Edna's grandfather is a conductor of a small orchestra that gives concerts in the park every sunday. Because of lack of audience the city officials want to cancel these concerts. To stop ... See full summary »
Edna's grandfather is a conductor of a small orchestra that gives concerts in the park every sunday. Because of lack of audience the city officials want to cancel these concerts. To stop this from happening, Judy and Deanna gather a crowd the following sunday, and to keep its attention, they themselves perform alongside the orchestra. Deanna sings an aria and Judy sings 'Americana'. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
This film was not (as is often reported) a "screen test" of sorts produced by MGM to help the studio decide which of the two girls, Deanna Durbin or Judy Garland, to keep under contract. Durbin was released by MGM and signed by Universal prior to this movie's production. A 1 June 1936 blurb in "The Hollywood Reporter" states that "Universal has changed Edna Mae Durbin's name to 'Dianna' [sic]." This movie, it appears, was not produced until at least July 1936, by which time Durbin had already been signed by Universal and cast in her debut vehicle, Three Smart Girls (1936). The reason she appears in this film is that there was reportedly a provision in her MGM contract that entitled the studio to request her services for up to 60 days following its termination, provided she wasn't already shooting a film at her new studio. As filming on "Three Smart Girls" wasn't scheduled to begin until September 1936, Durbin found herself back at MGM making this short with Garland. This is why, although her on-screen character is called "Edna" in the short (Deanna's real name), in the credits she is billed under the name by which she would soon become internationally famous, "Deanna". See more »
Canthony is correct that this little short is just an excuse to hear a very young Judy Garland (fourteen years old!) singing with a slightly older (by one year) Deanna Durbin. But I must disagree with everything else he or she said, including the running time -- which is only about ten minutes, not twenty (a single-reeler).
The song is not her best, obviously; but it's enjoyable and definitely worth the ten minutes to watch on Turner. The duet with Durbin is quite interesting: two conflicting styles that nevertheless dovetail reasonably well.
The short is just a throwaway, but it's nowhere near as bad as the other reviewer made it out to be. Honestly, I enjoyed it.
Dafydd ab Hugh
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