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Nelson Eddy (1901-1967)

  1. Charlie Ruggles, Melody Cruise, 1932.   When Eddy to continue his current concert tour, RKO borrowed Ruggles from Paramount - being as like Eddy as a pea was to an orange.
  2. 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.
  3. 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? 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Barry Sullivan, Nancy Goes to Rio, 1950. Since the eighth and last of their 30s/40s hits, I Married an Angel, in 1942, the singing duo of Jeanette MacDonald  and Nelson Eddy had to fend  off film-makers wanting the publicity of getting them back on-screen “We've been asked,” reported  Nelson, “to do what might be called B pictures.  Rather than do that, we decided to leave it on a high note.”:  Which explains how Jeanette and Nelson in  MGM’s His Excellency from Brazil in 1949 became Ann Sothern and Barry Sullivan  in Nancy Goes to Rio in 1950.
  8. 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
  9. 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 Norma Jewison could not pull off his next coup - to reunite Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald.  But at  61 and 57, they had scant interest in being  The Joke… an ageing  couple suddenly expecting a baby. 




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