Nuor

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  1. hello cclowell38, I meant #2 . My impression is that there is an image of Durbin as this sweet girl with a nice voice and I just think that while not completely wrong it misses what is may be the most interesting component to her character. I just don't think sweet is the dominant feature of her characters though it certainly colors them.
  2. I referred elsewhere to a quality that Deanna displays that touches on this point. In many of her roles she is extremely willful. Not really bratty as she is often doing what she feels is best for those involved; but she makes plans and carries them out with a tunnel vision that leads to all kinds of unforeseen consequences. This strength of conviction and character is a powerful component of her characters right up there with her outstanding voice and "sweet" nature (which I think is often exaggerated). She is seldom a "Shrinking Violet" and the character in which she most displays that trait (in "First Love") is one of my least favorite roles for that very reason.
  3. Nuor

    Best Movie Soprano Voice?

    I can't resist my 2 cent's. I have mixed feelings about this film (HBS). I'm indifferent to the plot and the character motivation is hardly inspiring but Deanna is truly "Radiant" she sparkles like perhaps in no other of her films. I'm certain this is the directors plan but it is one thing for the director to have plans it is quite another for the actor and crew to pull it off. Her singing performances may be as consistently good as she ever produced. And though the overall plot doesn't really grab me some of the individual scenes are wonderful. The performances of both "The Russian Medley" and "Nessun Dorma" deserve finer praise than I can manage. Markus is dead on as usual the finale of HBS is incredibly moving and though the spectacular singing plays a role it's Deanna's evolving emotional reactions throughout the scene that make it work. I understand your reaction Markus it is almost embarrassing to think something so sentimental is so good, but I do.
  4. Nuor

    Best Movie Soprano Voice?

    I have the exact opposite reaction. Powell and Grayson do nothing for me and Deanna fascinates me. Her voice just does something. But I'll admit to not being knowledgeable when it comes to musicals, outside of an unexplainable interest in Durbin. Heck, I don't even watch movies much anymore though I certainly watched my share in the past. My actress preferences run more to Barbara Stanwyck, Irene Dunne, Maureen O'Hara, Sophie Marceau or a Natalie Portman (for you younger viewers ) hardly a cavalcade of musical stars.
  5. Nuor

    Best Movie Soprano Voice?

    I have a single recording of Farrell, quite thoughtfully supplied by Markus. The recording is of a 40 year old Farrell who I assume is in her full glory and she is wonderful. But I can't say the sound is really better than Durbin at her best. It is a matter of taste. Durbin's voice takes on some of those same qualities of depth by the mid to late 40's that I think opera experts tend to trash her for lacking. There is quality to Durbins sound that I find particularly appealing and as early as "Can't help Singing" and most likely earlier her voice already sounds to me to be taking on a fullness that foreshadows a truly wonderful fully mature voice. It a shame we didn't get to hear it.
  6. Very nice MoiraFinnie, Unbidden sounds about right. It's the on-demand that baffles me. I'll have to check out some of your examples. Interesting how the chin quiver shows up as powerful emotion under restraint not just sadness. In fact, sadness is not enough. I hadn't associated chin quiver with anger but once you mentioned it I'm able to imagine it. If I were to guess; The Stanwyck scene was maybe melancholy and/or homesickness mixed with gratitude. The Durbin scene was sadness and longing. It strikes me is that a chin quiver would demand a very high "base" level of emotion and to be able to bring that kind of emotion to the surface on command seems impossible to me. But hey I can't wiggle my ears or curl my tongue either. I read somewhere that some actress used to not sleep before a big emotional scene, as being tired relaxed the control over emotion. I think chin quiver may sometimes get a bad reputation as it is associated with maudlin or childish self-pity. But sometimes it works for the scene.
  7. This may sound odd to some; But, as I apparently have the emotional range of a rock, on demand emotional expression in film amazes me. I was watching an old Barbara Stanwyck film a while back ("Remember the Night") and in one scene her eyes well up and her chin quivers momentarily. I thought at the time how does someone do that? In my most depressed state the most sentimental moment barely causes my eyes to well up much less a chin quiver. Now I know children seem able to do this with relative ease but Barbara was 33 years old at the time. Later I was watching an old Deanna Durbin film from 1947 (she was 25 or so) and she pulled the same scene (brief moment of tearing up and a chin quiver). Can any of you do this? Is this just a girl thing that we gentleman aren't privy to?
  8. Nuor

    Best Smile

    Smiles are so subjective. But I say hands down Deanna Durbin. It's so natural and unpretentious. She quite literally radiates joy when she smiles.

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