MovieChat Forums > Three Smart GirlsĀ (1936) Discussion > Delightful and enjoyable movie

Delightful and enjoyable movie


Just saw this movie for the first time on TCM and really enjoyed it, even though it was made 71 years ago. The TCM showing has additional information about the film when it is shown and if you haven't seen it be sure and check it out the next time it is shown.

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I love this movie. It's just so cute and sweet. A fun film to watch when you're feeling down and need a good laugh.

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Yes this is a lovely movie and Deanna Durbin is a treasure. The young stars of today should take a page out of her book and learn how to behave. I'm sure she didn't always do everything right, but she was wonderful to hear and see.

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Yes this is a lovely movie and Deanna Durbin is a treasure.

And boy, did Deanna Durbin and the film create a sensation when it premiered. Here are a few excerpts from some contemporary reviews that were typical of the reception for both the film and its' bright new star:

THE NEW YORK TIMES: "Deanna Durbin, latest of Mr. Cantor's radio
protegees, is making her screen debut in THREE SMART GIRLS - Miss
Durbin, 14-year-old soprano, carols most sweetly in an immature but
surprisingly well-trained voice. Her notes are rounded, velvety and
bell-like; the manner of her rendition is agreeably artless; she has,
besides, an ingratiating impudence which peppers her performance and
makes it mischievously natural.";
;

THE HARTFORD COURANT: "Talented and youthful Deanna Durbin steals the show in her screen debut in "Three Smart Girls. The charming 14 year-old girl, who won acclaim over the radio with her lovely voice, proves also that she can act. In company with the youthful starlets Nan Grey and Barbara Read, Deanna sets the pace for one of the most entertaining and sparkling light comedy pictures that's come out of Hollywood in some time.
;

THE WASHINGTON POST: "Just imagine "Little Women" brought up to date, but retaining all of its' old appeal and charm, plus refreshing 1937 tricks, PLUS the loveliest of new singing voices. That's slightly understating what happens in "Three Smart Girls"- a picture as gay as a Christmas tree and as innocent as an Easter egg, also in an entirely new manner that will probably spout endless imitations. If it isn't one of the big hits of the year, put us down as a worse guesser than the Literary Digest. "Three Smart Girls" effectively punctures that idea that a picture must be ribald to be funny. it is comical, sparkling, delightful-While Deanna Durbin's film debut provides a shining new star, small Deanna is just one of the film's mainstays. Next comes the sharp, perfectly timed direction of Henry Koster and the work of a supporting cast that never misses a trick.-If you have the idea that you are lagged with movies, the way to remove it is to see "Three Smart Girls." It's better than a headache powder."
;

THE CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE: "Film Debut of Deanna Durbin Proves Event": "This is the picture that formally introduces young Deanna Durbin of radio fame-she made one short for MGM-to screen audiences and it is an event. This remarkable girl,-she is only fourteen years old-has a dominating personality. She has the poise of a woman of the world, the voice of a diva, and is very, very, pretty. Apparently the camera fussed her not at all, for she performs with spontaneity and complete composure. If she manages to keep her head-WHAT a star she will become!-It is heady, handsome entertainment and ought to be a box office wow!"






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I wonder if the Disney 1960's version of "The Parent Trap" was based on this movie. There seem to be similarities in the girls hating the fiance, the pushy mother, the conniving girls, just the plot line all together. Does anyone know for sure?

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No, I don't believe Disney's "The Parent Trap" was based on "Three Smart Girls." I recall the credits from the Hayley Mills version of "The Parent Trap" listing a German book (the title of which escapes me) as the source material.

You're right, though, that there are many similarities between the two films.

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Hi,one can never be too rich or have too many friends. It was a book called Letty and Lottie by Eric Kastner

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Thanks for providing the book's title and the author.

"Anyone who says money can't buy happiness doesn't know where to shop!" - Mrs. Thurston Howell III

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Hi,one can never be too rich or have too many friends. Wasn't she something? She was smart about her career,handled merchandising and refused to work herself to death advertising movie,Uiversal had to pay her a completion bonus for each film. She also had tie-ins with dress company that proved successful. My favorite Deanna story is when she first started in movies at Universal,her favorite breakfast was french fries with lots of catsup. The producer came by,looked in her plate and told her, "Deanna,tomorrow no french fries!" She looked at him calmy and replied, "Mr. producer,tomorrow I will have my french fries!" Nothing was yelled but next day she had her french fries.

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Yes, it's a great story. The way I heard it, Joe Pasternak, Deanna's producer, suggested that eating french fried potatoes doused in catsup was "unstarlike" and suggested she stop having them with breakfast.

He said Deanna looked right at him and said sweetly but firmly, "No french fries, no work," so he let the matter drop.

A smart girl indeed! No tragic "former child star victim of the studio system" she.

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Agreed. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this film. Very charming.

"She is tolerable I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me!" Mr. Darcy

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How old were the girls supposed to be? I was never sure.

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I'm a little late to this post, but I have to respectfully disagree. I finally saw this movie, and thought it was a lukewarm, wan production especially when compared to other comedies from the same year (e.g., "Libeled Lady," "My Man Godfrey," Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," "The Ex-Mrs. Bradford"). Those films had a light touch, great chemistry between the stars, snappy and clever dialogue, and effective use of character actors. Unfortunately, I think "TSG" had none of the above. I also thought Deanna Durbin did admirably for a new performer, and I know the studio wanted to show off her considerable vocal talents, but the number and length of her coloratura offerings were disconcerting within the context of the plot. Overall--a big disappointment.

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