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.

October 27, 2011

Time Machine to the Twenties: Visit Deanna Durbin's House - Part 2

Time Machine to the Twenties: Visit Deanna Durbin's House - Part 2: And now, it's back to visit with the lovely Deanna Durbin: Gorgeous Living Room Hear Deanna Play Perhaps She Might Even Sing f...

October 25, 2011

Link: A Visit to Deanna Durbin's House - Part 1 (Time Machine to the Twenties)

Amanda shared some great photos of Deanna's Hollywood home from LIFE. Check them out here:

Time Machine to the Twenties: A Visit to Deanna Durbin's House - Part 1: Welcome to Deanna Durbin's House! The View from the Exterior is Lovely Deanna Humbly Welcomes You Lovely Stonework ...

October 21, 2011

More Deanna artwork

October 19, 2011

Deanna Durbin Compared with Newer Teen Stars

Classic movie fans often bemoan the lack of discretion and innocence in films today. This was also the case in 1987 when Hollywood journalist and reporter to the stars Vernon Scott used Deanna Durbin's public persona as a comparative study with then-sensation teen actress Molly Ringwald. Here is the article:
October 6, 1987


Author: Vernon Scott, United Press International

Edition: FIRST
Page: 71

HOLLYWOOD -- The movies have been a real social barometer in the past
50 years when it comes to sexual sophistication, especially among the

Take the cases of Deanna Durbin, one of the top box-office stars of
the 1930s, and Molly Ringwald, one of today's major young actresses.

Durbin, a musical star of such films as "Three Smart Girls," "Mad
About Music" and "Spring Parade," was a fresh-faced beauty who
specialized in playing sweet, innocent characters.

Ringwald, the star of "Sixteen Candles," "Pretty in Pink" and "The
Breakfast Club," was cast the same way in all three films directed by
her former mentor, John Hughes.

Both actresses epitomized virtue and innocence, until they turned 19.**

In 1939, Durbin received her first screen kiss, from romantic bounder
Robert Stack in "First Love," and it was the smack heard round the

Universal Studios trumpeted the news as if it were the start of World
War II, newspapers and magazines covered the sensational smooch as a
major news event.

Stack became an overnight celebrity and, in fact, can trace much of
his long and successful career to that memorable kiss.

Dissolve to 1987, and it's more than kissing on the screen. In her
new movie, "The Pick-Up Artist" now playing in Boston at the Charles
and suburban cinemas, Ringwald is seduced in the back of an
automobile, a scene handled discreetly through dialogue.

However, while Durbin's kiss was headline material in 1939,
Ringwald's loss of innocence has not raised an eyebrow, illustrating
how far -- or how jaded -- we've become as moviegoers.

Stack was charmingly gallant about his stolen kiss back then, but
Robert Downey, the cad who seduces Ringwald, is filled with disbelief
when told of the stir made over Durbin's first kiss.

"A kiss doesn't mean much today," said Downey in an interview at a
Beverly Hills restaurant. "And it's no big deal about Molly losing
her virginity in a movie. She's not supposed to be a virgin when my
character meets her in the story. Or at least she's not a novice.

"Come to think of it, we only have one kiss in the film, and in the
seduction scene we're fully clothed," he said. "Girls at 19 today
must be different on and off the screen compared to what they were 50
years ago. Molly is 19 and the last I heard she was dating Adam
Horowitz, one of the Beastie Boys."

Until "The Pick-Up Artist," Downey, 22, had played secondary roles in
such films as "Weird Science" and "Back to School." In his first
costarring part, he was filled with admiration for Ringwald's

"She's a very fine actress," he said. "Really on top of it. Few young
actors are as focused as she is. You've gotta keep eye contact with
her or you lose it in a hurry.

"Molly is always right on the ball, and if I missed a beat and the
scene dropped, she was aware of it and let me know.

"I was a little paranoid when we started the picture because my part
was so much bigger than I had played before. But I took the pressure
off by telling myself I was a supporting player. It was a trick that
worked for me.

"And I learned a lot watching Molly. She keeps growing as a person
and as an actress."

Downey also is doing some growing also. A onetime regular
on "Saturday Night Live," he will be seen later this year starring as
a drug-addicted teen-ager in "Less than Zero."

At the end of the conversation, Downey still seemed a little confused
about one thing. "I still don't understand what the big deal was
about a girl getting kissed in a movie for the first time," he said.

October 16, 2011

It’s a Date (1940)

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.
Deanna Durbin and Kay Francis
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.
Deanna Durbin and Lee Howard
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

Further Information