cast.
The house manager explained that it was necessary to raise the price of
admission just a trifle in order to get the film for Paramount patrons.
But, undoubtedly, it is worth it. Produced on an elaborate scale, and with
due regard for every small essential, the poetic flavor of the life of
Villon, who was rhymster, cavalier, swordsmen and ruler of Paris hoodlums,
is touchingly and convincingly given. The interpretation ranks far above
that done by John Barrymore under the title, The Beloved Rogue.
The piece is known to theater-goers who have seen the stage play in the
past and know its marvelous music. King Louis XI of France had faith in
astrology and paid little attention to the rebellious Duke of Burgundy,
who was encamped outside the city and threatened to take it at any time.
Villon spurs his vagabond subjects to ridicule the king and his silly
star-gazing, and is pursued by the king's guards for his insults to the
monarch. He escapes to Cathedral of Notre Dame, where he is of service to
Katherine de Vaucelles, niece of the king, who is accosted by ruffians. He
falls in love with her, not knowing her identity. Later, in the tavern,
when Villon sings, the king follows the warning of the stars that a man
should rise from the gutter to rescue Paris from the Burgundians, and so
Louis goes to the inn, talks with Villon and makes him king for a week,
with the promise of the gallows as his reward.
AT THE GALLOWS
Villon lives a thrilling life in that time, and as he is led to his death
the beautiful Katherine comes to his rescue. Dennis King has an
exceptional baritone voice, with a lyric quality about his high tones. he
can act splendidly, putting much fire, comedy and beauty into the romantic
character, and promises to be one of the most popular newcomers on the
screen. O.P. Heggie, the celebrated stage star of "Trelawney of the Wells"
and other successes, is one of the greatest performers on the screen
today. As Louis, he is magnificent.
Lillian Roth and Jeanette MacDonald, in the principal feminine roles, are
worthy bearers of the characters portrayed, and the vast tavern choruses
are a credit to director Berger.
The Vagabond King preserves those marvelous songs that are a chief
feature. To hear Dennis King sing "Only a Rose" and Miss MacDonald, and
the mammoth chorus of "Song of the Vagabonds," is worth the admission
alone. There are 1000 persons besides the principals in the cast, and
while the spectacular sequences are outstanding, still director Berger has
kept the little intimate moments beautiful and thrilling.
This piece is one of the outstanding Paramount films of the year. With so
many worthy productions on the rialto this week, there will be a dearth of
adjectives to praise incoming ones in the future. This picture can be
3/7/1930 HDC The Vagabond King
By Elizabeth Yeaman
Dennis King, as Francois Villon, marched on the Technicolor screen of The
Vagabond King, which opened at the Paramount Theater last night, sang the
same songs and enacted the same role which he made famous on the Broadway
musical comedy stage over four years ago. But the screen personality of
this Broadway favorite loses much of the magnetism of his personal
appearances, and as this is his first picture, he may have been camera shy
and had misgivings about the microphone. The music, as everyone knows, is
tuneful and appealing, the plot is delightfully romantic and fantastic,
the color photography is beautiful, and the lavishness of the settings and
costumes would satisfy the most wanton spendthrift. Jeanette MacDonald is
as beautiful as the king's niece should be, and her songs record
But in spite of the glamour surrounding the two principals, even in spite
of their musical opportunities and romantic situations, O.P. Heggie steals
the picture with his splendid characterization of malicious King Louis XI.
With diabolical pleasure he gloats on the predicament of Francois Villon,
whose seven-day glory as Grand Marshall of France is to end on the
guillotine. But like all good fairy tales, the beautiful heroine and the
staunch followers of the hero save the day at the last moment.
Lillian Roth, in the role of the vagabond sweetheart of Villon, gives a
forceful and rather picturesque portrayal. There are stirring war scenes,
garden parties after the best Bohemia manner, solemn cathedral scenes,
boudoir serenades, and shots of low dives frequented by vagabond thieves
and insurrectionists—in fact all the sure-fire bids for popularity known
to motion picture art. They are not dragged in with this obvious intention
but are logically woven into the plot.
3/7/1930 LAX The Vagabond King
By Jerry Hoffman
The romantic figure of Francois Villon set forth to conquer new worlds
yesterday. Through the medium of sound and Technicolor in motion pictures,
The Vagabond King appeared at the Paramount Theater with the intent to
rival in popularity the appeal already gained through fiction, the
legitimate stage, musical comedy and silent films. There remains few, if
any, transitions for Justin Huntley McCarthy's story, originally called
"If I Were King," to pass through. The Vagabond King is the same operetta
in which Dennis King has appeared on the stage for the past six years or
so. It now serves for his screen debut. It was E.H. Sothern who originally
introduced Francois Villon to theatergoers in If I Were King. John
Barrymore recently took a fling at the character with The Beloved Rogue.
These, however, were dramatic episodes, elaborated with fiction, of the
famous poet's biography.
The Vagabond King with the book and lyrics by William H. Post and Brian
Hooker, comes with the greatest asset of all—the music by Rudolph Friml.
The screen adaptation and additional dialogue are by Herman J. Mankiewicz.
It brings a potent idol for femininity to admire—Dennis King. The man's
looks, his build and his splendid voice will aid greatly in arguments as
to who of the screen's recent additions is most popular.
With all the physical and vocal assets possessed by Dennis King, he leaves
something to be desired in his performance. King has played this role so
often, that much of his work seems mechanical and trifle insincere. There
is no doubt that many of the words in his songs are unintelligible. His
love scenes with Jeanette MacDonald are too much in the musical comedy
manner. Both, in other words, were more intent on reciting their lines or
singing their songs, than the making of love. The fault here, however, is
Ludwig Berger's, who directed them.
Jeanette MacDonald is again seen as a royal personage, being a princess
and not a queen as in The Love Parade. Miss MacDonald's charm grows as one
sees more of her. Her voice is lovely and her personality enduring. It
remains for O.P. Heggie to tuck away all the histrionic glory of The
Vagabond King safely and beyond reach of all other members in the cast. As
King Louis XI, Heggie gives a performance that would bring spontaneous
applause with [unintelligible] scene for its sheer artistry from a
legitimate theater audience. Lillian Roth is excellent, bringing with her
the fire and sparkle one misses in Dennis King. Warner Oland, Arthur
Stone, Thomas Ricketts and Lawford Davidson complete a splendid cast.
Aside from his casual handling of the love scenes, Ludwig Berger's
direction is good. His direction of the crowds, the battlescene and those
in the cellar was very good. On the other hand, when Villon walked to the
gallows, it might have been a stroll to a night club for all the suspense
Withal, there is Friml's [illegible] and fine voices. Does anything else
matter if one hears "The Song of the Vagabonds," "Only a Rose" and others
beautifully rendered. The production is beautiful, and by all means worth
3/8/1930 HDC Radio
By Zuma Palmer
Jeanette MacDonald, star of The Vagabond King, and Lillian Roth, who has
an important role in the same production, will be featured on the
Paramount Hour which both KHJ and KNX release at 7. Miss MacDonald will
sing "Some Day" and "Only a Rose" from the Friml operetta; Miss Roth,
3/14/1930 HDC The Love Parade
By Doris Denbo
All the complimentary adjectives that have been used to describe The Love
Parade, and many more, could not possibly exaggerate the entertainment
represented in this Paramount picture which opened at the Egyptian Theater
yesterday. It is entertainment plus, served with plenty of sophistication,
mischief and romance. It is a perfect combination of talent, beauty of
settings, story and direction. It has Ernest Lubitsch's sophisticated,
satirical touch, Maurice Chevalier's irresistible freshness and Jeanette
MacDonald's beauty and exquisite voice. In fact, I feel it is the nearest
thing we have had to perfect entertainment since the advent of talking
The story is that of a very proud, capricious young princess who falls in
love with a French count. She marries him, much to the delight of her
subjects who have spent much time and thought in trying to get her to
marry. The count suddenly finds himself playing the part of the utterly
useless and helpless pawn of his beautiful but busy wife. He has no power
to issue orders of any kind and cannot interest himself in the business of
the kingdom in any particular. He becomes bored, insulted and furious at
his uselessness and the domineering of his wife.
ONE MAN REVOLT
He pulls a one man revolt and tells her he is going back to France. She
truly loves him, and is, after all is said and done, a very young,
romantic woman who doesn't care much about things of state anyway, but
won't admit it. He tames his haughty and spirited princess and she begs
him to stay and rule her kingdom for her. But she doesn't give in without
a struggle. There never can be and never will be another Chevalier. He
stands alone for his personality, his pert and saucy manner, and his
rakish regard for the ladies. What it is Chevalier has cannot be
cataloged—there is so much that is naive, so much that is naughty, and so
much that is sheer masculine charm. He has an opportunity to run the full
gamut of his appeal in this picture and has a perfect foil in the
beautiful Miss MacDonald.
COMEDY TEAM GOOD
Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth have moments of nonsensical comedy which is
clever, different and punchy. The rest of the featured cast is too long
for special mention but they are all completely adequate in support. "My
Love Parade," "Dream Lover," "Paris Stay the Same," "Nobody's Using It
Now," "Let's Be Common," and "March of the Grenadiers," are the best and
most popular tunes in the picture and the ones you remember. However,
Victor Schertzinger, who wrote the music, and Clifford Grey, who wrote the
lyrics, are master craftsmen and did not fall down in a single tune or
lyric throughout the entire production.
