1936 Motion Picture
Released on January 13, 1936, MGM’s second screen adaptation of Rose Marie (again, with the hyphen removed) starred Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Reginald Owen, Allan Jones, James Stewart, Una O’Connor and David Niven were among the supporting players. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, the film contained very little of the original Friml/Stothart score, and the plot was significantly altered. Herbert Stothart and Gus Kahn wrote two new songs, and several numbers from other composers were added as well.
The movie was a huge hit, however, remaining MacDonald and Eddy’s best-known film. “Indian Love Call,” which they sang no less than four times in the picture, became a signature song for the duo. Reviews were positive: Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times called the film “as blithely melodious and rich in scenic beauty as any picture that has come from Hollywood,” and William Boehnel of the New York World-Telegram dubbed it “a gaily romantic and rhapsodically tuneful piece of work.” In a slightly cheekier commentary, The London Daily Telegraph noted that “Once Miss MacDonald and Mr. Eddy have started singing the ‘Indian Love Call,’ they find it so hard to stop.”
MGM did not release an official soundtrack album from the 1936 film Rose Marie, but the stars had recorded so many singles that a package was eventually assembled. In 1936, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald recorded several songs from the film, including the immensely popular “Indian Love Call”; in 1954, RCA Victor Red Seal reissued them in an extended-play 45-rpm disc. Though that collection is not available for streaming, the songs are contained in several other collections, including Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy (Operetta and Song Selections).