Grace Moore

  1. Jeanette  MacDonald, The  Merry  Widow,  1934.  Ego  – avoirdupois  style.  Maurice Chevalier and director Ernst Lubitsch wanted Grace and she even agreed to  make the musical for nothing. (Her previous two MGMovies had flopped). OK, said the Frenchman, how about Joan Crawford,  Evelyn Laye, or Gloria Swanson?  To make sure MacDonald was out of the picture, ,production chief Irving Thalberg cruelly imposed a 125lb weight limit on MGM’s leading ladies. And the Metropolitan Opera diva refused to step on the scales of injustice in his office.  In three of her fnine 30s’ films –  Love Me Forever, The King Steps Out and I’ll Take Romance,  she was billed as Miss Grace Moore.
  2. Jeanette MacDonald, Rose Marie, 1936.  When I’m calling… who? A concert tour made The Tennessee Nightingale unavailable for the film (and scales) that truly launched the MacDonald-Nelson Eddy team and was one of the most successful MGMusicals.
  3. Jeanette MacDonald, Maytime, 1937.    Missing the first, ruled her out of  the  second,  rapidly  revamped  for The  Singing Sweethearts.  MGM interest in Moore had died with Irving Thalberg in 1936.  It was Warners, not Metro making her movie biopic, So This Is Love, with Kathryn Grayson, 1953.
  4. Norma Shearer, Her Cardboard Lover, 1941.   Robert Taylor sings…!   Back in the 30s, Grace and Maurice Chevalier  were chosen by MGM house genius Irving Thalberg for a musical version of the play.  Except Maurice refused to accept second billing.  After Thalbergl’s shock death at 37 in 1936,  the project was until Taylor took it over with Thalberg’s widow. MGM’s First Lady.  But Shearer’s final film was lambasted as  “wasted celluloid” by New York critics. Might have worked better with any of the other potential Consuelo Croydens:  Moore, Joan Crawford, Hedy Lamarr. 

 Birth year: 1901Death year: 1947Other name: Casting Calls:  4