Even the Fanchon and Marco "Skirts" Idea on the stage is unusually
effective and colorful with eccentric sets and costumes and clever songs
and dances. This is one week you will have missed something if you did not
attend the Egyptian. posted by GDH at 12:50 AM 0 comments
4/22/1930 HDC Elizabeth Yeamans
What the designer declares to be the most elaborate wardrobe ever
assembled for any woman of the screen, is being assembled for Jeanette
MacDonald to wear in her next Paramount picture, Monte Carlo, which Ernst
Lubitsch will direct. The play is a romantic farce with music revealing
the intimacies of a love affair between a count and countess in the gayest
city on the French Riviera. Travis Banton is designing the wardrobe and
the lingerie alone has consumed two weeks of his time. A score of
seamstresses are at work on his sketches. Jack Buchanan, London and New
York musical comedy star, is featured with Miss MacDonald. This "American
beauty" of the screen seems to have fitted into a permanent category of
romantic bedroom farces with music.
4/30/1930 HDC Elizabeth Yeaman
Jeanette MacDonald has been receiving treatment at the Paramount Hospital
for a burn on her cheek. Production was temporarily halted on Monte Carlo,
until her face was entirely healed as the executives feared application of
make-up might cause an infection. The mysterious causes of the burn was
brought to light when someone let it slip that Ernst Lubitsch's cigar was
responsible. Lubitsch and his cigar have an undying affinity for one
another, and when the director became excited he is prone to wave it about
in the air. He didn't realize that his stogy was in the proximity of Miss
MacDonald's face, and neither was the actress aware of her danger until
the damage had been done.
8/25/1930 HDC Elizabeth Yeaman
Philip Klein, scenario writer, has returned to the Fox lot and his first
assignment will be the adaptation and dialogue of Stolen Thunder, on which
he will collaborate with Jynn Starling. J. Harold Murray and Jeanette
MacDonald have been engaged for the leading roles and Hamilton MacFadden
will direct. MacFadden, was to have directed The Princess and the Plumber,
with Maureen O'Sullivan and Charles Farrell. This assignment now goes to
10/27/1930 HDC Elizabeth Yeaman
Beautiful Jeanette MacDonald may transfer her make-up box to MGM. She
holds a long-term contract with Paramount, you know, but like all film
contracts, it is one of those tricky affairs punctuated with many options.
The studio would like her to make personal appearances at the various
theaters of the Publix chain, but this is not entirely to Miss MacDonald's
liking. She too has certain rights to be considered in these options, and
one of them is the right to make pictures at another studio. Furthermore,
I understand on reliable authority, that she is not entirely satisfied
with the story material that Paramount has been giving her. The other day
I saw her heading for the offices of Louis B. Mayer out at MGM and it is
entirely probable that she will be signed for the stellar role of The
Merry Widow. MGM is also negotiating with Paramount to borrow Maurice
Chevalier and Ernst Lubitsch for this production. This was the trio of
stars and director which scored such a tremendous hit in The Love Parade.
MGM has definitely decided to remake The Merry Widow with dialogue and
music, for if this picture was one of their best drawing cards as a
silent, what could they not accomplish with the addition of the beautiful
melodies? Meanwhile Joseph M. Schenck is eager to obtain Miss MacDonald to
make a picture for United Artists. If she goes to MGM that studio will
have cornered the market on the best screen voices in Hollywood. They
already have Grace Moore, Lawrence Tibbett and Ramon Novarro.
3/10/1931 EH Screenographs
By Harrison Carroll
The film veterans are all coming back. James Kirkwood, hero of the silent
days, has been given a long term contract by Fox. His current picture is
Young Sinners. In its quiet way, Fox has been doing its share of signing
up players. Contracts have been given recently to Joan Bennett, Jeanette
MacDonald, Thomas Meighan, Myrna Loy and Greta Nissen.
9/25/1931 LAX Louella O. Parsons
One good job in the United States is worth a dozen in German. Jeanette
MacDonald had many European offers, but she turned them down pronto when
Paramount cabled her an offer to play opposite Maurice Chevalier in One
Hour With You. Chevalier doesn't get here until the twenty-ninth of
October, and that gives Jeanette ample time to finish her European trip
and be on the set when George Cukor, the director, calls the roll.
Chevalier had a talk with Jeanette when she appeared in concert in Paris.
At that time he expressed the hope that she might again be his leading
lady. Miss MacDonald's voice, one of the best on screen, was a decided
asset in The Love Parade.
11/7/1931 EE JEANETTE LIKES TO ANNOY HER FRIENDS
Jeanette MacDonald should have been an auto racing driver.If you don't
believe it, just try to follow her some day when she is out to keep a
luncheon date. And she has the habit of stopping to aid motorists in
distress. It is all a very funny complex. For the moment I am not going to
even try to figure it out. My main object of doing a story of Jeanette was
to learn how she knocked Europe for a loop during her first foreign
concert tour. Modest and lovely person that she is, she refused to tell
about her success, except that a devoted admirer sent her an alley cat and
the Sheep Dog Owners' Club, or something, presented her with a giant of
the breed. He even bowwowed his approval of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel
where Miss MacDonald is stopping. Just to let you in on the lowdown, which
Jeanette refused to speak upon, she literally upset London with her
singing. I had the report direct. Well, after all, Jeanette is no mild
sensation no matter where she goes. And what a sense of humor! You should
just listen. "Oh, I didn't tell you about my latest gag," she exclaimed
suddenly. "Don't let this get out, because it might spoil things. I"-
(Note- I didn't promise to keep the secret, so I am going to reveal
everything. It's too good to keep.) After much argument Jeanette agreed
that I could tell although it may ruin a grand comedy routine for her in
the future. "Did you ever hear me on the `double talk'?" she asked.
Naturally, I hadn't, so I shook my head. She demonstrated the "double
talk"—for your information—is a clever jabber of conversation which means
nothing, but merely sounds like something. "Professional insulters and rib
artists use it exclusively to annoy the unsuspecting. And one must be a
clever, quick thinker to carry on such a goofy conversation about nothing.
Now, to go on with the story—"Well," continued Jeanette, glancing shyly
around the Embassy Club, "I was over to a friend's home for dinner the
other evening when we decided I should do my `double-talk' routine. "I
called a girl friend of mine on the phone and said it was Ethel (double
talking the last name so she couldn't understand) and, of course, she
didn't want to act dumb. She greeted me effusively. I invited her to
dinner the following Thursday night and she still didn't know to whom she
was talking, kept stalling for time and trying to figure out what it was
all about. "Well, she gabbed in circles while my friends were rolling on
the floor with laughter. Finally I gave her a fake address. Finally I gave
her a fake address—also with the double-talk for the street name—and she
floundered around for another 10 minutes, all apologies for being so
stupid. But she accepted the dinner date with gusto, not yet having any
idea who she was talking to.
"This went on until I couldn't stand it any longer and I ended up by
saying I'd send a telegram, which I did, merely signing it `Ethel and
George.' If she keeps that date it will be on a vacant lot. Through some
acquaintances I learned later she pestered everyone trying to learn
something of `Ethel and George.'" Just at this moment the girl who had
been the subject of the joke walked in and spoke to Jeanette, not knowing
anything about the gag which was being so perfectly worked on her.
Jeanette became hysterical with laughter, which practically ended the
interview for me. Jeanette couldn't talk any more. It was all to funny. So
now you know the gag—try it on your friends some time. I'll let you know
in on a big secret. Jeanette fell for a different version of the very same
routine while in New York just prior to sailing for her concert tour. And
did she take it like a good sport? Say, there are few women in the world
with the sense of humor this young lady possesses. Suddenly she glanced at
her tiny, jeweled wrist watch. "Good heavens! I'm almost two hours late
for a fitting at the Paramount Studio. I hope Travis Banton hasn't
swallowed ALL the pins!"
And away she dashed. The last I heard of Jeanette was the loud roar of her
sporty motor as it swished around the corner, studio bound. Some
interview! Some girl!
11/14/1931 EH MANY STARS ON FINAL
By Eugene Inge
The fifth and final gigantic program of a series to be broadcast in behalf
of the unemployment relief fund will radiate over every available network
throughout the nation tomorrow night, from 7:45 until 9 o'clock. Among
those expected to appear before the microphone are: Douglas Fairbanks,
Nancy Carroll, William Boyd, Eddie Cantor, Harry Richmond, Paul Whitman,
Lionel Barrymore, Marie Dressler, George Arliss, Jeanette MacDonald, Ann
Harding, Irene Dunn, Tom Mix and many others.
11/15/1931 LAX FILM PLAYERS ON AIR TONIGHT TO AID JOBLESS
To aid the motion picture industry's program of unemployment relief, a
"Parade of Stars" will be presented tonight over the NBC and Columbia
national networks, it was announced yesterday. Directed by S.L. ("Roxy")
Rothafel, the program will be heard in Los Angeles from stations KFI and
KHJ, beginning at 7:45pm. It will combine talent broadcasting from
Hollywood, Chicago and New York. HAYS WILL SPEAK Will H. Hays will speak
from Hollywood, explaining the purpose of National Motion Picture Week,
which begins Wednesday, when screen theaters throughout the country will
give performances for the benefit of local unemployment relief funds.
Film players to appear with Mr. Hays are Marie Dressler, Lionel Barrymore,
Maurice Chevalier, George Arliss, John Boles, Irene Dunne, Tom Mix, Ann
Harding, Bebe Daniels and Jeanette MacDonald. Conrad Nagel will be master
of ceremonies. The Mervyn LeRoys giving a grand farewell party for the
Harry Warners; they leave for home today, returning in five weeks to be
present when the LeRoy heir arrives; Ernst Lubitsch sitting at dinner with
Irene Dunne on one side and Jeanette MacDonald on the other, the gayest
guest at the party; his unconscious bon mots and quips delivered in his
inimitable dialect, screamingly funny.
