Naughty Marietta ★★★

This operetta, revolving around a fairly routine story of a princess traveling undercover to avoid an arranged marriage and instead meeting up with Nelson Eddy, is less ribald than a Jeannette MacDonald vehicle with this title should be; but it benefits from the neatly frantic plotting of director W.S. Van Dyke, MGM's usual ridiculous production values (phony New Orleans looks great!) and there's even actual comedy here and there (Joseph Cawthorn's sputtering cluelessness is especially funny), plus some significant chemistry between the leads. The "Sweet Mystery of Life" climax packs a bigger wallop than you'd begin to expect a film with this premise and staid atmosphere could generate. Nothing you desperately need to know about if you're not watching all the Best Picture nominees anyway, but a fun time.