AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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New Moon
Alternate Title: Parisian Belle
Director: Robert Z. Leonard (Dir)
Release Date:   28 Jun 1940
Production Date:   early Nov 1939--early Jan 1940
Duration (in mins):   105
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Cast:   Jeanette MacDonald (Marianne de Beaumanoir)  
    Nelson Eddy (Charles [Michon "also known as" Duke de Vidier])  
    Mary Boland (Valerie de Rossac)  
    George Zucco (Vicomte Ribaud)  
    H. B. Warner (Father Michel)  
    Grant Mitchell (Governor of New Orleans)  
    Richard Purcell (Alexander)  
    John Miljan (Pierre Brugnon)  
    Ivan Simpson (Guizot)  
    William Tannen (Pierre)  
    Bunty Cutler (Julie)  
    Claude King (Monsieur Dubois)  
    Cecil Cunningham (Governor's wife)  
    Joe Yule (Maurice)  
    George Irving (Ship's captain)  
    Edwin Maxwell (Captain de Jean)  
    Paul E. Burns (Guard on ship)  
    Rafael Storm (Monsieur de Piron)  
    Winifred Harris (Lady)  
    Stanley Fields (Tambour)  
    Robert Warwick (Commissar)  
    Ray Walker (Coco)  
    Trevor Bardette (Foulette)  
    LeRoy Mason (Grant)  
    George Lloyd (Quartermaster)  
    Gayne Whitman (Mate)  
    Warren Rock (Mate)  
    George Magrill (Guard)  
    Ed O'Neill (Lookout)  
    Sarah Edwards (Marquise)  
    Max Marx (Officer)  
    Jack Perrin (Officer)  
    Alden Chase (Citizen)  
    Claire Rochelle (Drunk girl)  
    Frank Elliott (Guest)  
    Kenneth Gibson (Guest)  
    Victor Kendall (Guest)  
    Gerald Fielding (Guest)  
    Bea Nigro (Guest)  
    Florence Shirley (Guest)  
    Hillary Brooke (Guest)  
    Nat Pendleton (Bondsman)  
    Buster Keaton (Bondsman)  
    Christian J. Frank (Bondsman)  
    Arthur Belasco (Bondsman)  
    Edward Hearn (Bondsman)  
    Nick Copeland (Bondsman)  
    Gino Corrado (Bondsman)  
    Ralph Dunn (Bondsman)  
    Harry Strang (Bondsman)  
    Ray Teal (Bondsman)  
    Ted Oliver (Bondsman)  
    Fred Graham (Bondsman)  
    Dorothy Granger (Fat bridesmaid)  
    June Gittelson (Madeline)  
    David Alison (Troubadour)  
    Forbes Murray (Commandant)  
    Abe Dinovitch (Solo bit "Stouthearted Men)  
    Sally Mueller (Solo bit "Stouthearted Men")  
    Austin Grant (Solo bit "Stouthearted Men")  
    Jean Fenwick    
    Frank Remsden    
    Jewel Jordan    

Summary: In 1789, the Duke de Vidier, a young French aristocrat, renounces his claim of nobility to further the cause of the revolution by freeing the bond servants in New Orleans. Then while posing as a deported servant named Charles Michon, the duke sails on a ship bound for New Orleans, where he meets the spoiled Marianne de Beaumanoir, who mistakes him for a ship's officer. At the family plantation in New Orleans, Marianne is shocked when she discovers that Charles is her new footman. The town gossips are enthralled by the charming and sophisticated footman, who claims he worked for a dashing duke, and Marianne falls in love with him. Consequently, when the Vicomte Ribaud appears at the plantation to arrest the duke, who he claims is impersonating a servant, Marianne orders Charles to leave. Learning that his plot has been uncovered, Charles rallies the bond servants to seize a ship named the New Moon , and they sail off to freedom. A lonely Marianne decides to sail back to France on the next available ship, and hence, she and her aunt board the Fleur de Lys , a vessel bearing a cargo of brides bound for Martinique. At sea, the New Moon attacks the Fleur de Lys , and in the ensuing battle, the New Moon is sunk and her men take command of the Fleur de Lys and her cargo. During a severe storm, the ship is thrown off course and wrecked on the reef of an unchartered island. After settling on the island, Charles announces that the men and women should pair off to establish a new society based on liberty and equality. This presents problems for Marianne, who is pursued by a pack of suitors, and out of desperation, she reluctantly agrees to marry Charles, who she has decided is an incorrigible womanizer. On their wedding night, the roar of cannons draw the men to shore in defense of their new home, and a terrified Marianne realizes that she really loves Charles. When Charles returns with the news that the French fleet has arrived with news that France is free, he and Marianne declare their love for each other. 