3/8/1932 EHE Jimmy Starr
Jack Oakie startled the very formally-attired guests at Jeanette
MacDonald's party for Bob Ritchie by appearing in dinner jacket...but with
a red sweatshirt underneath..Jack slept quite peacefully in the drawing
room until 8 in the morning...what a party it was...Mokumba, the Indian
psychic reader, did some amazing things despite the fact that Edgar Allen
Woolf was quite noisy...Sam Raphaelson tried to trip him up, but got
tripped himself instead...Theda Bara was thrilled...Genevieve Tobin found
out...something about a chap named Paul...wonder who he is?...Larry (song
writer) Hart was given to understand he was in the wrong business...Dolly
Rockett found out about her mother's lawsuit...Dolly had a grand time...Al
couldn't get her to go home...Jack Gilbert and Dorothy Speare had a long
chat about books...Yvonne and Maurice Chevalier came in very late...Rouben
Mamoulian had a bad cold and was given a lot of free advice...Mrs. Frank
Lloyd suffered a headache until she ate two helpings of
everything...Jeanette's Aunt Sarah laughed loudest....some of the folks
played bridge until Walter Wanger searched for the hidden
orchestra...everybody wanted to hear Una Merkel talk southern style...her
new hubby wouldn't leave her for a moment...Joe Mankiewicz wandered around
aimlessly...he does that very well...Claudia Dell without Eddie Silton...which
is news...Ginger (Snaps) Rogers and Mervyn LeRoy...which isn't news any
more...all in all, it was a very grand affair.
3/15/1932 EHE Jimmy Starr MORE NEWS ABOUT PARAMOUNT–11 FEATURES PLANNED
With the declaration that "variety is the keynote of showmanship," B.P.
Schulberg, managing director of production for Paramount, today placed his
final okeh on plans for the filming of 11 new feature pictures, the bases
of which are nine different kinds of entertainment. Features upon which
definite plans have been made include: Horse Feathers, college comedy
starring the Four Marx Brothers; Love Me Tonight, starring Maurice
Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, a musical drama; Marlene Dietrich, next,
which is to have a society background; Jerry and Joan, an emotional
romance featuring Sylvia Sidney and Fredric March; Come On Marines, the
action adventure; a picture with Claudette Colbert and Clive Brook, to
have a domestic setting; The Countess of Auburn, a comedy; A story of the
Olympic games; Merton of the Talkies, tale of youthful ambition in
Hollywood; George Bancroft's The Challenger; Tallulah Bankhead's next, and
a special feature of a religious nature.
3/31/1932 LAX One Hour With You
By Louella O. Parsons
Paramount should be grateful to Maurice Chevalier. He brought more people
into the Paramount Theater than I have seen there since the women started
counting their pennies. No economy wave is great enough to keep the girls
away when the captivating Frenchman is the attraction. Oh, for more
Chevaliers in this hour of need!" One Hour With You has been directed by
George Cukor with Ernst Lubitsch named as "director supervisor." There are
unmistakable Lubitsch touches to indicate he had considerable to do with
it, but it lacks some of the naughtiness of previous Lubitsch comedies.
But it isn't lacking in subtlety and comedy. "The Marriage Circle," by
Lothar Schmidt, forms the basis of the plot. Under that title it was
directed by Ernest Lubitsch some years ago. This newer version has the
addition of excellent music by Oscar Strauss. The songs are catchy,
tuneful and carefully placed in the story. I dislike musical comedies
where the heroine and the hero suddenly burst into song for no good
reason. Mr. Cukor has avoided this by making it all seem natural. Jeanette
MacDonald has a really lovely voice and she looks prettier than I have
ever seen her. It's difficult to play a jealous wife without becoming
monotonous, but Miss MacDonald succeeds in keeping both sympathy and
interest. As for Chevalier, I admit I am one of the women who enjoy every
hour with him. He has not only charm, but he has an infectious smile that
just makes you forget the waiting typewriter, or perhaps, in your case,
it's the household chores. One Hour With You is light, gay and typical
musical comedy material, but you shouldn't miss it. Not with that cast.
Genevieve Tobin, as the naughty, naughty best friend of the wife who tries
to steal the husband is an expert comedienne. I was surprised for I had
associated her with more emotional roles. Roland Young is cheated and so
are we. He has such a small part, but plays it with his usual polish and
ease. Charles Ruggles does his best in a rather dull role. There is a
stage show with many divertissements and many names, Georgie Stoll and his
band, Dave and Hilda Murray, etc. All very good, but again I say One Hour
With You and Chevalier are the big attractions and worth seeing.
10/26/1932 HCN Society In Filmland
By Jane Jackson
Honoring their house guest, Mrs. Herbert Sandheim, of New York, Mr. and
Mrs. Albert P. Scott (Colleen Moore), entertained with a series of dinner
parties at the palatial Bel Air home a few evenings ago. On Tuesday
evening they were hosts at a formal dinner for Mrs. Sandheim. The guests
were Messrs and Mesdames Ralph Blum (Carmel Meyers), Zeppo Marx, Jack
Conway, Ben Lyon (Bebe Daniels), Edward Hillman (Marian Nixon), William
Seiter (Laura LaPlante), Mike Levee, Richard Wallace, Ned Marin, Misses
Ginger Rogers, Jeanette MacDonald, Sally Eilers, Sally Clark, Ilka Chase
and Messrs Mervyn LeRoy, Edgar Allen Woolf, John Cromwell and Mrs. Alice
½1/1932 HCN Elizabeth Yeaman
Jeanette MacDonald no longer can
claim the distinction of wearing the most glittering negligees on the
Paramount lot. Sylvia Sidney, star of The Miracle Man, wears a filmy frou
frou which required the services of ten professional beaders for ten days.
It is a dazzling creation. There is such a thing as producing too much
glitter in a film costume. Miriam Hopkins' silver sequin dress which she
wears in Dancers in the Dark, reflects so much light before the cameras
that the wardrobe clerk is called to powder it before each scene.
11/30/1934 HCN Cinemania
By Edwin Martin
BIG DOINGS Riding to the Screen Actors' Guild Ball in a $100,000
car....all dressed up like a sore thumb and feeling very
conspicuous....'cause the car we're riding in is one of those big ones
that the boys have been trying to turn over a bit lately...and
incidentally that's a rather funny thought we had just after getting on,
especially when we passed some of the boys standing at the side of the
tracks and they gave us a funny look...but they must have known that we
had on our other good suit and had pity on us...'cause anyway they let us
ride within a few blocks of the Biltmore and we hopped a taxi and rode the
next few blocks in style....and presented our ticket with the same aplomb
as did Mr. Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler and his party, who arrived just ahead
of us....which reminds us of the time we did a similar stunt and went to
Mr. Jolson's big benefit, armed with two $200 tickets in one pocket and
two-bits in the other...all of which goes to prove to you that a newspaper
person can have a better time on nothing than a millionaire can have
arriving in his limousine. And what a show! It was the best arranged event
of its kind we have attended in a long time....Kenneth Thomson started it
off....Lyle Talbot made an excellent master of ceremonies....and did a big
of fine crooning himself....Robert Montgomery read a telegram from Eddie
Cantor, who couldn't be there....that was a nice line about the Twenty
Little Working Girls that Lyle pulled when only six showed up! "The rest
must be working," he said....Earl Askam, Dick Powell and Jeanette
MacDonald were never in better voice....
1/1/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
Hundreds of fans are writing Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, begging
the stars to give at least one joint concert when they go on their singing
tours in February after New Moon is finished. Unfortunately, this can't be
arranged, not this year. Both Jeanette and Nelson are booked completely
and, never at any time during their tours, are they closer than 350 miles
to each other.
Looking at it commercially, there would be no point to a joint concert,
anyway. Appearing alone, the stars sell out every performance. Nelson will
be accompanied on his tour by Mrs. Eddy, but Gene Raymond probably will
stay in Hollywood. He's completely engrossed in composing music. Jeanette
told us several weeks ago she didn't feel it would be right to ask him to
give up his work and go along just to keep her company.
1/4/1940 LAX Hollywood Parade
By Ella Wickersham
Even the Presidential election fails to dim the brilliance of the San
Francisco Opera season, which begins tonight with "The Masked Ball" at the
Shrine Auditorium. Tops among the many subsequent social events was Gladys
and Eddie G. Robinson's formal dinner party last evening, which honored
the divine Lily Pons at their Beverly Hills home. Among the guest were
Dalies Frantz, Ida Koverman, Leopold Stokowski, the Joseph L. Levys, the
Italo Montemezzis, Rouben Mamoulian, Patricia Morison, the Rene Clairs,
Cobina Wright and Cobina Jr., Boris Lovet-Lorski, Mrs. Edith Hughes,
Lillian May Ehrman, R.Thurbett, Baron de Meyer, the L.E. Behymers, Georges
Jomier, Margherita Tyrandelli and Alberti de Gorostiaga.
Following the opera tonight la Pons will entertain a large party of
operaites at the Victor Hugo. For the first time in Deanna Durbin's brief
but phenomenal career, the stellar songstress has her own season tickets,
the other seasonal ticket holders are Bill Powell and Diane Lewis, Irene
Dunne and Dr. Francis Griffin, the Eddie Arnolds, the Walt Disneys, Gene
Raymond and Jeanette MacDonald, the Nelson Eddys, Mitch Leisen, Gladys and
Eddie G. Robinson, Harry Warner, Marion Talley, the Richard Hagemans,
Genevieve Tobin and William Keighley, Mrs. Richard Bonelli, the Donald
Dixons, Doris Kenyon, Gertrude and Bob Leonard, the Basil Rathbones,
Vivian and Ernst Lubitsch, the George B. Seitzes, Grant Mitchell, Alfred
Newman and Dr. A.H. Giannini.
