Charming, still. There are many child stars who have been horrors to work with, but that was not the case with Deanna Durbin, who was surely one of the most agreeable tykes ever to don greasepaint. She began her career with Judy Garland in an MGM short, EVERY SUNDAY, but the studio dropped
her and kept Garland. It wasn't that her voice wasn't resonant; it was merely that the studio felt there was only room for one teen singer (BIG mistake) and opted for Judy. Durbin was signed by Universal, cast in THREE SMART GIRLS, and did so well that they top-lined her in this one, which turned
out to be a box-office winner that took the studio from the brink of bankruptcy. Menjou is a trombonist without a place to blow. His problem is shared by many of his musician friends, so our perky heroine forms an orchestra and convinces the eminent Leopold Stokowski to conduct it in concert. The
orchestra is a hit and all ends well.
Many of Durbin's films (and Durbin herself) have been long underrated as being just too sweet for words, but this is hardly the case, partly because Durbin herself adds such an agreeable touch of spunk and spice to her standard "nice girl" roles. Her first ten films for Universal play delightfully
today. ONE HUNDRED MEN AND A GIRL, for instance, is smoothly entertaining from start to finish, with an excellent mix of classical and pop music. The music includes selections from Liszt, Verdi, Wagner, Tschaikovsky and Mozart as well as tunes like "It's Raining Sunbeams" and "A Heart That's
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