MovieChat Forums > Three Smart GirlsĀ (1936) Discussion > And the Nominees Are Podcast

And the Nominees Are Podcast


So my friends and I have started a podcast entitled And the Nominees Are where we plan to review every single Best Picture nominee. It's a daunting and challenging task as we've already found a few movies that are impossible to find. However we did review this one in our fifteenth episode. You can take a listen on iTunes. You can find us at www.atnapodcast.com.

We'd love to start a discussion about this movie. This is a very odd movie. It's kinda fun in a Parent Trap sort of way, but is this really worthy of a Best Picture nomination?

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Yes, I think it was worthy of a Best Picture nomination. It's a reasonably sophisticated and entertaining "family comedy," and it was a very significant film that had a major impact on Hollywood at the time.

It was the first film to take a chance on what we now refer to as a "tween" star, at a time when Hollywood couldn't see any potential in an adolescent girl as a potential star. With all the Hayley Millses' Hillary Duffs, Miley Cyruses and other young adolescent stars who have come up in the years since, this might seem inconcievable, but in the 1930s, studios avoided adolescent actresses as stars in their own right like the proverbial plague. More than any other adolescent actress at the time, Deanna Durbin and the enduring success of her films for Universal, changed all of that.

It was an enormous hit, both critically and financially, landing on the practially every "Ten Best List" of films for that year, and was one of the few films to be proclaimed a hit (and its' leading lady an instant star) based on preview screenings. It also helped to save Universal Studios from bankruptcy, and it's success (and the success of other Durbin films) inspired all the other studios (and Universal, too) to develop other "teen" actresses like Judy Garland, Gloria Jean and Bonita Granville. And, since Durbin was a classically-trained vocalist, it helped to introduce younger viewers to classical music and gave adolescent viewers a star with whom they could identify.

Its' innovations have been so imitated over the years that it seems somewhat dated now, but at the time it was considered fresh and original, even cutting edge, in many ways.

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Cute film, but it's hard to believe that Universal pushed this for Best Picture rather than My Man Godfrey (6 noms to TSG's 3) or even Show Boat. Guess they thought of Durbin as their long-term investment, whereas the stars of the other two films (Powell, Lombard, Dunne) were just on loan. But I can think of maybe half a dozen other movies more worthy of the nom.

Well, I can't just call out "Oh, butler", can I? Somebody's name may be "Butler"!

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