1/5/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
When Jeanette MacDonald goes on a concert tour next month, she will
introduce two new songs by Gene Raymond. Both of the numbers have been
composed specially for the star by her husband, who is concentrating these
days on a musical career. The songs, which will have a regular place in
the MacDonald repertoire, are "Angelita" and "My Serenade." The former is
Raymond's most recent composition, in fact he is just putting the
finishing touches on it now. This won't be the first occasion when
Jeanette has introduced Gene's music to the public. His "Let Me
[illegible] Sing" was one of the most popular numbers in her concert
repertoire last year. The star also featured her husband's song, "Will
You," on a radio broadcast.
1/5/1940 DN BRITISH WAR RELIEF DINNER DANCE
Prominent leaders of the social and film world had today completed plans
for the Franco-British war relief dinner dance to be held January 17 in
the Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador.
With French and British committees already named, another committee had
been chosen comprising young stars of Hollywood to assist in final
arrangements. Those appointed to serve on a special committee include
Vivien Leigh, Annabella, Pat Peterson, Heather Angel, Wendy Barrie,
Maureen O'Sullivan, Benita Hume, Madeleine Carroll, Joan Fontaine and
Claudette Colbert. Also Rupert Hughes, Anita Louise, Myrna Loy, Ernst
Lubitsch, Jeanette MacDonald, Louis B. Mayer, Adolph Menjou, Robert
Montgomery, Dame May Whitty and Darryl Zanuck.
/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
Jeanette MacDonald will be an eye-full as well as an ear-full on her
concert engagement. She'll spring a whole collection of specially designed
Adrian gowns upon her fans.
2/2/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
Maybe it isn't fair to spill it, but Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
have worked up a starting routine to spring on their friends at some
future party. They've learned how to play a xylophone duet—the old
dependable "William Tell Overture"....But with such variations.
2/2/1940 LAX Behind the Makeup
By Harry Crocker
GAG—It was a somewhat Rube Goldberg day on the set of MGM's New Moon,
Nelson Eddy was supposed to make a sweeping gallant bow to implant a
chaste kiss upon the brow of the sleeping Jeanette MacDonald. To do it
just the way Woody Van Dyke wanted it caused Nelson to lose his balance.
To steady him propman Harry Alblez was stationed beneath the bed. Now this
Harry Alblez is a bit of a wag and is forever playing pranks upon his
fellow workers. So when they had him at their mercy they just couldn't
refrain during the first time from poking him in the middle of the back
with a broom handle. Harry released his hold on Nelson's knees and Nelson
nearly fell. Wham! Harry bumped his head on the bottom of the bed and the
startled Jeanette rose as if by levitation from her couch. Woody finally
restored order, but Harry, nursing an egg-shaped bump on his noggin, is
still searching for the perpetrators.
2/10/1940 EHE Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond at the B-Bar-H Ranch near Palm Springs
again this week….
2/12/1940 LAX Louella O. Parsons
Jeanette MacDonald left yesterday for Dallas, Tx., for the beginning of
her concert tour.
2/23/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
Another Hollywood traveler, Jeanette MacDonald, is cracking records on her
concert tour. The municipal auditorium in Birmingham, seating 5,000
people, wasn't big enough to accommodate the McDonald fans. They had to
put in 200 extra seats. Even this wasn't enough. There were 300 standers.
3/2/1940 EHE Sally Moore
From Washington, D.C., comes news today of much interest to Hollywood society. For it concerns one of the film colony's social leaders and
brightest stars, lovely Jeanette MacDonald (Mrs. Gene Raymond), who has
been in the national capital this past week where she was heard in concert
in famed Constitution Hall. To fete Jeanette and to give official and
social Washington an opportunity to
meet her, Mrs. Mabel Walker Willebrandt entertained at tea in the
exclusive Sulgrave Club in Jeanette's honor.
Assisting Mrs. Willabrandt in receiving were the following prominent
Mrs. Wilbur Carr, wife of the Assistant Secretary of State; Madame
Irimescu, wife of the Minister from Rumania; Mrs. Robert Jackson, wife of
the Attorney General of the United States; Mrs. Caroline O'Day,
Congresswoman from New York; Mrs. Stanley Reed, wife of the Justice of the
Supreme Court; Mrs. Lawrence Townsend, in charge of the Musical Mornings
in Washington; Mrs. Henry Wallace, wife of the Secretary of Agriculture;
Mrs. Thurman Arnold, wife of the Assistant to the Attorney General; Mrs.
Wilson Compton, wife of the prominent attorney; Mrs. John Allan Doughterty,
prominent Washington socialite; Mrs. William McCracken, wife of the
Secretary of the American Bar Association; Mrs. Ross T. McIntire, wife of
the President's personal physician; Mrs. Emil Hurja, prominent socialite.
Following the tea, Miss MacDonald and members of her entourage, including
Giuseppe Bamboschek, Charles Wagner and Miss Sylvia Grogg, were the guests
of Mrs. Willebradt at the concert of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra
in Constitution Hall, where Miss MacDonald was to give her own concert the
3/4/1940 EHE "4-A GAMBOL OF STARS" TO OFFER GALA PROGRAM
"Gambol of the Stars," the 4'A Ball scheduled at the Cocoanut Grove
Thursday evening, March 14, is to be one of the gala highlights of
entertaining throughout the month with a capacity reservation to assist
the Associated Actors and Artists of America to raise funds for its needs.
Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians will be an added feature on the
Artists of renown who are serving loyally with the general committee to
make the huge benefit a success include Eddie Cantor, Edward Arnold, Fred
Keating, I.B. Kromblum, Kenneth Thompson and Lawrence Tibbett.
Other committee chairmen include Loretta Young, in charge of reception;
George Murphy supervising the gorgeous entertainment; Lucile Webster
Gleason, ticket chairman; Jean Hersholt, program director; Edward Arnold
in charge of the floor, and Porter Hall looking after the financial angle
of the benefit party. Beginning at 8 o'clock, the affair promises to be a
great party, comprised of dining and dancing, interspersed with some of
the finest entertainment the huge array of talented artists of the 4-A
group can produce.
Assisting Loretta Young in receiving will be Tyrone Power, Paula Winslowe,
Vivien Leigh, Andres de Segurola, Richard Greene, Elizabeth Risdon, Gene
Raymond, Erich von Stroheim, Gary Cooper, Don Ameche, Clair Trevor, Marek
Windheim, Victor Jory, Nelson Eddy and James Stewart.
Working with Jean Hersholt as chairman of the program committee are
Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, C. Aubrey Smith, Carole Lombard, Bette
Davis, Norma Shearer and Jeanette MacDonald.
3/5/1940 SFC Jimmy Fidler
Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, individually concert touring,
will try to arrange at least one joint date before returning to Hollywood.
3/11/1940 SFC Jimmy Fidler
Blue-pencil that rumor that Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy will do a
joint concert—they tried to arrange it as a concession to popular demand,
but conflicting dates make it impossible.
3/18/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
The advance programs on Jeanette MacDonald's concert here bill her as "the
first lady of Hollywood."
3/20/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
Gene Raymond flies east to spend the Easter holiday with Jeanette
MacDonald in Springfield and, from there, he goes on to New York to confer
with music publishers about two new songs.
3/22/1940 HCN Sidney Skolsky Presents
Jeanette MacDonald's lawyer, a Mr. Louise Shwartz, is very proud of his
client. The other evening at a dinner party Mr. Shwartz was introduced to
a "Mrs. Homer Samuels," and soon after the introduction he started to brag
about Jeanette MacDonald. "You know," said Shwartz, "Miss MacDonald just
completed a wonderful tour. She completely sold out the opera house in
Philadelphia. Do you know how big that opera house is?" Mrs. Samuels
nodded and said: "I ought to know, I filled it myself three or four
times." Shwartz turned to his wife and whispered, "Say, who is this `Mrs.
Homer Samuels' next to me?" His wife replied, "Galli-Curci."
/1/1940 HCN EDITOR HONOR GUEST AT BROWN
All the more fun because it was impromptu, a cocktail party was "whipped
up" at the last minute late yesterday afternoon by Helen Ferguson and
Margaret Ettinger for Ralph Daigh, editorial director for Fawcett
Publications, here from New York.
Among those who dropped into the American Room of the Vine St. Brown Derby
to meet the visitor were Messrs. and Mesdames Louis Hayward (Ida Lupino),
Basil Rathbone, Stuart Erwin, Guy Kibbee, Walter Wanger (Joan Bennett),
Roger Pryor (Ann Sothern), Allan Jones (Irene Hervey), Bob Cobb (Gail
Patrick). Misses Irene Dunne, Loretta Young, Phyllis Brooks, Fay Wray,
Constance Moore, Rita Hayworth, Edith G. Wilkerson, Barbara Stanwyck,
Constance Bennett. Messrs. Cesar Romero, Otto Kruger, Rudy Vallee, Lou
Smith, Joel McCrea, Victor McLaglen and Gene Raymond.
4/5/1940 LAX Louella O. Parsons
Gene Raymond, who won everyone's admiration by the dignified way he
ignored several tactless magazine articles about himself and Jeanette
MacDonald, is returning to the movies—and right on his old home lot, RKO.
He'll be co-starred with Wendy Barrie in Cross-Country Romance, and when I
saw him here in New York he was very enthused about the yarn, which is
light and amusing like the romantic comedies he used to do with Ann
Sothern. Gene spent Easter with Jeanette in Springfield and came on to
confer with his music publisher about two new songs he has written, but
he's leaving for the Coast right away. Frank Woodruff will direct the
Raymond-Barrie comedy with Cliff Reid producing.
4/10/1940 LAX Behind the Makeup
By Harry Crocker
One of Jeanette MacDonald's most avid fans is Penny Singleton. Both were
born in Philadelphia, both attended the same dancing school, both were
featured in musical comedy on Broadway, and both hold a record for the two
of the longest names on the theater marquee….
