Sunday, July 17, 2011

Every Sunday (1936)

To start this series, we have Deanna's very first film: a ten and a half minute short, also starring Judy Garland.

For this movie, Deanna is credited with her real name -- Edna Mae Durbin.

Although it is not especially interesting, Every Sunday is rather legendary. It was the screen-test for Deanna and Judy -- and Judy won...or she didn't...or there was a tie. The explanations for why Judy stayed with MGM and Deanna did not VARY GREATLY (to say the least).

Anyway, the short itself is rather adorable and both girls are utterly awesome. The highlight is the "Opera vs. Jazz" performance. BRILLIANCE.

And although Judy was seriously cool, Deanna totally won this one for me. haha

You can watch the entire short on YouTube:

Next up: Three Smart Girls


Sorry for the shortness of the post. It was a short movie. ;-D


Audrey said...

I've actually seen this! It was an extra on some DVD...I forget which one.

Are you doing all Deanna's films in order? If so, I might watch the ones I haven't seen (and have) along with you.

Mark said...

Hi Millie:

Actually, EVERY SUNDAY wasn'at a screen test for the two girls. It shot after Deanna had been released by MGM and signed by Universal.

The real "test" between Deanna and Judy was an Exhibitor's Reel that was shot in the Spring of 1936 and was only shown to MGM executives and Lowe's theeatre owners during a studio convention. It's still unclear whether Deanna was intentionally released by MGM or her contract was inadvertently allowed to lapse.

In any case, there's a blurb in the HOLLYWOOD REPORTTER, I think from June 1, 1936, reporting that Universal had changed Edna May Durbin's name to "Dianna." The REPORTER's misspelling aside, it was Universal, not MGM, who gave Deanna her stage name.

This is why ES often seems to "favor" Judy, who, by the time it was filmed had signed a long term contract with Metro over Deanna, who was borrowed from Universal for it.

Ironically, when EVERY SUNDAY was released in late 1936/early 1937, it was Deanna, who by that time had created a sensation both on Eddie Cantor's radio show and in THREE SMART GIRLS, who was often more th prominently featured in advertisements and publicity for the short, though Judy's performance, understandably, was also favorably commented on.

Millie said...

Mark: Wow, what a lot of interesting information! Thank you!

Regardless of why Deanna went with Universal or Judy stayed with MGM, both were hugely talented people. It's so cool to see them both together!

Millie said...

Audrey: I am. It would be really fun if you watched them along with me! :-D

Mark said...

Agreed, Millie:

It's a shame Deanna and Judy never got to make a feature film together. According to Gerold Frank's biography on Judy, L.B. Mayer wanted to keep both girls but discovered that Deanna had already been signed by Universal.

Joe Pasternak several times said he wished he could have paired Durbin and Garland in a musical, but Universal wouldn't loan Deanna out to MGM.

I think they're both wonderful and I enjoy watching them in this short. I'm glad we have it to see what Deanna and Judy were like at the beginning of their hugely successful careers. What remarkable talents they were!


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