Deanna Durbin plays Pamela, the aspiring thespian daughter to Broadway actress Georgia Drake (Kay Francis). Mother and daughter unknowingly vie for the same part in a play and also for the affections of the same man (Walter Pidgeon). It's a thin plot, but Ms. Durbin and the rest are charming as ever.
Director William Seiter held the reigns for It’s A Date. Seiter’s catalog includes directing Shirley Temple films and early Fred Astaire musicals, such as Roberta (1935) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942). Norman Krasna penned the screen play based on original stories by Ralph J. Block, Jane Hall and Frederick Kohner. Kohner would later write a novel about another charismatic fictional teen, which would become a series of movies and a television show – Gidget.
Ms. Durbin’s costars from First Love (1939) – Lee Howard and Eugene Pallette- reappear to round out the comic supporting cast. Hungarian character actor S. Z. Sakall shines in this his Hollywood film debut. Sakall would play the baker Teschek in another of Ms. Durbin’s films, Spring Parade(1940).
Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times is enamored of Deanna Durbin and states that it is her winning personality and “young-girlish magic” which overcome the “slightness and fragility ” of the plot, and make It’s A Date a “practically compulsory rendezvous.” The trailer for the movie bears this same sentiment. It simply repeats the star’s name and the title for the show allowing barely a hint at the plot. Ms. Durbin was so popular by this point, the public would gobble up just about anything in which the megastar was featured.
Songs (Those performed by Deanna Durbin are in boldface):
- · "Gypsy Lullaby" (Unknown)
- · "Love is All" (Tomlin, Tobias)
- · "Loch Lomond" (Traditional)
- · "It Happened in Kaloha" (Freed, Skinner)
- · "Musetta's Waltz Song" (Puccini)
- · "Rhythm of the Islands" (Cherkose, Belasco, Press)
- · "Ave Maria" (Schubert)
Deanna Durbin as Pamela Drake, Kay Francis...Georgia Drake, Walter Pidgeon...John Arlen, Eugene Pallette...Governor Allen, Henry Stephenson...Captain Andrew, Cecilia Loftus...Sara Frankenstein, Samuel S. Hinds...Sidney Simpson, Lewis Howard...Freddie Miller, S.Z. Sakall...Carl Ober, Fritz Feld...Headwaiter, Virginia Brissac...Miss Holden, Romaine Callender...Evans, Joe King...First Mate Kelly, Mary Kelley...Governor's Wife, Eddie Polo...Quarter-Master, Harry Owens and his Royal Hawaiians...Themselves
- Watch the original trailer for It’s A Date(1940)
- View the It’s A Date photo collection at The Deanna Durbin Devotees Forum
- Read The New York Times Review of It’s A Date (1940)
- Joseph Pasternak, producer at Universal Studios, brought the rights for It’s a Date (1940) to his new studio, MGM after Ms. Durbin retired. The film was remade as Nancy Goes To Rio (1950) for another singing teen star, Jane Powell.