AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Naughty Marietta
Alternate Title: Victor Herbert's Naughty Marietta
Director: W. S. Van Dyke (Dir)
Release Date:   29 Mar 1935
Premiere Information:   World premiere in Washington, D.C.: 8 Mar 1935; New York opening: 22 Mar 1935
Production Date:   4 Dec 1934--7 Feb 1935
Duration (in mins):   105-106
Duration (in reels):   11
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Cast:   Jeanette MacDonald (Marietta [Franini, assumed name of Princess Marie de Namours de la Bonfain])  
    Nelson Eddy ([Richard] Warrington)  
    Frank Morgan (Governor d'Annard)  
    Elsa Lanchester (Madame d'Annard)  
    Douglas Dumbrille (Uncle)  
    Joseph Cawthorne (Herr Schuman)  
    Cecilia Parker (Julie)  
    Walter Kingsford (Don Carlos [de Braganza])  
    Greta Meyer (Frau Schuman)  
    Akim Tamiroff (Rudolpho)  
    Harold Huber (Abe [Abraham])  
    Edward Brophy (Zeke [Ezekial Cramer])  
    Cora Sue Collins (Felice)  
    Mary Doran (Casquette girl)  
    Marjorie Main (Casquette girl)  
    Jean Chatburn (Casquette girl)  
    Pat Farley (Casquette girl)  
    Jane Barnes (Casquette girl)  
    Jane Mercer (Casquette girl)  
    Linda Parker (Casquette girl)  
    Kay English (Casquette girl)  
    Dr. Edouard Lippe (Landlord)  
    Harry Cording (Pirate)  
    William Burress (Bouget, pet-shopkeeper)  
    Helen Shipman (Marietta Franini)  
    Catherine Griffith (Prunella, Marie's maid)  
    Billy Dooley (Drunk, Marietta's "brother")  
    Guy Usher (Ship's captain)  
    Henry Roquemore (Herald)  
    Richard Powell (Herald)  
    James C. Morton (Barber)  
    Louis Mercier (Dueler)  
    Robert McKenzie (Town crier)  
    J. Delos Jewkes (Priest on dock)  
    William Moore (Jacques, suitor)  
    Harry Tyler (Suitor)  
    Ben Hall (Mama's boy)  
    Edward Keane (Major Cornell)  
    Roger Gray (Sergeant)  
    Edward Norris (Marie's suitor)  

Summary: In 18th century France, French princess Marie de Namours de la Bonfain, an orphan who lives with her uncle, Prince de la Bonfain, refuses to marry Spanish grandee Don Carlos de Braganza. Although the marriage has been sanctioned by King Louis XV, Marie tells her confidant, Herr Schuman, that she prefers to marry a man who will be "tall and strong in the wind." She calls Don Carlos, who has come from Madrid to take her to Spain with him, an "odious" man. Marie disregards her uncle's warning about the dire consequences that will befall her if she refuses to obey the king's wishes, and decides to escape from France when she learns that her maid, Marietta Franini, is departing for Louisiana. After Marietta tells Marie that she is leaving for the colonies because she is too poor to stay in Paris and marry her sweetheart Giovanni, Marie offers her money in exchange for permission to take her place aboard the ship. Marietta accepts the offer, and Marie, disguised as Marietta, boards the ship in her stead. Soon after the princess' departure, a public notice is posted proclaiming that she is a fugitive, and a reward of 550 Louis D'ors is offered for information on her whereabouts. On the ship, the princess takes her place among the many casquette girls, who are sailing to Louisiana to fulfill their contract with the king and marry colonists in New Orleans, and tells Julie, one of the girls, that she will not do what is expected of her upon their arrival. Following an attack on the ship by pirates, and the massacre of its sailors, the ship is commandeered and taken ashore somewhere in the colonies. As soon as the casquette girls disembark from the ship, a bloody battle between the pirates and Yankee Scouts ensues. Once the pirates are defeated, the handsome leader of the Scouts, Richard Warrington, becomes enamoured of the princess. The girls are then taken to New Orleans, where they are greeted by the Governor and a lively group of prospective husbands. While the girls are being led to the convent, the princess tries to disqualify herself from marriage by telling the Governor that she is an immoral woman. As a result, Marie is assigned to work at a nearby marionette show, where Richard, who is still in love with her, finds her. No sooner are the two reunited than Richard hears the news about a reward for a missing French princess and, realizing his sweetheart is a fugitive, attempts to hide her. The princess, however, is soon captured and is arrested at the Governor's orders. When Julie visits the princess, she tells her that the Governor has banished Richard and will force her to return to France with Don Carlos and her uncle, who have come to fetch her. While Marie's uncle advises her to mend her relationship with Don Carlos by telling him that she left him on a whim only to intrigue him, Julie finds Richard and informs him that the Governor intends to harm him if Marie refuses to comply with France's orders. Before their departure, Marie, her uncle and the others attend the Governor's farewell ball, where Richard shows up unexpectedly. Marie reaffirms her love for him in a song, and he persuades her to elope with him into the wilderness, where he promises her that they will never again be disturbed by her family or the French government. 

