Three Smart Girls

1936, Movie, NR, 86 mins

Review

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In her film debut, 14-year-old singing sensation Deanna Durbin is cast as Penny Craig, one of three sisters who try to keep their father from marrying a gold digger. Penny is the devoted matchmaker who tries everything to bring about her parents' reconciliation before her father exchanges vows with his new love. By the picture's finale, Penny's efforts have been all too successful--her sisters have found prospective husbands, and her mother and father have rekindled their romance. Penny is still single, however, though thoroughly content with everyone's newfound happiness.

A highly pleasing first cousin to the screwball comedies of the day, THREE SMART GIRLS wisely centers on Durbin, a wonderful singer and a genuinely charming screen personality. The film earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture (losing to THE GREAT ZIEGFELD), Best Original Story, and Best Sound. It spawned two sequels, THREE SMART GIRLS GROW UP, and HERS TO HOLD, both starring Durbin. There was also a remake, THREE DARING DAUGHTERS, which put Jane Powell in the Durbin role. leave a comment

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