5/8/1940 HCN Just Among Friends
Jeanette MacDonald is home from Palm Springs with an impressive coat of
5/8/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
Jeanette MacDonald, of all people, was one of those who got caught in the
blitz-krieg against traffic offenders the other night. She got a warning
ticket for not having her driver’s license….She had been out of town so
long that she had forgotten to put it in her purse.
5/9/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
After listening to Nelson Eddy tell about all the colds he had on his
concert tour, Jeanette MacDonald, who made practically the same circuit,
laughed and told Eddy he had done it the wrong way. "What do you mean?"
asked Nelson. "You should have worn long underwear, like I did," said
Jeanette. Wonder if she was kidding, or if she really did.
5/9/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
After listening to Nelson Eddy tell about all the colds he had on his
concert tour, Jeanette MacDonald, who made practically the same circuit,
laughed and told Eddy he had done it the wrong way. "What do you mean?"
asked Nelson. "You should have worn long underwear, like I did," said
Jeanette. Wonder if she was kidding, or if she really did.
5/10/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
Gene and Jeanette have an office on Sunset Boulevard and employ their own
fan mail staff. Most of the stars leave it to the studios.
5/18/1940 EHE Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald inviting a few friends in for backgammon.6/11/1940 HCN
Metro's New Moon, starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, will screen
tomorrow night at the Westwood Village.
5/18/1940 HCN Radio
By Zuma Palmer
Jeanette MacDonald to sing "Lover Come Back to Me"and, with Donald
Dickson, a duet from Verdi's "Il Trovatore," KFI at 4. Charlie McCarthy is
practicing trills and cadenzas in the hope that she will sing with him.
5/18/1940 EHE Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald inviting a few friends in for backgammon.
Bitter Sweet, Noel Coward's famous musical play, will be prominent among
MGM's elaborate musical productions of 1940-41. There are five big-budget
musicals scheduled for the coming season, and in two of them, Bitter Sweet
and I Married An Angel, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy will be
co-starred. Bitter Sweet has been filmed before—by a British film company.
5/22/1940 LAX Behind the Makeup
By Harry Crocker
Jeanette MacDonald, vacationing at Palm Springs, turned such a dark brown
that she will have to stay indoors and bleach out her skin before starting
work with Nelson Eddy in I Married An Angel.
5/26/1940 LAX Hollywood At Home
By Ella Wickersham
Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor, Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond,
Ouida and Basil Rathbone, Ida Lupino and Louis Hayward, and Dolores Del
Rio all admit it's fun to go night-clubbing after a film premiere, opera
or concert, and that large formal balls are diverting occasionally, but
home parties are definitely more to their pleasure.
Gene and Jeanette's specialties are their waffle breakfasts—especially
during the summer. And what with the sheltered patio of their Bel Air home
dappled with California sunshine as their setting, these informal parties
are greatly prized by their many friends.
5/29/1940 HCN Just Among Friends
Jeanette MacDonald is posing for her first oil portrait, being done by
6/13/1940 HCN Reviews of Previews
New Moon A MGM picture. Produced and directed by Robert Z. Leonard.
Screenplay by Jaque Deval and Robert Arthur as based on the operetta by
Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mendel and Laurence Schawab, with music by
Sigmund Romberg. Photographed by William Daniels. The cast: Jeanette
MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Mary Boland, George Zucco, H.B. Warner, Grant
Mitchell, Stanley Fields, Richard Purcell, John Miljan, Ivan Simpson,
Claude King, Cecil Cunningham, Joe Tule, George Irving, Edwin Maxwell,
Paul E. Burns, Rafael Storm, Winifred Harris, Robert Warwick. Previewed at
the Westwood Village Theater.
By James Francis Crow
In the midst of the war, and in the midst of all the photoplays about the
war, here come Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in a musical picture,
New Moon, being elegantly romantic, and singing beautiful love ballads to
each other. It is just what the doctor ordered, the doctor in this case
being producer-director Robert Z. Leonard. He decided that a romantic
musical interlude would be gratifying to the movie patrons, and the
reaction of last night's preview audience, in spite of the new film's many
faults, indicated that he was right.
This reviewer is a defender of the socially conscious film drama, and of
pictures that comes to grips with life, but after The Mortal Storm and
Four Sons, even this reviewer admits a sense of relief on sitting in a
theater composedly and listening to Eddy and Miss MacDonald sing "Lover
Come Back to Me" or instance, or "One Kiss," or "Wanting You." Very
agreeable, indeed. And although this new film has a kind of war
background, it is a mild 18th Century affair the Frenchy Revolution, in
fact and war can be romantic when it is seen from a distance.
Jacques Deval and Robert Arthur did the current film adaptation of the
familiar and well beloved operetta. It gets pretty stagey at times, and
pretty slow, and to enjoy the picture you have got to forgive the lack of
realism, and accept an operetta story which is after only an auxiliary to
the music. This reporter was able to do so, and the film followed hero and
heroine from France to Louisiana, and thence to their idyllic island home,
and thence to happiness as the news comes of the success of the
revolution, and the establishment at last in France of "liberty,
fraternity, and quality."
It is typical MacDonald-Eddy fare. These two dominate the action almost to
the exclusion of the other players, but Mary Boland, George Zuuco, H.B.
Warner, Grant Mitchell, and Stanley Fields manage to make their presence
count. Eddy is at best at the head of his marching rebels, signing
"Stouthearted Men," and Miss MacDonald won a rousing ovation last night in
a beautifully staged rendition of "lover Come Back to Me."
6/13/1940 LAX Preview
Hollywood is in a state of not quite knowing what will entertain the
public in these desperate days. On the heels of a week that has brought
forth such grimly realistic pictures as Four Sons and The Mortal Storm,
MGM previewed the luxurious New Moon last night at the Westwood Village
Theater. Opulent and visually satisfying is this new Nelson Eddy-Jeanette
MacDonald operetta. It is geared to take you away from the cares of the
world. The lovely Miss MacDonald has never been photographed more
beautifully, and Eddy is as dramatic as ever.
But whether New Moon is the answer to what the box-office public wants now
remains to be solved by the receipts. Frankly, I do not think this is the
best of the MacDonald-Eddy pictures. True, it has the haunting musical
scores of Sigmund Romberg's everlasting stage hit and it adheres rather
closely to the book by Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Lawrence
6/18/1940 FD New Moon
Metro 105 minutes
Ideal MacDonald-Eddy vehicle, should click easily and heavily at the B.O.
With the picturization of New Moon, "Lover Come Back to Me," "Wanting
You," "One Kiss" and "Stout Hearted Men" are again heard to advantage. New
Moon is an ideal vehicle for Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, and the
stars, furnishing solos and duets, have never sung better. Many bows are
due Robert Z. Leonard.
Mary Boland, George Zucco, H.B. Warner, Stanley Fields and Grant Mitchell
are among the principals. Jacques Deval and Robert Arthur fashioned the
screenplay, based on the operetta. Herbert Stothart handled the musical
direction very effectively. Eddy is a French nobleman, who rebels against
the methods used by the Government in dealing with the masses. Using
another name, he comes to New Orleans as one of a number of Frenchmen who
are to be auctioned off as slaves. On board, Jeanette, a spoiled French
aristocrat, meets Eddy and does not realize he is in trouble.
In New Orleans, where Jeanette is to make her home, one of her
representatives buys Eddy and he becomes her valet. Eddy and his fellow
Frenchmen overpower the crew of a boat, which had been set in search of
Eddy. To her surprise, Jeanette, who had planned a short and quick return
to Paris, finds herself on the boat commanded by Eddy. The boat encounters
a severe storm, gets off the course and lands its human cargo on an
uncharted island. Here, Jeanette is forced to drop her aristocratic
manners and work hard along with her fellow passengers. She tries to keep
from falling in love with Eddy—but this is very difficult. Of course, the
picture ends happily with Eddy and Jeanette in each others' arms.
CAST: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Mary Boland, George Zucco,
H.B. Warner, Grant Mitchell, Stanley Fields, Richard Purcell, John Miljan,
Ivan Simson, William Cunningham, Joe Yule, George Irving, Edwin Maxwell,
Paul E. Burns, Rafael Storm, Winifred Harris, Robert Warwick.
CREDITS: Producer-director, Robert Z. Leonard; Based on operetta "New
Moon"; Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Laurence
Schwab; Music, Sigmund Romberg; Screenplay, Jacques Deval and Robert
Arthur; Cameraman, William Daniels; Art Director, Cedric Gibbons;
Associate, Eddie Imazu; Musical Director, Herbert Stothart, Dances, Val
Raset; Editor, Harold F. Kress. Direction, Excellent. Photography, Good.
6/26/1940 LAX New Moon
A MGM picture, produced and directed by Robert Leonard, book and lyrics by
Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab, music by Sigmund
Romberg and Robert Arthur. Showing at Grauman's Chinese and Loew's State
By Dorothy Manners
If any show in town can make you forget Hitler & Co. it is the opulent,
luxurious New Moon with the perennially popular Jeanette MacDonald and
Nelson Eddy. Breaking brightly into a cycle of films that have been grim
to say the least, this new teaming of MGM's popular signing stars should
score a hit at Grauman's Chinese and Loew's State theaters this week. In
my preview-review of this picture I commented on the fact that
Hollywood producers are in a
state of not quite knowing what will entertain the public in these
desperate days. New Moon definitely comes under the head of "escapist"
entertainment. Opulent, tuneful with the haunting Romberg music,
(particularly "Lover Come Back to Me" and "One Kiss") and as pretty as a
Valentine is this new Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy operetta.