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew's Inc.)
Distribution Company: Loew's Inc.  
Director: W. S. Van Dyke (Dir)
  Edward Woehler (Asst dir)
Producer: Hunt Stromberg (Prod)
Writer: John Lee Mahin (Scr)
  Frances Goodrich (Scr)
  Albert Hackett (Scr)
Photography: William Daniels (Photog)
  Bill Riley (2d cam)
  Al Lane (2d cam)
  Floyd Porter (Gaffer)
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons (Art dir)
  Arnold Gillespie (Art dir assoc)
  Edwin B. Willis (Art dir assoc)
Film Editor: Blanche Sewell (Film ed)
Costumes: Adrian (Cost)
Music: Herbert Stothart (Mus adpt)
  Paul Marquardt (Orch)
  Jack Virgil (Orch)
  Charles Maxwell (Orch)
  Leonid Raab (Orch)
  Wayne Allen (Orch)
Sound: Douglas Shearer (Rec dir)
Production Misc: Bill Allen (Elec)
  Arnold Webster (Grip)
  Pop Arnold (Grip)
  Harry Albiez (Props)
  Frank Tanner (Still photog)
  Howard Dietz (Press agent)
Country: United States

Songs: "Chansonette," "Antoinette and Anatole," "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp Along the Highway," "Owl and the Pole-cat," "'Neath the Southern Moon," "Italian Street Song," "Dance of the Marionettes," "Ship Ahoy," "I'm Falling in Love with Someone" and "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life," music by Victor Herbert, lyrics by Rida Johnson Young, additional lyrics by Gus Kahn.
Composer: Victor Herbert
  Gus Kahn
  Rida Johnson Young
Source Text: Based on the operetta Naughty Marietta , music by Victor Herbert, book and lyrics by Rida Johnson Young (London, 24 Oct 1910).
Authors: Rida Johnson Young
  Victor Herbert

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. 6/3/1935 dd/mm/yyyy LP5468 Yes

PCA NO: 622
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Sound System

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Historical
Subjects (Major): France--History--19th century
  Impersonation and imposture
  New Orleans (LA)
Subjects (Minor): Balls (Parties)
  Louis XV, King of France, 1710-1774

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

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   17 Apr 34   p. 4.
Daily Variety   18 Feb 35   p. 3.
Film Daily   20 Feb 35   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Oct 34   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Oct 34   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Dec 34   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Dec 34   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Dec 34   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Dec 34   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Dec 34   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Dec 34   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Dec 34   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Dec 34   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Dec 34   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Jan 35   , 12791
Hollywood Reporter   8 Jan 35   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jan 35   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Jan 35   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Jan 35   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Jan 35   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Feb 35   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Feb 35   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Mar 35   p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily   19 Feb 35   p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald   23 Feb 35   p. 66.
Motion Picture Herald   2 Mar 35   p. 54.
MPSI   1 Apr 35   p. 11, 48
New York Times   23 Mar 35   p. 11.
Variety   27 Mar 35   p. 15.

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