Back in the early 1970s, I was fortunate enough to see a complete print of this black-and-white movie with the color finale intact. Since then, only the black-and-white version has been available. Another print with tinted scenes and the color sequence was located a years ago and has been restored. I’m glad to see that this final sequence is available to view so we can see again how lovely Jeanette photographed in color.
Historical note: Jeanette MacDonald had only been in movies for one year but after this United Artists project hoped to start branching out as an independent producer. This was a novel and bold idea for a woman, particularly in 1930. The project seemed to have a lot going for it: Arthur Hammerstein (uncle of Oscar II) produced, Herbert Stothart wrote the story while his Rose Marie co-author Rudolf Friml wrote the score. Jeanette’s co-star John Garrick didn’t impress but baritone Robert Chisholm sang well. Comic actors included Joe E. Brown and Zasu Pitts. Why didn’t this film really come together? Because the script was so stagy, the acting hokey plus the sets looked cheap. The film’s pace was deadly slow and crippled by the novelty and restrictions of sound films – then only a year old. Jeanette was forced to drop (at least for the time being) her dream to play a more active role in movies than just acting. She considered she’d had two 1930 flops – both Technicolor – The Vagabond King and The Lottery Bride. She next moved to Fox to try her hand at straight acting – making 3 films with little or no singing – and when they didn’t pan out as she’d hoped she left Hollywood altogether and went to Europe where she triumphed with a concert tour. Afterwards she swallowed her pride and returned to Paramount in 1932 to recreate her original success with Ernst Lubitsch and Maurice Chevalier. In regards to billing she would still play second fiddle to Chevalier but at least her final two films for Paramount were big hits.
Here, then, is the color finale from The Lottery Bride. (Thanks to Darryl Winston for letting me know this was available.)