Listen: Alternate version of “Will You Remember” from first Maytime?
Here’s an interesting alternate version of Nelson and Jeanette singing “Will You Remember” that we are assuming came from the first Maytime. The orchestration is completely different and with the addition of a mandolin as the prominent orchestral instrument.
Above, we see a shot of Nelson with a guitar, also presumably from the original Maytime since this scene doesn’t exist in the version we know and love. But Nelson’s makeup and outfit looks more like the second Maytime so …who knows?
Anyway, click on the link below to listen to this version of “Will You Remember” and let us know which version you like better by adding a Comment to this post. Enjoy!
Will You Remember – Alternate version
August 31, 2012 @ 7:51 pm
It’s kind of hard to say which one I like better. I’ll just say, this version would be the one I’d imagine them singing in their later years, as they looked back on their love. The more familiar version, would be the one I’d imagine they’d sing early in their love, at the pain of first parting.
September 3, 2012 @ 9:37 pm
Here’s an email from Madeline Bayless:
COMPARISON OF THE TWO VERSIONS OF “WILL YOU REMEMBER’”
The first version made for Thalberg’s version of “Maytime” brings us a sparkling but poignant performance by both Nelson and Jeanette. Their rendition brings us an unusually vibrant and youthful interpretation of this musical classic. Both artists are in top form. They seemed to understand how important this song was to the film and put their hearts into interpreting the meaning to the audience. In particular I noticed a difference in Jeanette’s singing of her line following the choral interlude. I took enjoyment in the elegance and artistry of their performance. I will continue to enjoy it and rejoice that it has been found! It always seemed interesting that the Thalberg story line for his “Maytime” was so dramatically different from the story rewritten for the final version. That Romberg’s music was able to be adapted to both was unusual.
However, what we see and hear in the second and filmed “Maytime” version, it seems to reflect the status of Nelson and Jeanette’s personal love affair which had now been fully restored but Nelson, in particular, was dealing with the news of her impending wedding to Gene. Their passion for each other is completely exposed in this performance. We, the audience, are allowed to view the agony they were facing in their private life as well as in their screen life! We see it etched in their faces and hear it in their voices as they sing this enchanting love song to each other. The lyric used for this film was especially noted for the wonderful Duet with which it concluded. It was impossible for audiences to leave the theatre with any doubt about the love that existed between Nelson and Jeanette. Never have two artists communicated their passion and unadulterated love for each other as powerfully as in this epic film. This film remains as one of the greatest of one hundred films ever made. Their rendition of Romberg’s “Will You Remember”, although remembered by audiences as “Sweetheart, Sweetheart, Sweetheart”, will continue to be recognized as one of the greatest love songs that was ever preserved on film. Combined with the magnificent “Czarita” sequence, this remains one of the finest musical films and is worthy of that recognition.
Perhaps we should not even attempt to make a comparison of these two performances because both timing and motivation make comparison impossible. Each should be enjoyed for when it occurred in their lives. They had just completed two extraordinary, light hearted successful films and this one was a complete departure for Nelson and Jeanette as a team. The revised script was far more profound in story content than anything they had ever attempted as a team. Jeanette, always a very skilled actress, complete with a glorious voice, would play her character convincingly. However for Nelson, it would prove to be a challenge but with Jeanette’s guidance and encouragement, he gave a sincere and touching portrayal of the young singer who had to convey to the audience of his everlasting love for Marcia Mornay. He did accomplish it and the film has always been considered their very best.
I always enjoy reading Nelson’s famous “Maytime Diary” in which the reader immediately understands his excitement in making this film with his adored Jeanette. The exuberance he expresses in the Diary is so very delightful and permits us to have a better understanding of Nelson and his relationship with the one woman he would always love, and she, him.
People are still captivated when they find out about their life long love affair which remains as beautiful today as it did when it existed! The new version of “Maytime” and its glorious score always made this film their own personal choice among the eight films they made together and the public continues to respond to it. The entire “Czaritza” sequence was the first successful transition of Opera to film and the audiences, without understanding a word of French, were overwhelmed by Nelson’s and Jeanette’s interpretation of their roles and it took no subtitles to accomplish what they did with their voices! Too bad Mayer would not spend the money to make it in color but even without color, Jeanette was photographed magnificently! Jeanette MacDonald was made for Technicolor but we had to wait two more years for that to happen!
September 25, 2012 @ 4:10 pm
I offer many thanks to Madeline Bayless for her beautifully stated and elegant comparison of the two versions of Maytime. After I learned of the true circumstances of their off-screen relationship, it took me a while before I could watch Maytime again. I found the sadness of their real life situation so closely paralleling the reel life plot of Maytime overwhelming. Happily, I can once again watch it and enjoy the beauty of the film and their coupling and yet still weep over both.