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d120421

HAPPY 88TH BIRTHDAY, DEANNA DURBIN!

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Hope she's having a wonderful day with family and friends. She gets my vote for the "Best Soprano" of Hollywood's Golden Age.

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I think you'll like it. It's a delightful comedy. Laughton was a great admirer of Deanna's and reportedly one reason the film was put into production was because he wanted to work with her. They got along like gangbusters on the set and remained great friends until Laughton's death. Years later, Deanna credited Laughton with teaching her to relax on the set between filming her scenes, though, as others have pointed out, any alleged nervousness she felt off camera is not evident in the confidence of her work on camera in her earlier films. IT STARTED WITH EVE was a big hit and was credited by many critics with reviving Laughton's career following some less successful recent films.

 

In her autobigraphy, Elsa Lanchester recalled Laughton, during production of IT STARTED WITH EVE, inviting Deanna to a reception the Laughtons were giving for a group of British soldiers being trained in America. This was before America entered the War and the Laughtons were afraid few people would attend the reception, but Deanna immediately accepted Laughton's request. Lanchester recalled that she stayed at the reception for hours singing ("like a lark") for and dancing and talking with as many of the men as she could. When she finally had to leave one young soldier, watching her go, turned to Lanchester, sighed, and said, "She makes all of this worthwhile."

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Sorry I wasn't more clear. I did see It Started With Eve years ago, and always remembered it as a fun movie. Just want to see it again, and highly recommend it to those who haven't seen it.

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America watched her grow up. It would be great if TCM had a Durbin festival running all of her films. I hope she is aware that she still has many American fans. A beautiful woman with a lovely voice. A great combination.

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> {quote:title=mrroberts wrote:}{quote}

> Sorry I wasn't more clear. I did see It Started With Eve years ago, and always remembered it as a fun movie. Just want to see it again, and highly recommend it to those who haven't seen it.

 

 

No problem. I hope you get to see it again soon. I highly recommend it, too, but avoid the terrible remake (I'D RATHER BE RICH, 1964) at all costs! Seems to be determined to make the worst out of the story, and the talents of Sandra Dee, Robert Goulet, Andy Williams, Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold. A real mess!

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> {quote:title=doctorxx wrote:}{quote}

> America watched her grow up. It would be great if TCM had a Durbin festival running all of her films. I hope she is aware that she still has many American fans. A beautiful woman with a lovely voice. A great combination.

 

Yes, they did, and many adults were very invested in, and protective of, her wholesome image. Here's a stinging editorial the NEW YORK TIMES wrote in 1939, attacking Universal for advertising Deanna's fifth film, Three Smart Girls Grow Up as her first "glamorous" role:

 

A UNIVERSAL ERROR ABOUT GLAMOUR

 

With Special Reference to the Appeal of Deanna Durbin

 

By Frank S. Nugent

 

Spring seems to be a little late this year, so until it arrives we'll

have to get along with Deanna Durbin, the closest thing to this side

of the equinox. A couple of books could be written on Miss Durbin's

singular appeal, but none of them would contain the horrible epithet

Universal's advertising staff fastened on the miss last week.

"Glamorous" was the word they dared employ and we haven't said a civil

word to Universal since. It doesn't matter how the dictionary defines

it--some literal poppycock about "a charm or enchantment working on

the vision and causing things to seem different from what they are."

We know what Hollywood means by glamour and we won't have our

Deanna playing in the same category as Hedy, Marlene, Greta, Joan,

Carole, Loretta, Merle and Tyronne.

 

Glamour indeed! As if it had not been her very freedom from glamour,

Hollywood style, that has endeared her to her millions. Glamour! as if

that were a quality more precious than the freshness, the gay

vitality, the artful artlessness and youthful radiance she has brought

to the screen! Glamour! as if that were what we wanted of the perfect

kid sister (not that there really ever was one). Glamour forsooth!

and was it glamour that made Judge Hardy and his brood, or glamour we

found in the late Marie Dressler and Will Rogers, or glamour in Mr.

Deeds or Zola or Pasteur, or glamour for that matter (though we hate

to mention it) which keeps little Mistress Temple as the nation's four

time box office champion? What is this thing, glamour, anyway, that

it has grown so great?

 

Deanna, to put an end to the libel, is not the least bit glamorous in

her latest delight "Three Smart Girls Grow Up," and she has not grown

up so much herself. She leaves that, and the romantic troubles, to

the older sisters, contenting herself with being the matrimonial

broker of the family. Usually we dread these Little-Miss-Fixit roles.

The brats are all so superior about it all and so right--like George

Arlis as Disraeli or somebody. But Deanna manages to make even a

half-grown meddler attractive. She is guility of the most awful

blunders; she quite forgets her manners; she sulks and has tantrums

when her plans go agley; and eventually she has to call on father.

And that, of course, is the way it should be, and would be unless the

Miss Fix It had been Shirley Temple. No, Deanna is all right, up to

par or better, and when Universal next says 'G.....r' it had better smile.

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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!

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I would love to wish Ms. Durbin a happy birthday if only she would make some kind of a public statement and say, "Yes, I've been away all these years living a full life as wife, mother and grandmother and haven't missed the spotlight one bit but I want to thank everyone who has continued to love me and my work in the past! If she would do that I will definitely wish her a happy birthday.

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Happy birthday to Miss Durbin. Does anyone know (or for that matter, have) when the most recent photo of her was taken?

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