• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Everything posted by cclowell38

  1. cclowell38

    Deanna Durbin film day Tribute, dont miss it

    Rats! As a big Deanna Durbin fan, I was very excited when I saw the title of this thread and thought TCM had acquired the rights to her movies and had scheduled a memorial tribute to her. While I approve of encouraging TCM to do a multi-film tribute to Deanna, and believe she deserves one, it was disappointing, to say the least, to learn that this thread was only to urge TCM to get the rights to her films and schedule a tribute. I realize you mean well, but the title of this thread IS misleading.
  2. Love this movie. I haven't seen it for a long time, so I may not like it as much if I saw it again, but I really enjoyed it when I was a kid and saw it again about 7 or 8 years ago and still liked it a lot. Great supporting cast and a compelling, moving story. I thought Jennifer Jones was very effective, and I remember liking her performance, but I'm not sure I'd give her the Oscar for her performance either. Seemed to me her biggest "challenge" was in maintaining an air of quiet serenity in the face of all the accusations and persecution Bernadette had to put up with. Personally, before the cancer got to me, I'd have belted crabby, creepy old Gladys Cooper one right in the puss. (It could only be an improvement.) Yeah, the movie's probably a little overlong, but, as someone Leonard Maltin) said about it once: "The message of Faith is superbly told."
  3. cclowell38

    Any Deanna Durbin Fans?

    Wow! A thread on one of my all-time favorites, the delightful, talented Deanna Durbin! Gorgeous voice, beautiful face, utterly natural and charming in front of the camera...what's not to like? And whoever said Hollywood quit Durbin is mistaken. I was just reading Joe Pasternak's autobiography a few months ago and in the chapter on Durbin he spends the last couple of pages writing about how he kept trying to persuade her to make another movie. Ends it with the line: "All she has to do is say "I'm ready" and I"ll be there to make a film with Deanna Durbin"...or something like that. I'm also a big Kathryn Grayson fan. Used to have VHS tapes of a "Kathryn Grayson Night" TCM did several years ago. In his introductory comments to KISS ME KATE, Robert Osborne mentioned that many think it's Kathryn's best film (I agree!), but that she almost didn't get to make it. Producer Jack Cummings wanted Deanna Durbin and even flew to France to ask her to take the role in person, but she turned him down. Wish she'd written a memoir. Her career sounds fascinating.
  4. cclowell38

    *CANDIDS* 2

    Who said I'LL BE YOURS was Deanna's 10th picture? I think it was her 18th. Her 10th was IT STARTED WITH EVE, released 6 years earlier in 1941.
  5. cclowell38


    I like it a lot, too. The set was a real bargain and well worth the money I spent for it. As for any criticisms I had, I thought it was a nice idea to include an interview with Joe Pasternak's brother, but I wasn't too impressed with the interview itself which I thought was sort of sloppily conducted, and John Pasternak didn't seem to know much about the history Deanna had with his brother. I also wish they had included some of the "extras" they had on the VHS releases, including the "It's a Big Wide Wodnerful World" number cut from FOR THE LOVE OF MARY and some of the "Coming Attractions" trailers. But these are minor reservations. The quality of the films and the discs are excellent, which is what really counts, and the "extras" they include are interesting and nice to have. I've read that originally the discs were supposed to be DVD-R, but, due to the large number of pre-orders for the set, TCM decided to go all out with pressed discs. I'm glad they did and it bodes well for a future release of more Durbin films.
  6. cclowell38

    Favorite MGM musicals produced by Arthur Freed?

    Did Arthur Freed produce THE WIZARD OF OZ? I thought Mervyn LeRoy did and Freed was given uncredited status as an Associate Producer. I have a bit of a grudge against Mr. Freed because he didn't like Kathryn Grayson much, and she's one of my favorites, but he did produce some fine musicals...and some real dawgs, too. My favorites would include ON THE TOWN, SHOW BOAT, MEET ME IN ST LOUIS, GOOD NEWS, GIGI, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, GIRL CRAZY, EASTER PARADE and SILK STOCKINGS
  7. cclowell38


