Review: W.S. Van Dyke’s “I Married an Angel,” Starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy

Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in
Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in "I Married an Angel"

Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy starred together in musical hit after musical hit for MGM throughout the late thirties, but their partnership ended after the disastrous I Married an Angel in 1942. Painful to watch, this adaptation of the Rodgers and Hart musical lost more money than any other MGM film that season1. Eddy takes on a playboy who dreams of an angel (MacDonald) that, as the title would suggest, he marries. Various antics ensue—mostly flat, sexist ones at MacDonald’s expense—all of which are completely inconsequential, as they take place during his dream and not the established narrative. MacDonald is committed, and director W.S. Van Dyke has some fun with the surreal special effects, but Eddy seems lost and the songs feel endless. Even always-reliable Edward Everett Horton disappears amongst a sea of costumes and pointless musical numbers, rendering I Married an Angel mostly a slog to get through.

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For More on I Married an Angel

Read the review in The New York Times

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References   [ + ]

1. Mark H. Glancy, “MGM Film Grosses, 1924–1948: The Eddie Mannix Ledger.” Historical Journal Of Film, Radio And Television 12, no. 2 (1992): 127-44.