Certainly it is geared to take you away from the cares of the world. The
lovely Miss MacDonald has never been photographed more beautifully and
Eddy is as much the matinee-idol as ever. Why quarrel with a plot that
makes no effort at reality and very little at logic? It's an 18th Century
"Boy meets Girl" plot against the background of the French colonial days,
Jeanette is Marianne de Beaumanoir who was, apparently, the Brenda Frazier
of her day. Nelson plays a nobleman with social consciousness who
masquerades as her butler. Before their romance draws to a happy
conclusion they have sung a great many songs on shipboard, on a New
Orleans plantation and on a shipwreck island. It is purely a personal
opinion, but as lovely as she looks, I still think Miss MacDonald
overplays her role of the spoiled French aristocrat but she looks so
beautiful in whims and affections it hardly matters. Eddy fares better
dramatically as the rebel nobleman and injects a great deal of humor into
The cast has little chance to shine and merely revolves around the two
stars. Mary Boland is fluttery and amusing as Jeanette's aunt, H.B. Warner
has a brief role as Father Michael, Grant Mitchell is seen as the governor
of New Orleans. Robert Z. Leonard produced and directed and, as usual,
when he handles the megaphone, his picture has every luxurious and
Lovely is the music from Sigmund Romberg's familiar stage hit, and the
movie script by Jacques Deval and Robert Arthur adheres closely enough to
the book by Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab.
Probably New Moon will go out and clean up a fortune for MGM just as the
pictures of these stars always do and then we'll know that what American
audiences want in these troubled times are more and more Eddy-MacDonald
Companion feature at both houses is another Nick Carter adventure, Phantom
Raiders with Walter Pidgeon, Florence Rice, John Carroll and Joseph
6/27/1940 DN DIRECTOR BOOSTS MUSICALS FOR
With all that gloom over Hollywood through the war blitz-krieg of
Hollywood's foreign market and the effect of depressing war news on the
box office in this country it's refreshing to talk to MGM
producer-director Robert Z. Leonard. Leonard, whose latest film, New Moon,
starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, is now playing at the Loew's
State and Chinese theaters, paints a far less melancholy picture of the
present and future film situation than most of his pessimistic confreres.
Leonard's optimism is based on his conviction that audiences want relief
from the cares of the world and that they can best get this relaxation
from comedies and musical pictures. Recent box office popularity of these
types of pictures, in contrast to the heavier fare, has borne out this
conviction. Musicals will save the day, Leonard says. They always have, he
avers, and he points to the experience of film makers through the direst
days of the recent depression. In those days, as now, Leonard states, the
public was going through a period of worrying that kept them away from the
theaters showing serious drama and problem pictures, while theaters
showing escapist material, particularly musicals, were filled.
Leonard declares that Hollywood is aware of the conditions and predicts
that the coming season will see a greater percentage of light comedies and
musicals as against heavier drama, than ever before. The MGM producer
director's opinion is quite authoritative for he has perhaps directed more
big musicals than any other man in the picture business. he piloted the
MacDonald-Eddy due in Maytime, and Girl of the Golden West, two of their
most successful films, as well as an additional pair starring Miss
MacDonald alone. "But that is all off now," he says. "My next will be in
the vein of New Moon and Pride and Prejudice, for the time calls for such
material. The radio and newspaper can give potential picture audiences all
the drama and problems they crave these days, but in the theater, patrons
will look for entertainment and amusement and it will be the lighter type
of material that will satisfy."
7/3/1940 EHE Harrison Carroll
The new Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy musical, Bittersweet, goes into
production July 15 and it's a sad blow to director W.S. Van Dyke. He has
been looking forward for months to attending the Democratic National
Convention as a delegate from California. Van is the most ardent Roosevelt supporter in the film colony. Now he'll have to give up the trip and
read about the convention in the papers.
7/27/1940 DN Harry Mines
That was quite a party given by the famous Hungarian Composer Emmerich
Kalman at his Beverly Hills home the other night. Guest of honor was Louis
B. Mayer, who owns the movie rights to three of Kalman's operettas,
"Sari," "Golden Dawn," and "Countess Maritza."
Undoubtedly one or maybe more of the group are to eventually fall heir to
Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.
8/24/1940 EHE HARRISON CARROLL
LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!
Old Vienna lives again on a MGM sound stage this week. It is a big and
garish café set for Bittersweet. Army uniforms on broad-shouldered extras
make a splash of color. The gowns of the ladies are gay, too.
Director W.S. Van Dyke is building up to the scene where Nelson Eddy
insults an Austrian officer and subsequently is killed in a duel. It is
the first time Nelson has died on the screen since Maytime, when he was
shot by John Barrymore, and the situation must be handled with proper
seriousness. MGM has assigned George Richelavi, former captain in the
Austrian army, to see that the technical details are as correct as
possible. If they were entirely correct, explains Richelavi, the whole
episode would have to be stricken out of the story.
INSULT MEANT RUIN
"As a musician," he says, "Mr. Eddy would have never been allowed to
insult an officer. The waiters would have prevented him. In the old days
in Vienna it would have meant ruin for any café to allow an officer to be
attacked. The army would have blacklisted the place. That would have put
it out of business." No doubt, when Bittersweet is released, certain fans
will detect this and other errors and will chide MGM about its ignorance.
As a matter of fact, the movies have developed research to a high degree.
They employ dozens of experts like Richelavi. Most of the mistakes you see
in pictures are like this one in Bittersweet. They come under the head of
Just before I leave the set, Nelson Eddy comes over and offers to show me
a trick. He borrows a half dollar and asks Jeanette MacDonald to tell me
the date on it. Vaudeville magic acts have done the trick for years, but
Jeanette and Nelson get a great kick out of performing it for visitors.
The camera isn't ready yet, but director Van Dyke pretends to be very
annoyed at the two stars for fooling around with such nonsense. "Don't
forget," he yells to Jeanette and Nelson, "that we still have time to get
Grace Moore and Lawrence Tibbett for this picture."
10/22/1940 LAX Louella O. Parsons
The hot Hollywood rumor before I left was that Jeanette MacDonald and MGM
were on the verge of trouble because Jeanette was walking out on I Married
An Angel. It was also whispered that she was "off salary" and that Nelson
Eddy would make his next picture alone. Just barely had time to check the
yarn with Jeanette and according to her there's not a word of truth in any
of it. She says she couldn't have turned down I Married An Angel because
no script has been prepared—as far as being off salary—she asked for her
annual leave of absence now because no picture was ready for her and she
wanted to go on her concert tour at this time instead of later. However,
the whisper persists that Nelson Eddy's next picture will be without his
pretty co-star. We'll see.
10/24/1940 LAX Louella O. Parsons
Make what you will of it, but Nelson Eddy has been looking at tests of
pretty singers all week at MGM, which sounds more and more like Jeanette
MacDonald will not make I Married An Angel.
11/22/1940 LAX Louella O. Parsons
If Jeanette MacDonald does Smilin' Through for MGM, Robert Taylor will be
her co-star, not Nelson Eddy, but nobody will ever make me believe that
Nelson and Jeanette are permanently parted on the screen. They are too hot
as a box office team.
8/30/1941 EHE MANY GIRLS BUSTLE IN BUSTLES
FOR MOVIE EFFECT
By The Young-Man-About-Hollywood
Gorgeous girls, scintillating stars and curvaceous cuties of the screen
have found a way to avoid all the fol-de-rol, rigamarole, queries and
debates which have upset the feminine fashion world. While public
pulchritude ponders over whether legs should be bare or silkenclad, hair,
shirt lengths and sleeves short to conserve cloth and if color, jewels and
accessories are just the thing in this day and age, a lot of movie queens
are adopting period costumes.
LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!
All other honeymoon suites pale by comparison to the one that MGM has
whipped up for Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in I Married An Angel.
This week I watched director Roy Del Ruth rehearse a scene where the
heroine of the humorous fantasy, an angel who falls in love with a mortal,
discovers that marriage has caused her wings to fall off. It's a bedroom
scene and what a bedroom! White walls are covered with shimmery
cellophane. Drapes of white lace are hung at windows and in doorways. A
dressing-table presents a completely mirrored surface. The headpiece of
the bed is a huge bird of lalique. The bedspread is made of hundreds of
white feathers sewed together. The sheets and pillow cases are of pink
silk with lace around the edges. Eddy is supposed to be shaving in a
bathroom of off-stage.
Jeanette, wearing a pink silk night-gown (the bodice is ornamented with
downy feathers) is sitting up in bed talking to him. Or rather she is
trying to sit up.
SLIDES ON SILK SHEETS
"Confound these silk sheets!" she exclaimed, laughing, "they are so slick
that, when I try to sit up, I keep sliding back down into the bed!"
Jeanette is supposed to be very upset over the loss of her wings.In the
stage version of I Married An Angel" this was a spicy moment, but in the
picture they play it delicately. Nelson comes out and takes Jeanette in
his arms. "Don't worry," he comforts her, "it simply means that you know I
am mortal and you can't fly away from me."
Between rehearsals I have a talk with Eddy about the shot. He says he and
Jeanette stood shoulder to shoulder about putting any risque implications
into their scenes. "We are not devitalizing the story," he says, "but we
ARE trying to get away from too much double meaning dialogue. We don't
believe it would appeal to our following. We feel that people want romance
and sentiment from us. So that's what we are going to give them."
10/29/1941 HCN Just Among Friends
Joe E. Brown, Abbott and Costello ***
Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond have tickets for the Jack o' LanternBa
at Cocoanut Grove Halloween night.
10/30/1941 EHE Harrison Carroll
Gene Raymond, Hollywood film star, will assume a new role when he writes
and stages a two and one-half hour musical show to be put on with an
all-soldier cast at Fort Ord. Collaborating with the actor, he revealed
today, will be his brother, Bob Marlowe, who is in training at the army
camp. The revue, to be known as "Gold Brickers of 1941," will have a score
specially written by Raymond, who has had several of his songs introduced
by his wife, Jeanette MacDonald, on the concert stage.
During the three weeks rehearsals of the show, the actor will spend much
of his time at Fort Ord. Army officials, working with Raymond, are said to
be planning on eight performances of the revue.