    That's quite a write-up the NYT gave on Deanna! I agree with Mr. Nugent that she was wonderfully appealing and absolutely unique. She's one of my all-time favorite performers. A great star and a great artist. Comments like that must've driven her crazy, though, because she was so eager to play grown-up, sophisticated roles. Anyway, I hope she had a wonderful birthday and knows that she has many, many fans even today who cherish her talent and wish her well!
  8. cclowell38


    Any of Deanna Durbin's movies that haven't already been released. Any of Kathryn Grayson's movies that haven't been released Any of Alice Faye's movies that haven't been released. ONE NIGHT OF LOVE (1934) I'd also like to see more of Jane Powell's movies on DVD. I don't really like her characters in her early films, but I enjoy her singing. I'm also a fan of INTERRUPTED MELODY, and would like to see that one get a DVD release. It would be nice to see some of Gloria Jean's movies on DVD other than IF I HAD MY WAY, which was released as part of a Bing Crosby Collection. HIGH, WIDE AND HANDSOME SHOW BOAT (1936) INCENDIARY BLONDE HAPPY GO LUCKY SING YOU SINNERS THE STAR MAKER
  9. cclowell38

    Any Deanna Durbin Fans?

    Hi Shopperv: Sorry about the problems you've been experiencing viewing that photo. I did have the photo posted successfully in my last post, but it must be protected by the site's owner. (This seems a little odd to me, since the site's owner doesn't own the copyright to it, but, who knows?) Anyway, let's see if this works: This link is to the 5th page of THE DEANNA DURBIN GALLERY. It's a site comprised entirely of photos of Deanna Durbin (some on sheet music, vidoes, etc.). The photo I've mentioned is the fourth one from the left in the second row. It's a color photo and Deanna is wearing a light purple? lavender? turtleneck sweater. You can click on the photo to get an enlarged version. I just tried it and it worked for me. Good luck!
  10. cclowell38

    Any Deanna Durbin Fans?

    Hi Shropperv: I think the photo you listed from THE DEANNA DURBIN PAGE is from 1980, not 1998. It was a photo Deanna sent to LIFE Magazine for a 1980 edition they were producing on Classic Hollywood stars. Although she declined to be interviewed by the magazine, Deanna sent the photo to dispel longstanding rumors that she was plump/overweight, and she certainly looks thin as a reed in it! In the meantime, I think I've finally figured out how to post that ca. 1983 photo of Deanna I mentioned earlier. Here it is. I hope you (and others) like it:
  11. cclowell38

    People You MUST Defend!

    It was Deanna's left arm, not her right, that was slightly crooked. Most of the material I've seen says that this was due to a broken arm injury she had as a very young child that never healed properly, but some say it was a birth defect. Among the errors Basinger makes in her chapter on Deanna are her statement that Deanna was under contract to MGM in late 1936 (she'd been signed by Universal in June of that year before EVERY SUNDAY was shot), that MGM gave "Edna May Durbin" her stage name of "Deanna" (she didn't get it until after she'd signed with Universal), that the working title of Deanna's 1943 film THE AMAZING MRS. HOLLIDAY was FOREVER YOUNG (it was FOREVER YOURS) and that Jane Powell was originally under contract to Universal but later signed with MGM. (Jane was always under contract to MGM, from 1943 until 1955, but MGM loaned her out to United Artists for her first two films, SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD and DELIGHTFULLY DANGEROUS.) I remember the comment about the WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION scene you mentioned, I also remember Basinger saying on one page that there were 14 ANDY HARDY films produced, and, a couple of pages later, saying 16 were produced. But, these errors are relatively minor ones. I still like the book a lot and would recommend it highly to film fans. I agree that it was nice to see talented and significant performers like Durbin, Tyrone Power, Irene Dunne, Jean Arthur, Errol Flynn and Betty Hutton getting some well-deserved and long overdue recognition. Also, with the exception of her write-up on Abbott and Costello (who seem to have really scared Basinger when she was a child), I appreciated that Basinger treated her subjects with real affection as well as admiration. I also liked the way she put their lives and careers into the context of how each subject handled the "star machine" process.
  12. cclowell38

    Any Deanna Durbin Fans?

    Here's a link to the 1983 photo I mentioned in my earlier post: Deanna was 61 years old at the time it was taken. Sorry, I don't know how to post the photo here, but, as you can see, she is anything but "heavyset."
  13. cclowell38

    People You MUST Defend!

