Deanna Durbin would have turned 97 on December 4th of this year. She is one of my favorite Old Hollywood stars and I decided I wanted to celebrate her birthday by talking about my five favorite movies which she starred in. I haven't seen all her films and one of my goals for 2019 is to finish off her filmography. There are twenty-one films in her filmography, so it really shouldn't be that hard for me to finish watching the rest of her films in 2019. I am excited to talk about these five films!
5. For The Love Of Mary (1948)
This movie cracks me up but sadly it's the last Deanna Durbin film that was ever released. I say released, because Up In Central Park was made after this movie but came out before it. Deanna stars as a telephone operator at the White House who gets caught up in some crazy stuff. Like Don Taylor's character wanting to talk to the President about fish. Jeffery Lynn and Edmund O'Brien also fall for Deanna in her final film. If you are looking for a hilarious film with Deanna Durbin, a great supporting cast, and singing than do I have the film for you.
4. Can't Help Singing (1944)
This films holds a special place in my heart because it is the first Deanna Durbin movie I ever saw. Universal released this film in 1944 and it goes down in history as Durbin's only film shot in color. The film follows the story of Caroline Frost (Durbin) as she leaves the safety of her home to follow the man she loves out west. Robert Paige is her leading man in this film and he would rank second on my list of "Deanna Durbin's Leading Men." He held his own in this film and even at one point he and Deanna have a duet. The movie has a strong supporting cast and the music is done by Jerome Kern. I am sad that it is her only film in color. She looks beautiful in technicolor and I don't know why Universal didn't use the technology in more of her films. She had saved the studio, the least they could do would be to give the rest of her films some color.
3. Hers To Hold (1943)
Hers to Hold is the final film in the Three Smart Girls film trilogy. The first two films being Three Smart Girls (1936) and Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939). Joan and Kay are off living their married lives which just leaves Penny at home with her parents. Penny decides to help the war effort by giving blood and this is where she meets Bill Morley (Cotten), who is happens to be a pilot in the Air Force. He poses as a doctor to get her number and address. When she refuses to take his calls, he comes to a party at her home where Penny realizes she loves him. The rest of the movie follows the ups and downs of their relationship and ends with them saying goodbye at the airport.
After the first time I had watched this film, I decided to do a little research and I found out that Heda Hooper started a rumor that Deanna Durbin and Joseph Cotten were having an affair. The rumor wasn't true of course and it pissed Joseph Cotten off enough for him to kick out Hopper's chair from under her as she was sitting down. And if you are interested in watching it, the only way you can is by buying it on DVD off eBay. That's what I had to do to see this movie again and it is a film I recommend you watch.
2. It Started With Eve (1941)
This is the only Deanna Durbin film that my dad will watch. I have to fast forward through the singing parts, but he doesn't complain as much as he does when I watch Can't Help Singing. This movie follows Anne Terry (Durbin), a woman who works at a hotel coat check and is looking for her big break. Enter Johnny Reynolds (Cummings) who can't find his fiancee and needs to introduce his dying father (Laughton) to someone. So, Johnny takes Anne home to meet his father and things go from there. I love the plot of this film, the three main actors in it, and the song "Goin' Home." The song is sung so beautifully by Durbin. If you are interested in Deanna, but haven't seen any of her movies yet, this is a good one to start with.
1. Something In The Wind (1947)
The music, the plot, and this cast make for an amazing and underrated film in my opinion. I know I am in the minority when I say I love this film. I don't see a lot of people talk about this film and if I do see them talk about it, they don't have anything nice to say about it. This film came out towards the end of Deanna's career and so far it is my favorite film of hers. The story follows Mary Collins (Durbin) who gets mixed up with a rich family when they think she is someone else. The supporting cast in this film is amazing! John Dall is a great leading man and Donald O'Connor is crazy talented. Charles Winninger is also in this movie, but he isn't her father. He plays the uncle of John Dall and Donald O'Connor's characters. There are movies I don't like, but others love and that's just the case with this one. All I can say is give this film a chance.