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew's Inc.)
Distribution Company: Loew's Inc.  
Director: Robert Z. Leonard (Dir)
  W. S. Van Dyke (Dir)
  Marvin Stuart (Asst dir)
  Hugh Boswell (Asst dir)
Producer: Robert Z. Leonard (Prod)
Writer: Jacques Deval (Scr)
  Robert Arthur (Scr)
Photography: William Daniels (Dir of photog)
  Oliver Marsh (Dir of photog)
  Clyde De Vinna (Steamboat scenes photog by)
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons (Art dir)
  Eddie Imazu (Art dir assoc)
Film Editor: Harold F. Kress (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis (Set dec)
Costumes: Adrian (Gowns)
  Gile Steele (Men's cost)
Music: Herbert Stothart (Mus dir)
Sound: Douglas Shearer (Rec dir)
Dance: Val Raset (Dances)
Make Up: Jack Dawn (Makeup)
Stand In: Lorraine Bridges (Vocal Stand-in for Jeanette MacDonald)
Country: United States

Songs: "One Kiss," "Wanting You," "Lover Come Back to Me," "Stouthearted Men," "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise," "Marianne," "Tavern Scene (Take a Flower)" "Gorgeous Alexander" and "Funny Little Sailor Men," music by Sigmund Romberg, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II; "Bayou Voices," music and lyrics by Herbert Stothart; "La Marseillaises," music and lyrics by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle; "Soon I Will Be Done," composer undetermined.
Composer: Oscar Hammerstein II
  Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
  Sigmund Romberg
Source Text: Based on the operetta New Moon , book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab, music by Sigmund Romberg (New York, 19 Sep 1928).
Authors: Frank Mandel
  Laurence Schwab
  Oscar Hammerstein II
  Sigmund Romberg

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Loew's Inc. 17/6/1940 dd/mm/yyyy LP9721

PCA NO: 6046
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Sound System

Genre: Comedy-drama
Sub-Genre: Historical
Subjects (Major): France--History--Revolution, 1789-1799
  Impersonation and imposture
Subjects (Minor): Aunts
  New Orleans (LA)
  Mistaken identity

Note: The working title of this picture was Lover Come Back , and it was broadcast on television as Parisian Belle . HR news items in late Nov 1939 note that director W. S. Van Dyke worked on this film for about two weeks, but was reassigned to direct I Take This Woman , leaving producer Robert Z. Leonard to take his place. An item in HR comments that Nat Pendleton was to have appeared in this picture. Pendleton can be seen very briefly early in the picture as a bondsman standing next to Nelson Eddy. It is possible that his part was intended to be longer but was cut prior to the film's preview. In the same scene, silent star Buster Keaton is seen on the opposite side of Eddy, however, he is also unbilled in contemporary sources. According to HR , the steamboat scenes were filmed by Clyde de Vinna at Santa Catalina Island, CA. Reviews commented on the similarity between this film and M-G-M's 1935 film Naughty Marietta , which also starred Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. In 1931, M-G-M filmed another version of New Moon starring Grace Moore and Lawrence Tibbett (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3107). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   12 Jun 40   p. 3.
Film Daily   18 Jun 40   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Nov 39   pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Nov 39   p. 4, 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Dec 39   pp. 5-6.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Dec 39   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Jun 40   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   18 Jun 40   p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald   27 Jan 40   p. 61.
Motion Picture Herald   22 Jun 40   pp. 50-51.
New York Times   19 Jul 40   p. 22.
Variety   19 Jun 40   p. 14.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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