    I've always read that Judy Holliday had a "genius level" IQ. She was a brilliant actress.
  14. cclowell38

    People You MUST Defend!

    I like Basinger's book a lot. (After hearing about the chapter on Deanna Durbin and her comments on other stars I like, I finally managed to locate a copy.) The style is very entertaining and readable and she makes some fascinating comments and comparisons in her discussions of classic stars and how they dealt with "The Star Machine." But, if what I've read about Durbin's career is accurate, Basinger makes several errors in her summary of Deanna's career, such as stating she was under contract to MGM when Every Sunday was filmed, and was under contract to Metro in late 1936. (She'd already been signed by Universal in June '36.)
  15. cclowell38

    People You MUST Defend!

    You're welcome. You can see many other clips of Deanna there, too. Several of her films (MAD ABOUT MUSIC, NICE GIRL? THE AMAZING MRS. HOLLIDAY, CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, etc.) have also been posted, but in 8-10 minute clips to fit Youtube's format. The sound is out of sync on some of these clips, but it's still nice to have the movies posted for viewing.
  16. cclowell38

    People You MUST Defend!

    I don't know what the reasons were behind the Durbin bashing by some Judy fans, but I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who noticed it. Maybe it's because Deanna and Judy were "in competition" at one time and Deanna was the first one to become a star? Who knows? Anyway, if you can access Youtube, you can see Every Sunday here: I agree that Deanna and Judy were both great!
  17. cclowell38

    People You MUST Defend!

    Hi ILoveRayMilland: there are people I am compelled to defend. Such as.................. Judy Garland And not as much, but still............ Deanna Durbin When I first discovered Deanna Durbin's films and was looking for more information about her, I noticed that there was a fair amount of animosity expressed against her on the internet by Judy Garland fans. You can see an example of it in the following "review" of the Durbin/Garland short "Every Sunday": Many openly acknowledged that they hadn't ever seen Durbin in anything (other than Every Sunday), but that they resented her efforts to "steal" the short from Judy, thought her stardom was undeserved, her career negligible, etc. Or they cited Judy's later somewhat catty comment on Durbin's eyebrows as "like a catepillar" and alleged comic imitations of Durbin's slightly crooked left arm as admirable and appropriate because they were directed at "Deanna Durbin." I've since come across many Judy fans, who, like me, either like and admire Deanna, or don't like her for more legitimate reasons, such as they don't like "sopranos" in general, or don't like classical music, or there's something in Durbin's manner/style they don't like, but the "personal" element I saw in some Judy fans' negative comments on Deanna Durbin seemed unique to me. Have you, or anyone else, ever noticed this?
  18. cclowell38

    Any Deanna Durbin Fans?

    The most recent picture I've seen of her is from ca. 1983 when she would have been 61 years old. She is anything but a "heavyset woman" in that photo.
  19. cclowell38


    Mad About Music (1938): The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943): Christmas Holiday (1944):
  20. cclowell38

    Best Movie Soprano Voice?

    In the glory days of the Hollywood musical from the 1930s through the 1950s, many talented sopranos became popular movie stars. Some of the more prominent adult ones inlcuded: Jeanette MacDonald, Irene Dunne, and Grace Moore. In response to the critical and popular sensation created by the advent of Deanna Durbin at Universal in the late 1930s, a new wave of gifted adolescent sopranos was promoted and developed by Universal and other studios in hopes of discovering another Durbin. Among the most successful of this group were: Gloria Jean, Susanna Foster, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Blyth and Jane Powell. Which of this talented group of singers do you think had the best voice, and why? Or do you have another favorite you believe belongs on this list, and, if so, why?
  21. cclowell38

    Best Movie Soprano Voice?

