Of the ones that got away, Maiden Voyage (released in 1939 under the new title Bridal Suite) was perhaps one of the closest to being a reality. MGM had a longlist of options for their double Oscar winner, but by this stage in her career Luise had suffered a lull in the box office after some spectacularly bad choices of films; choices made by the studio, not by Luise. The studio felt she needed a brighter subject after the lachrymose performance of The Great Ziegfeld and the devastating turmoil of The Good Earth. Luise’s standing as a dramatic and highly emotional actress had been further exaggerated by stories of her private life and relationships with the studio bosses. The whimsical musical-comedy of Bridal Suite seemed a perfect antidote to win back the hearts of the public.
Publicity material exists which links Luise to the film and there are contemporary newspaper articles which announce her starring role in the picture. Unfortunately the pressures of her failing marriage to Clifford Odets, the constant disagreements with MGM about the film she was making and her desire to find work she considered ‘more important’ led to Maiden Voyage being another on the long list of films that were not to be.
The film was released as Bridal Suite in November 1939 with Robert Young as the diplomat who falls for a Swiss girl – now played by European import Annabella. The character’s name, coincidentally (?) is Luise.