For many years, I have been told that I cannot use stories about certain people, as told by others, in building a case for why the allegations of Rich’s Sweethearts make no sense. In most instances, I do tend to agree. One cannot always get a full, clear picture of another person based solely on the experiences of other people. It is best to judge for yourself. Sadly, we can’t. It’s something I’ve definitely had to come to terms with, over the last 10 months. The best one can do is thoroughly research, take in all sides, and verify information provided.
There’s this nagging inside of me, though, that is terribly annoyed that the folks of the MacEddy club who always, and I mean always shot what I thought were logical arguments down because they had nothing to do with Jeanette or Nelson are now doing the very thing I was told was off the table. I know I have some new readers, ones I have never gone off on venting rants to, so I’d like to take today to break the “rules of defense.”
The above video is TCM’s Private Screenings interview with Ann Miller. I’ve set it to start playing just as she begins to tell the story of being hired by MGM. It is alleged that Jeanette MacDonald was so powerless in her own love life because Louis B. Mayer was obsessed with her and wanted her for himself. He would stop at nothing to ruin her, should she marry Nelson Eddy. Let’s take Annie’s story, as an example of the crazy, obscene “vindictiveness” of Mr. Mayer. While working for Columbia and entertaining the idea of quitting show business to be a housewife, Ann Miller was taken out dancing, often, by Mr. Mayer. Her mother was always in attendance, but after a while, Mr. Mayer’s intentions were laid out- while Annie thought of him as a sort of father figure, who should be falling in love with her mother, Mr. Mayer was falling for her. He asked her to marry him. She refused him, and he went home and took a bunch of sleeping pills.
Legend has it that Annie only got her MGM contract because of Mr. Mayer’s attraction to her, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The thing is, though, that she had quit the movies to marry Reese Milner. Sadly, he was terribly abusive and, in the final act of their marriage, pushed eight months pregnant Annie down the stairs, breaking her back and killing their child. When Easter Parade opened up, she had to audition. Bless Arthur Freed, though, because he made sure she got the job, which led to her long term contract.
Now, where was Mr. Mayer, this whole time? Nowhere. Hiding in corners. Avoiding her. If it is so proven and factual and evidenced that he even had the power to single handedly ruin someone, and he would have ruined Jeanette MacDonald for crossing him, why didn’t he ruin Annie? It’s a very similar story as the one that has been created, about Jeanette. Mr. Mayer was so in love with Ann Miller that he asked for her hand, in marriage. Not only did she pretty much laugh in his face and tell him that he was more her mother’s speed, she married someone else and got badly, horrifically abused. Isn’t this what the Louis B. Mayer of Sweethearts was so obsessed with, in regard to Jeanette? But he didn’t ruin Annie. Hell, he wouldn’t even look at her. His studio employed her, though, and she went on to make what have proven to be her most memorable movies. So, tell me why I’m supposed to believe that he could have or would have ruined one of his top moneymakers for marrying the person that many of her fans wanted her to marry, anyway?
Then, of course, there is June Allyson, as well. Unfortunately I can’t find a link to her TCM Private Screenings, so you’ll just have to trust me, on this one. 🙂 In it, she discussed her marriage to Dick Powell with Robert Osborne. When she went to Mr. Mayer to tell him her intentions, he did actually make threats. He would ruin her. June left, still headstrong in her intention to marry Dick Powell, but turned back. She walked back up to Mr. Mayer and told him she had no one to give her away, at her wedding, and asked him to do it.
Like, he totally still fired her though, right? Noooooo! Date of marriage? August 19th, 1945. She made movies strictly for MGM, until 1953. I don’t know the specifics of her contract, off hand, but let’s just assume she had one. She had a job, anyway. At MGM. She outlasted Mr. Mayer, even.
Look at the cajones on this girl! Not only did she defy a direct order, she walked up to Mr. Mayer and got him to be in her wedding. In Her Wedding. So please, PLEASE tell me more about how Mr. Mayer would have ruined Jeanette for marrying Nelson Eddy!
At best the only person he ever may have made some half assed attempt to “protect” Jeanette from was Clark Gable. When she wanted him, for San Francisco, he just sat on his hands like “Girl, idk, I can’t force Gable to do anything.” Pure speculation, of course, so don’t quote me, but didn’t Gable do something crazy to a leading lady, in 1935? Isn’t that a thing? I don’t know. We’ll have to check on that one.
And that last part is for appropriating Loretta’s story as proof of your own. You don’t know the half of what that lady went through, and after taking some cheap shots at her, you’re really going to act like you have some sort of emotion about her being put through an ordeal? And you’re going to take what you think her entire ordeal was, and apply it to Jeanette? That’s seriously messed up. So enjoy my spin, my speculative little spin. It sure as hell makes a lot more sense than anything the MacEddy crew has ever come up with.