11/1/1941 EHE Strolling Along Hollywood's Corners If you like statistics,
Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald have sung 25 duets in eight pictures.
Fifteen solos each to their credit, too.
11/1/1941 EHE Sally Moore
Claire Trevor and Clark Andrews hostess to duck dinner, Jeanette MacDonald
and Gene Raymond the third of their "Date Leaves" parties for service men.
11/8/1941 EHE Sally Moore
Stellar opera goers this week included lovely Gloria Hills with investment
counselor Ben Landis; the Owen Crumps (Lucille Fairbanks), the David
Hempsteads, the Allan Joneses (Irene Hervey), Damon Giffard and Cecily
Cunhae, Margery and Jack Cummings, the Gene Raymonds (Jeanette MacDonald)
and Freddie Bartholomew, escorting Jane Withers.
11/11/1941 EHE Harrison Carroll
Sight of the Week: The dignified Jeanette MacDonald sliding down the
bannisters for a scene in I Married an Angel. They protected her with
three thicknesses of felt.
11/11/1941 FD Hollywood Speaking—
By Ralph Wilk
Jeanette MacDonald has canceled her plans for her annual winter concert
tour of this country. Instead she will tour South America next summer.
11/18/1941 EHE Harrison Carroll
Seeking unusual garb for Jeanette MacDonald to war in I Married an Angel,
MGM decided to make her a zebra skin cape. After long search, the material
for Jeanette's smart cape finally was bought—from a taxidermist.
11/20/1941 DN Hollywood Diary
By Erskine Johnson
11:30am—Talk to Jeanette MacDonald on the I Married An Angel set. Jeanette
says she is returning to her first career—dancing—in this picture. She
performs an elaborate dance routine attired in a gown made entirely of
black fringe. "And I hope when I dance this time," she says, "I can keep
my heel out of the fringe." The star made her stage debut as a dancer. She
caught her heel in her dress, almost fell into the footlights and to cover
her confusion started to sing.
11/21/1941 EHE Harrison Carroll
Wait until you see the hot number that Jeanette MacDonald does in a
Viennese café sequence of I Married an Angel. It's called "The Twinkle in
Your Eye" and it's real boogie woogie stuff.
11/22/1941 EHE Sally Moore
Gene Raymond at Ft. Ord directing his all-solder revue...and Jeanette
MacDonald with her mother in Beverly Hills.
12/6/1941 EHE Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond on one of their rare "evenings out"
were Ciro hosts.
12/14/1941 LAX GENE AUTRY, BETTE DAVIS WIN MOVIEDOM TITLES
The king and queen of the movies are Gene Autry and Bette Davis. They are
the winners of the election conducted among moviegoer readers of this and
other newspapers from coast to coast and in Latin American countries by
Feg Murray of "Seein' Stars" fame.Autry's victory over other Hollywood
males for the title of most popular star was overwhelming! He had 33
percent more votes than the runnerup, Tyrone Power. And it was by no means
a victory founded on popularity in one section alone; for he led all other
male stars in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, California
and New York.
Miss Davis' victory, while not so decisive, was nevertheless clearcut. She
had 15.5 percent more votes than the runnerup, Sonja Henie. The victory of
these two was not surprising, for compilations of box office returns of
all 1940-41 Hollywood productions made by motion picture trade organs,
show Autry and Miss Davis to be at the top. Most remarkable aspect of the
election was the fact that more than 400 different players received votes,
whereas Hollywood is generally considered to have fewer than 50 stars with
a genuine fan following. Another interesting development was the strong
showing of a newcomer to the star ranks, John Payne, who topped many long
Hollywood's top 10 men and women in popularity today, the Feg Murray Seein'
Stars election showed are:
1. Gene Autry
2. Tyrone Power
3. Clark Gable
4. Errol Flynn
5. Spencer Tracy
6. Nelson Eddy
7. John Payne
8. Don Ameche
9. Robert Taylor
10. Mickey Rooney
1. Bette Davis
2. Sonja Henie
3. Betty Grable
4. Alice Faye
5. Dorothy Lamour
6. Judy Garland
7. Deanna Durbin
8. Jeanette MacDonald
9. Olivia de Havilland
10. Linda Darnell
12/20/1941 EHE Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond hosts at S.C. Christmas Oratorio.
12/22/1941 LAX Behind the Make-up
By Harry Crocker
When Nelson Eddy chuckled, "This is the scene in which Jeanette MacDonald
gets the bird," I naturally awaited the take with interest. The scene was
Budapest in the spring. Outside the open window pink blossoms adorned the
trees. Jeanette and Nelson went into a love scene. Director W.S. Van Dyke
signaled. Through the window flew the "bird," a golden canary which
perched on Jeanette's hand.
Did You Know: That five years ago Jeanette MacDonald told a magazine
writer that she would like to travel over the entire world? And that so
far she has covered all of the United States, Canada, Hawaii, France,
Belgium, England, Holland and Switzerland. And she plans a concert tour a
12/25/1941 LAX Behind the Makeup
By Harry Crocker
Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, and the cast and crew of I Married An
Angel are giving director W.S. Van Dyke a weird Christmas present. One
cuff with one cuff link. Yet Woody will probably treasure it far above
many Christmas gifts. It's autographed by all of them and it's a tribute
to the many delightful additions he made to the script "on the cuff."
12/27/1941 EHE Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond hosting service men at Christmas
12/31/1941 EHE Harrison Carroll
Instead of buying Jeanette MacDonald an expensive New Year's gift, as has
been his custom, Gene Raymond had her engagement ring redesigned. The rest
of the money he would have spent will go for Defense Bonds.
By Bill Wickersham
Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond are having dinner at the Beverly Hills
home of Jeanette's mother, Mrs. Anna MacDonald, with other guests
including the singing star's sister, Marie Blake, and Warren Rock.
1/6/1942 EHE Harrison Carroll
Nice gesture of Jeanette MacDonald. The star's fan club always sends her
an expensive gift at Christmas. Last December, Jeanette asked the club to
donate the money this time to a worthy charity. Result is that six
under-privileged boys will get a free vacation
next summer at the Children's Village in Dobb's Ferry.
1/10/1942 EHE STARS BUSY WITH DEFENSE WORKS
By Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond entertained 100 soldiers at their
"Smiling Through" broadcast.
2/14/1942 MPH What the Picture Did For Me
Smilin' Through: Jeanette MacDonald, Brian Aherne, Gene Raymond—We did
average business but not on our best night, playing the picture on a
midweek date. Its not in a class with former filming of the same story and
the color was really cruel in spots. Metro priced the picture way out of
line and we lost with a serial but didn't get any extra business, just the
regulars, maybe a few old-timers who hadn't missed it, anytime—Mayme P.
Musselman, Princess Theatre, Lincoln, Kan. Small Town Patronage.
2/21/1942 MPH What the Picture Did For Me
Smilin' Through: Jeanette MacDonald, Gene Raymond, Brian Aherne—This was a
honey with Norma Talmadge in a silent version way back in 1922; it was
also a boxoffice attraction with Norma Shearer in the "Talkies" in 1932.
Now, with Jeanette MacDonald done in beautiful color, it proved to be an
outstanding boxoffice bonanza, surpassing Blossom in the Dust and Belle
Starr. If all reissues were as good, they should all be made over again.
Running time, 100 minutes. Played January 4-5—A.E. Andrews, Emporium
Theatre, Emporium, Pa. General Patronage. Smilin' Through: Jeanette
Macdonald, Brian Aherne—Well, now let's put this olditmer away for a good
long rest. Maybe in 20 or 25 years it could be brought back, but, please,
not before then. We've played this picture with three different stars. It
has been on the stage of our theatre with stock companies and the old
chautauquas until we almost know it by heart. But we'll have to admit this
was a beautiful version, the first time with music, and well received by a
pretty good attendance. Running time, 100 minutes. Played February
1-2—Horn & Morgan, Inc., Star Theatre, Hay Springs, Neb. Small Town
3/5/1942 EHE Harrison Carroll
Nothing superstitious about Gene Raymond. He flies out of here on Friday
13 to report the following day for active service in the Air Corps. Before
that, Gene will spend a week in Phoenix. Jeanette MacDonald goes along. So
will her accompanist, because the star has to practice for her benefit
concerts in San Francisco and Los Angeles the 25th and 27th.
3/20/1942 EHE Harrison Carroll
The false story about Jeanette MacDonald retiring from the screen was
given out by a concert official, her friends now declare. They say he
jumped to the conclusion after the star canceled summer singing dates in
this country in order to spend more time with Gene Raymond.
3/28/1942 HCN JEANETTE MACDONALD SINGS BENEFIT FOR APPRECIATIVE AUDIENCE
By Richard D. Saunders
Jeanette MacDonald's concert for the benefit of the American Women's
Voluntary Services of Los Angeles County brought an enthusiastic to fill
the Philharmonic Auditorium last night. Programs were given out by
uniformed members of the organization, and soldiers, sailors and marines
filled the stage.
The auditors were loath to let the singer go, and demanded 11 encores in
addition to a program of 16 songs and two arias that included folksongs,
art songs in English and French and favorite operetta excerpts in
LIGHT, CLEAR TONES
Miss MacDonald's light, clear tones held sweetness of timbre and a crystal
translucency that is an individual characteristic. Her enunciation was
excellent, bringing out dictive as well as tonal values, and her phrasing
and delivery was musicianly, giving interpretative finesse to each number.