    Additionally, I've enjoyed reading the Jane Froman comments. My late aunt studied under one of Ms. Froman's former teachers from the Cincinnati Conversvatory of Music. My aunt Mary was a mezzo; however, her vocal range was similar to Eileen Farrell's. Mary used to tell me how she hated trying to "color" her voice darker for this instructor, but she was able to put the technique to good use when she sang with the Cincinnati Opera. (In those days, the opera was performed at the Cincinnati Zoo!) In fact, Mary had a radio show for a number of years that was broadcast out of Cincinnati, and her theme song was "With A Song In My Heart". I've heard her recording of it - her show was before my time - and there are shades of "Janie" Froman in her rendition. Hi filmflub: That's quite a gift to have "shades" of Jane Froman in one's voice. Sounds like your Aunt was a wonderful singer in her own right. I'm looking forward to WITH A SONG IN MY HEART's DVD release. It's about time! It seems as if it can be tricky to properly categorize a voice in one range or another. For instance, I read a review of Deanna Durbin's 1943 film, HERS TO HOLD in which she sings Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine." The reviewer expressed surprise that when Deanna sang the song, "a mezzo sorpano voice came out." I took it to mean that he was surprised she wasn't singing a high-flying operatic showpiece, but, even though I think Deanna had a very full and rich lower register, I feel fairly confident that she was a soprano, not a mezzo-soprano. On the other hand, I think most people would probably categorize jazz diva Cleo Laine as a mezzo-soprano, if not a contralto. This is undoubtedly the vocal range she uses most of the time when performing. But a few years back I heard one voice expert assert that, because her stratospheric high notes (which she uses only when she scats) extend to high C and beyond, Laine is technicallly a coloratura soprano. Of course, it probably doesn't help matters much that many sopranos have very wide ranges.
  22. cclowell38

    Best Movie Soprano Voice?

    I think it's not unreasonable to say that Jane was a mezzo in the '20's and' '30's and her insistence that she was a mezzo may date back to her studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. That's quite possible. I'm still amazed that the high light voice I hear coming out of Dorothy Dandridge's mouth in CARMEN JONES is that of Marilyn Horne, whose mature stentorian mezzo bore little or no resemblance to the thin light sound of the film's soundtrack. By the late '40's her voice was getting richer and darker and by the time of "With A Song in My Heart" and her recordings of "I Believe" and other records in the '50's, she certainly sounded more like a contralto than she did in her early years. Even her rendition of "Connais-tu le pays" from "Mignon", which is sometimes shown on Classic Arts Showcase, is darker than an earlier rendition I've head of that aria. I have recordings Jane made in 1941(?) of "Boy, What Love Has Done To Me," and "When I See an Elephant Fly," which sound very much like the "contralto" Jane Froman who recorded the soundtrack for WITH A SONG IN MY HEART a decade later. This is one reason I thought she was always a contralto. Oh well, whatever she was, mezzo or contralto. What a WONDERFUL that lady had. She was really one of a kind! And does anyone know why WITH A SONG IN MY HEART has never been released on VHS or DVD?
  23. cclowell38

    Best Movie Soprano Voice?

    Hi Bill: A friend of mine sent me a tape of Froman performances, which includes a late 20s or early 1930s recording. I'll have to listen to it again and see if I hear a "mezzo" quality to Jane's sound. In any case, I do believe that, at its' mature peak, Jane's voice was a contralto. Whatever her range may have been, as I hear it, the timbre of the voice had no "soprano" qualities to it whatsoever, mezzo, or otherwise, even if her range included some mezzo-soprano notes, the quality of the voice, which exuded a rich, dark quality, seems to be unmistakably contralto.
  24. cclowell38

    Best Movie Soprano Voice?

    Hi babuon: >>Jane Froman was always very adamant about being a mezzo, NOT a contralto. Since Kay Armen's voice was the nearest to Jane Froman's I'd have to classify her as a mezzo as well. Of course, I think the best Movie Soprano Voice -- if we're counting mezzos and contraltos -- is Jane Froman.>> I love Jane Froman, but her own opinion to the contrary, her voice definitely sounds like a contralto to me, and I don't think I've ever heard anyone else classify her as a mezzo. The timbre is much too dark for a mezzo-soprano voice, in my opinion. Are there any articles/interviews available in which Jane speaks about the quality/range of her voice and classifies it as a mezzo-soprano? Also, just for the record, although I think Jane's beautiful voice belongs on the "chosen few" list of any list of top movie singers, when I thought up this thread, I was thinking of Movie Sopranos, not mezzo-sopranos, altos or contraltos. I certainly welcome comments on other non-soprano singers, but I think the title of the thread speaks for itself.
  25. Sorry for the last-minute notice, but I just wanted to mention, for anyone who might be interested, that TCM will be showing Three Smart Girls at 10:15 p.m. EST tonight.

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:


Having problems?

Contact Us