Saturday, June 25, 2011

Deanna Durbin: from the beginning

Deanna Durbin has long been one of my favorite actresses -- LONG, as in basically always.

She never made a bad film, is a wonderful person off-screen, and was almost FRIGHTENINGLY popular in the '30s and '40s -- yet she is strangely underrated and under appreciated today.

Plus, she was not just a gorgeous actress, but also a trained opera singer. I MEAN WHAT?!

{Many of you are possibly wondering at this point why you are not already crazily-devoted fans of Deanna Durbin.}

I have seen all but one of Deanna's films (most for the first time before the age of 10). However, some of the films I have not seen for many years (blasted library getting rid of its entire VHS collection!).

For me, this series will be a re-watching of an actress I have loved for longer than I can remember. Her movies were a huge part of my childhood. Her films are inextricable from actual, tangible memories.

It should be fun. Some of the movies are completely imprinted on my brain forever, others I have only a faint recollection.

Hopefully, I'll be able to show just a little bit WHY Deanna Durbin is so completely Wowzie Kazam awesome!

I'm excited.



LucieWickfield said...

Wow, you've completely peaked my interest! I've only seen Deanna in the short "Every Sunday" when she sings opposite Judy Garland in "Opera vs. Jazz". I think she was only 15-- not exactly in her heyday.

Looking forward to the series! :)

Anonymous said...

Now I'm feeling guilty for not seeing more Deanna movies. There's a channel on YouTube that has at least half of her films, yet I've only seen about four. Personally, I'm terrified at the thought of watching the evil Gene Kelly one.

Audrey said...

Maybe this will motivate me to finally watch the films of hers I haven't seen. I have a lot of them on my 'too watch' list. There are also just about all of her movies on YouTube (or they were, I haven't checked lately). So for anyone wanting to check out her filmography but having a hard time finding the movies, that's a good place to check.

Grand Old Movies said...

I second the Deanna Durbin recommendation - she's a great movie star, and has a gorgeous voice! Particularly recommend 100 Men And A Girl, as well as It Started w/Eve, w/Charles Laughton and Lady On A Train. Funny, lovely, and a fine actress. If you haven't seen her films, stop depriving yourself (there are at least 2 DVD collections now out).

Kristin said...

This is the second blog post this week I've read about Deanna Durbin. I've never seen any of her films, though I have seen that short that someone else mentioned where she sings opposite Judy Garland. I'm not a big fan of operatic-sounding voices, but I'd still like to see some of her films.

But, like Emm in an above comment, I cringe at the thought of Gene Kelly as a bad guy! I had never heard of that movie until I read the other post about Deanne Durbin. I cannot even begin to fathom my beloved Gene Kelly as a bad guy. It's impossible! :)


Mark said...

I think Deanna was the finest young soprano Hollywood ever produced, really in a class by herself, and, along with Judy Garland, the most talented young singing actress of the Studio Era.

She was a remarkable talent, and had a fascinating career, and her legacy and achievements are ripe for re-appraisal.


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