Giuseppe Bamboschek contributed sterling and well balanced support at the
piano. Scotch songs were preponderant in the opening group which consisted
of a wistful "Turn Ye to me," to the air, "Horo Mhairi Dhu," and the
Jacobite "Oh! Charlie Is My Darling," and "The Bluebells of Scotland,"
ending with a carefree "Pastoral" by Carey. The aria "Il est doux" from
Massenet's "Herodiade," was sung with much feeling and proved surprisingly
effective for light lyric, though that is not the timbre called for in the
opera. The "Waltz Song" from Gounod's "Romeo and Juliet" was entirely
appropriate and was delightfully sung, as were two more arias used as
encores, the "Jewel Song" from "Faust" and "Sempre Libera" from Verdi's
SONGS BY RAYMOND
Two artistic songs by the singer's husband, Gene Raymond, now in the Air
Service, were a soaring "Let Me Always Sing" and "Release" of dramatic
import, both given with emotional warmth, Richard Hageman's "Do Not Go, My
Love" was expressively done, as was "Awake, It Is Day," by Florence Newell
Barbour, with John Prindle Scott's "The False Prophet" as a characterful
end to the group.
French songs were a lovely Debussy "Romance," Bizet's popular "ouvre ton
coeur," Fourdrain's "Le Papillon" and the familiar "villanelle" by Dell'
Acqua. Operetta items by Romberg, Coward and Herbert ended the program,
with five more operetta selections as final encores.
3/28/1942 MPH What the Picture Did For Me
Smilin' Through: Jeanette MacDonald, Gene Raymond—Everyone enjoyed this
reissue. All comments were "It was better than before." I was surprised at
my business but wish I could be surprised more often.
Played March 11-12—Miss Cleo Manry, Buena Vista, Theatre, Buena Vista, Ga.
Small Town Patronage.
3/30/1942 EHE Harrison Carroll
Hollywood Party Line: Jeanette MacDonald, in Shadow of a Lady, plays still
another character whose name begins with "M." Heroine of the story is
4/1/1942 LAX Behind the Makeup
By Harry Crocker
April Fool Day Reminisces:
Jeanette MacDonald remembers that it was in 1938 that she planned to
"surprise" Gene by hiding in the back of his car. As Gene started, she
arose to throw her arms around his neck. In his driver's mirror, Gene saw
only a figure rising behind him. He says he's never known what really made
him pull the punch which would have landed smack on her pretty proboscis.
4/1/1942 HCN RULE FOR EASTER
Jeanette MacDonald's Easter church-going suit is tailored Marine Blue
alpaca, with a paneled skirt and cutaway jacket with smart slot pockets.
With it she will wear a white eyelet embroidered blouse, a dark blue straw
hat with an eyelet embroidered pique crown, and dark blue shoes, bag and
4/1/1942 HCN JEANETTE MACDONALD'S CONCERT
Pastel-hued roses, captured the Spring mood Saturday when Mrs. Anna
MacDonald, Jeanette's mother, entertained as dinner guests Mrs. Ida
Hedding, Miss Florence MacKerracher, and Mrs. Bertha Mason. At another
home dinner, preceding Jeanette's brilliant concert to benefit the
American Women's Volunteer Services at the Philharmonic Auditorium Friday
night, Mrs. McDonald and the Warren Rocks (Marie Blacke) entertained Mr.
and Mrs. Earl Wallace and Mrs. Laura Van Dyke, mother of Major W.S. Van
Dyke. Mrs. Otto Kruger and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Swarts dined at the Biltmore
preceding the Jeanette MacDonald concert.
The Guy Kibbees and Lieut. Col. Cliff Titus were among the guest at a
pre-concert supper hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Edward Powers of Beverly.
4/13/1942 EHE Harrison Carroll
Due to the government's new edicts on women's clothes, MGM designer
Kalloch is altering the Jeanette MacDonald wardrobe for Cairo. He's
cutting five inches off some of the skirts that already were made. Men's
clothes are being altered, too. Over at Twentieth Century-Fox, George
Montgomery will wear cuffless trousers in Orchestra Wife.
Jeanette MacDonald has been entertaining her brother-in-law, Private
Robert Marlowe, during his leave.
4/25/1942 HCN Sidney Skolsky
WATCHING THEM MAKE PICTURES
It was Ethel Waters' first day in the picture Cairo. There was a feeling
of sternness on the set. Jeanette MacDonald sat in her portable dressing
room when not wanted for a scene. Robert Young sat in his camp chair and
read. Director Van Dyke hurried about and tended to details.
This was the atmosphere when Ethel Waters was ushered onto the set to play
the role of Miss MacDonald's maid, and also sing a couple of songs. Ethel
Waters was taken over to Miss MacDonald's portable dressing room and
introduced to her. After the formalities, Ethel Waters said: Miss
MacDonald, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to be in a picture with
you. Of all the singers you are my big favorite, and I never thought I'd
be so fortunate to be in a picture with you. It is indeed an honor and a
privilege." Miss MacDonald smiled, greatly pleased.
Next, Ethel Waters was taken over and introduced to Robert Young. He put
away his paper, stood up, and Ethel Waters said: "Mr. Young, you don't
know how wonderful it is for me to be in a picture with you. Off all the
actors on the screen you are my special favorite. My friends won't believe
it until they see it in the movies. It is indeed an honor and a privilege
to be in a picture with you." Robert Young was all smiles. "And now," said
the executive serving as the guide, "I want you to meet the director of
the picture." He introduced Ethel Waters to director Van Dyke.
"Mister Van Dyke," said Ethel Waters, but the assistant interrupted her.
"Not Mister Van Dyke," he corrected her. "Major Van Dyke." "Major Van
Dyke," said Ethel Waters, "it is indeed an honor and a privilege to be
working in a picture directed by so fine a man as you. God bless you—and
God bless America."
This was Ethel Waters' first day on the set of Cairo. The feeling of
sternness has now disappeared. Miss MacDonald no longer sits in her
portable dressing room; Mister Young no longer sits and reads a paper, and
director Major Van Dyke is no longer all business. There is now a fine
spirit of comradeship on the set. Everyone will now tell you it's fun
working on the picture.
PROMISED AND HOPED FOR: Jeanette MacDonald doing a swing version of the
darktown shuffle in Cairo.
5/9/1942 MPH What the Picture Did For Me
Bittersweet: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, George Sanders—This team is
definitely through, in our opinion. Many unfavorable comments and the
writer agreed with most of them. May be all right for cosmopolitan areas,
but certainly the residents of a mining community need more than warbling
and bellowing sans acting to satisfy them. Running time, 94 minutes.
Played April 23-24. A.R. Dakin, Rice Lake Theatre, Bissett, Manitoba, Can.
Mining Community Patronage.
6/12/1942 HCN Ed Sullivan
Jeanette MacDonald and Lieut. Gene Raymond signing autographs outside the
posted by GDH at 12:32 AM 0 comments
7/3/1942 EHE Harrison Carroll
At the invitation of the War Department, Jeanette MacDonald will give a
series of 12 concerts this fall for Army Emergency Relief. The star, whose
husband, Gene Raymond, now is serving with the United States Air Corps
overseas, says she is proud and happy to make the tour. Her first concert
will be on Sept. 7, the last on Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C. Between now and
fall Jeanette also plans
to visit a number of Army camps to entertain the soldiers.
Uncle Sam's soldiers are so eager to hear Jeanette MacDonald that camp
authorities can't find auditoriums big enough to accommodate the crowds.
Jeanette wants to do something about it.She just wired Hollywood asking
that a sound truck be shipped to her immediately. "Just give me something
to stand on and a sound truck," she appealed. "I don't need a stage or
fancy lighting effects. I'll sing in a field, if necessary." Nice gesture,
I call it, froma star who's always rated the most careful and expensive
recordings that Hollywood could provide.
9/5/1942 EHE Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald in Oklahoma City on Army Relief benefit tour.
9/26/1942 EHE Sally Moore
Jeanette MacDonald on her Army Emergency Relief Fund tour in Chicago,
where Colleen Moore feted her at dinner.
6/5/1946 LAX Dorothy Manners
Helen Ferguson's farewell party for Jeanette MacDonald, who left for
London Monday, was a honey. Jeanette has cut her red hair short and very
perky and everybody likes it but Gene Raymond. Let's face it—the boys
still like long hair. In the group at Helen's new home were Lew Ayres with
a mustache. Bob Stack and his glamorous mother, Betzi, Louis B. Mayer,
Lorena Danker looking like a dream, Mary Brian, Antonio Moreno, the Frank
Lloyds, the Howard Stricklings and Bob Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck.
6/21/1947 LAX Behind the Makeup
By Harry Crocker
A delightful dinner at the home of Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond
came to a dramatic climax when the lights of the room were extinguished.
In a silver bowl, Gene made café au diable, which calls for a
pyrotechnical exhibit that would make a perfect Fourth of July. Blue
Over it, Eddie Knopf told Mr. and Mrs. Jascha Heifetz a story of when he
was living in New York. On many occasions Jascha, Artur Rubenstein and
other artists dropped in for dinner with Mildred and Eddie. Frequently
there was late music. Some of the floor neighbors complained. One morning
Eddie himself answered a ring at the door. A gentleman stood in the hall
in a silk bathrobe. Another complaint, thought Eddie. "I am Mr. Levy,"
explained the man. "You piano is against the wall. The wall is thin. My
bed is back to back with your piano. Many times I am awakened by Heifetz
and Rubinstein, it is a pleasure. I shall be a witness FOR you if ever
there is any trouble!" Eddie nearly fainted. Following dinner came a war
of the sexes. Jeanette led a team composed partially of Helen Ferguson,
Mildred, Mrs. Heifetz and authoress Constance Hope, against Gene's side
containing among others Jascha, Eddie, Freddy Wilcox and your columnist.
Off to a bad start, we trailed the girls badly on acting out a couple of
impossible medical terms. We rallied. Inspired pantomime by Jascha and
Gene put us in the running again. Forty seconds for one; 40 for another; a
brilliant 18 seconds; we won!!! Feeling a lot better, the men took
themselves and wives off for home.