Naughty Marietta (film): Wikis


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Naughty Marietta

original film poster
Directed by Robert Z. Leonard
W.S. Van Dyke
Produced by Hunt Stromberg
W.S. Van Dyke
Written by Frances Goodrich
Albert Hackett
John Lee Mahin
Starring Jeanette MacDonald
Nelson Eddy
Elsa Lanchester
Douglass Dumbrille
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Victor Herbert
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Editing by Blanche Sewell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Running time 105 min.

Naughty Marietta is a 1935 film based on the operetta of the same name by Victor Herbert: Jeanette MacDonald stars as a vivacious Princess who trades places with her maid Marietta in order to avoid an arranged marriage. Instead, she sails for New Orleans and is rescued from pirates by Captain Richard Warrington (Nelson Eddy), with whom she falls in love.

Five of Victor Herbert's most famous songs come from the score of Naughty Marietta, with words by lyricist Rida Johnson Young:

  • Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life
  • Italian Street Song
  • 'Neath the Southern Moon
  • I'm Falling in Love With Someone
  • Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (Along the Highway)

Additional lyrics for several of Herbert's songs were penned for the movie by Gus Kahn.[1] The songs "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life" and "I'm Falling in Love With Someone" were used in the Broadway adaptation of Thoroughly Modern Millie. The film was written by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, John Lee Mahin and Rida Johnson Young. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Douglas Shearer won the Academy Award for Sound for his work on the picture. In 2003, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."



Plot summary

To avoid a forced marriage with Don Carlos, an elderly Spanish duke, the beautiful and vivacious Princess Marie masquerades as her uncle's former servant, Marietta, to escape from France on a ship with casquette girls who are traveling to New Orleans to marry colonists (planters, farmers and soldiers etc.). On board ship, Marietta becomes friends with Julie, a young and pretty casquet girl whom the Princess also befriends.

Enroute to New Orleans, the casquet girls discuss what type of man they want to marry, and "Marietta" shocks the other girls by stating that she does not intend to get married to anyone. Shortly after this discussion, the ship is boarded by pirates who kill the entire crew and take the girls ashore - along with the goods the ship was carrying.

When the pirates finish sharing out the bounty among themselves, they turn their attention to the girls. Just then, singing is heard ("Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!"). The pirates comment that it is the mercenaries and they rush around to extinguish 'torches' and the fire so that they won't be noticed. However "Marietta" takes one of the lit 'torches' and runs towards the sound of the singing, crying out "help, help" — and this leads to a fight beween the mercenaries and the pirates, which the mercenaries win. The surviving pirates escape in canoes.

There are further songs from the mercenaries, including their leader, Captain Richard Warrington, singing "Neath a Southern Moon" to Marietta. Although Marietta and Captain Warrington are attracted to each other, problems arise, including Captain Warrington declaring that he does not intend to get married.

When Captain Warrington and his men take the casquet girls to New Orleans by boats, they are welcomed by the Governor of New Orleans (who is accompanied by his wife), and the casquet girls are then taken to the convent where they are to stay until they meet the men who will become their husbands. When some men approach Marietta, she comments that she does not want to marry any of them. The Governor and his wife, accompanied by Captain Warrington, now arrive and the Governor comments that he feels sure he has seen Marietta before in Paris, but Marietta convinces him that he is wrong about this. Marietta pretends to be a courtesan and is sent away in disgrace to live in a house by herself. Captain Warrington takes over the duties of the French soldiers who are escorting her to her new home. At the house, an uncomfortable Marietta tries in vain to get rid of Captain Warrington, who is persisting in staying there — when Marietta states that she will call the police to throw Warrington out, the Captain tells her that he is the police. Just then, there is the welcome interruption of the sound of singing from a group of strolling gypsies who are advertising their Marionette Theater. The daughter of the gypsy leader (Rodolpho) then sings, and Warrington joins in the singing ("Italian Street Song"). Stung by a comment from Warrington that she (Marietta) would not be able to sing as well as Rodolpho's daughter, Marietta also joins in the singing. A short time later, there is a knock at the door, and three Frenchmen are standing outside, asking to see Marietta. While Warrington is getting rid of the three would-be 'lovers' of the beautiful "courtesan", Marietta escapes from the house and can't be found.

The following day, Captain Warrington discovers that Marietta is working at the Marionette Theater, where she is a success. While performing, Marietta becomes aware that Captain Warrington is in the audience and, when he visits her dressing room, following the performance, Marietta tells him that his presence there is 'most unwelcome' — when the Captain asks her if he would be welcome 'somewhere else', Marietta says "yes". When Marietta leaves the Marionette Theater to have some lunch, Captain Warrington joins her, commenting "Here I am — welcome me". Marietta is very amused at this and is unable to suppress a smile. They become friends when Captain Warrington comments that Marietta can trust him, because he will 'keep her out in the open from now on'. While Marietta and Warrington are eating lunch together, there is an announcement of an award for information leading to Marietta's whereabouts. Marietta is once again rescued from her situation by Captain Warrington, who takes Marietta away by boat. Captain Warrington wonders who Marietta really is — saying that at least he knows that Marietta is not what she said she was. Marietta comments that she is just 'someone from somewhere'. It is during this time that Marietta and Captain Warrington discover that they are falling in love with each other ("Im Falling in Love with Someone"). When Captain Warrington asks Marietta to sing the song back to him, she says that she has a song she knows better. Leaving the boat to walk to Warrington's headquarters, they are accosted by French soldiers and Marietta's true identity of Princess Marie is revealed. Captain Warrington is stunned about this and attempts to stop the French soldiers taking Marietta away.

At the Governor's Palace, the Governor shows Marietta 'the King's mandate' and comments that Don Carlos must be a most loving suitor to have followed her to New Orleans. He also comments that a ball will be given in Marietta's 'honour'. The Governor's wife then enters the room and comments that she is horrified at Marietta's adventures and asks Marietta to confide in her and let her be 'mother' because she was an older woman.

It is night and Marietta is dressed for the ball. Julie, who has heard that Marietta is really a princess, comes to Marietta's room, asking to see Marietta because 'she knows me'. Marietta welcomes her and Julie is able to tell Marietta that Captain Warrington had been ordered to leave New Orleans that day, but had not gone — and that he was intending to come to the ball. Marietta is delighted at this. However, her uncle comes to her room and mentions that 'if Warrington attempted to see her again, he would be arrested for treason and shot'. Frightened for the man she loves, Marietta asks Julie to go to Captain Warrington and stop him from coming to the ball — however, they realise is too late when they hear Warrington and his men singing ("Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!").

Inside the ballroom, Marietta's uncle is dancing with the Governor's wife — while the Governor is dancing with Marietta. When Captain Warrington walks into the room, the Governor stops dancing with Marietta and tries to get Warrington to leave in order to save Warrington's life. After the Captain dances with Marietta, she tells him that she will sing 'her' song to him the following evening. When Warrington is leaving the house, Marietta sings her song — and Warrington joins in singing a duet with her ("Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life").

In popular culture

The song "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life" was used in Mel Brooks' 1974 comedy "Young Frankenstein," with parts of the refrain sung by the characters played by Madeline Kahn and Terri Garr.

External links

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