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Nelson Eddy (1901-1967)

  1. Ronald Colman, The Prisoner of Zenda, 1936.    The earlier idea  of  a Jeannette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy musical stumbled with the questioning of Eddy’s ability to carrry off the  dual role of the Ruritanian king  and his throne-saving clone.
  2. Errol Flynn, The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1937.    At first it was going to be an MGMusical - based on the Reginald de Koven operetta. So obviously, Eddy and MacDonald were set for Robin and Marian. Like who else? 
  3. John Carroll, Rio Rita, 1941.    What started life as just another Nelson Eddy-Jeannette MacDonald musical suddenly churned into the first of MGM’s three Abbott & Costello farces. Metro cancelled their one film per year contract after three flops.
  4. Dennis Morgan, The Desert Song, 1942.   The brothers Warner loved Sigmund Romberg’s operetta.  They first shot it in 1929 - with Carlotta King - and planned a reprise with her in 1935, opposite James Melton, unknown then and now. That plan went awry. By ’38, it was set for Eddy and, naturally, Jeannette MacDonald The second version finally took off in ’42 with Morgan and Irene Manning, followed by a third, featuring Gordon MacRae and Kathryn Grayson, in 1952.
  5. Howard Keel, Show Boat, 1950.     Universal had made the first version of Jerome Kern’s Broadway musical in 1929. By 1936, it was set for MGM's “Singing Sweethearts -  Jeanette MacDonald and Eddy -  as Magnolia Hawks and Gaylord Ravenal. No go… By 1946, Metro used  its Kern biopic, Till The Clouds Roll By, as a screen test for Tony Martin  and  Kathryn Grayson (in one segment) and (much better) Lena Horne as Julie LaVerne.  Grayson, alone, won  the movie.
  6. Oreste (Kirkop), The Vagabond King, 1956.     Also picked up for MGM’s hot operetta duo - from Paramount, where it had been the studio's first colour movie  in  1930... with Jeannette! After eight movies with her, Eddy finished up in B movies and... dubbing Disney's Willie The Operatic Whale, 1946
  7. Edward Andrews, The Thrill Of It All, 1963.    At last, Doris Day is actually married - to an obstetrician - and with two children! But Canadian director Norman   Jewison could not pull off his next coup - to reunite Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald as a middle-aged couple expecting their first off-spring.  




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