This blog was started in 2010 as a tribute to Deanna and her films. On this site you will find reviews, photos, articles, video clips, old time radio programs, news and more.


Deanna Durbin had lead roles in 21 films from 1936-1948


Before they were stars, they appeared in one short subject together.


Deanna is often credited with helping to save Universal from bankrupcy.


She was given an Honorary Academy Award in 1938.

July 30, 2010

Summer 2010 magazine (Films of the Golden Age) features cover story on Deanna

The Summer 2010 edition of Films of the Golden Age features a colorful poster from Spring Parade , plus a 16-page article on Deanna Durbin filled with photos and movie poster artwork (the magazine is printed on newsprint so it's all in B/W)

The article features insight into why Deanna has chosen to stay out of the spotlight for so many decades (Deanna is not interviewed, but one of her previous interviews is discussed).

Unfortunately, the magazine is rather hard to find in book stores; "Border's" and "Barnes and Noble" probably will not have it. I know of only one place around me that carries it, at a newsstand (in Chicago) that specializes in carrying hard-to-find magazines.

Also, you might be able to order a copy on the magazine web site: http://www.filmsofthegoldenage.com/ (note: the site has not been updated in months)

Don't worry, though, if you can't get a copy right away. I am planning to write some reviews and post some excerpts from the article in the days to come.

July 26, 2010

100 Men and a Girl (1937)

"I've never seen such a child in all my life!" - Eugene Pallette's producer character says this in reaction to a persistent Deanna Durbin.

In a story that might remind you of her short film "Every Sunday", Deanna wants to start an orchestra for a group of unemployed musicians, including her father, wonderfully played by Adolph Menjou. The chemistry that he and Deanna have is so good that you'll be convinced they are father-daughter.

In perhaps one of her best performances, Deanna stops at nothing to start the orchestra of 100 men, even managing to meet with world-renowned conductor Leopold Stokowski to solicit his help.

It's interesting to note that Stokowski only allowed himself to appear in four motion pictures (as himself of course), the most famous being 1940's Fantasia.

I would think that a film would need to have a really good script in order for him to lend his acting chops, and this movie really is indeed a good one; it's funny and filled with some great musical numbers. Classical music fans will certainly enjoy it. I'm sure Stokowski found Durbin to be a real promising young talent.

Other great comic performances come from Eugene Pallette and Alice Brady as the sponsors of the new orchestra, Mischa Auer as one of the unemployed musicians, and Frank Jenks as a singing taxi driver. His scenes with Deanna in the cab will crack you up.

Needless to say, audiences and critics were really impressed by Deanna and this film. It was nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Original Story, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing. It won Best Musical Score, beating out Lost Horizon, Way Out West, The Prisoner of Zenda, and In Old Chicago. Most surprisingly, it beat Snow White And the Seven Dwarfs!

And Deanna of course went on to star in 19 more motion pictures...

Laura has a great review of the movie at her blog Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

July 21, 2010

"Because of Him" (1946)

A lighthearted screwball comedy set in the world of the Broadway theater, with a top-notch musical score by Miklós Rózsa.

Deanna is a New York waitress dreaming of becoming a Broadway star. Her restaurant manager is played by Charles Halton who played the bank examiner in It's A Wonderful Life, my favorite movie.

Her favorite actor is famed British thespian John Sheridan (Charles Laughton), who is working on a new play, "Strange Laughter".

One day Laughton comes into her restaurant to eat, and Deanna cleverly schemes to get into the play. She also bumps into the playwright on the street (Franchot Tone), who is smitten by her at first sight.

Laughton is funny in this. I like the scene where he visits a bedridden Deanna and sees her shrine of photos of him on her dresser. He also teaches her how to faint properly. Also, it's funny when they both rehearse a scene and one of the characters in the play is named "Tony Randall" - the real actor was not famous yet.

Another funny scene comes during a rehearsal when Deanna breaks down and sobs uncontrollably. Everyone thinks she's trying impress with her acting abilities. But is she faking it? Ha ha. You have to see it!

The film's posters are a little misleading because it gives the impression it's a romance between Durbin and Tone. They really don't light any sparks until much later on in the picture, and even then it's on-again/off-again.

Highlights of the film include Deanna singing "Danny Boy" and "Goodbye", and seeing Laughton and Tone - two of the stars of 1935's Mutiny on the Bounty - reunited on screen.

For more about Because of Him (1946):

Laura has written a great review of Because of Him on her blog

July 8, 2010

Advertisement for "Spring Parade"

"Her 8th Great Hit in a parade of perfect pictures....bringing you more happiness than you've ever had!"

A full page ad, as it appeared in LIFE Magazine

I love how it says, "Watch For It At Your Favorite Movie!"

July 7, 2010

Where have you gone, Deanna Durbin?

It's sad, pitiful even, to hear the latest in the life of actress-singer Lindsay Lohan. Read a recent CNN article about her rise and fall here.

DUIs, drunken parties, outbursts, court dates, jail.

She is only 24 years old.

And it brings to mind other so-called starlets of this age, and what they've been up to.

Where is the talent?

What happened to class?