Two teenage girls lend their fantastic singing voices to the cause when the city council threatens to replace the orchestra led by one girl's grandfather as the regular entertainment at the Sunday concert-in-the-park series.
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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 »
This one reeler produced by MGM in 1936 showcases the talents of two of its young stars under contract, Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin. In a way, these short films were promotional trailers that featured new talent in front, or behind the camera. Felix Feist directed this one which was a way to promote the two talented stars to the public.
The story is simple enough. The orchestra that entertains in a public park every Sunday doesn't get the attention it deserves. Enter two music aficionados, Judy and Edna, who love to hear the band play conducted by one of their grandfathers. Two of the town's elders sensing there is no public for this type of entertainment have decided to cancel their Sunday concerts in favor of a more popular orchestra that will attract a wider audience.
The two girls embark in a promotional tour of their own doing what they only know, calling and running errands and being helpful to their neighbors in exchange for a promise they will attend the park concert next Sunday. Well, that day comes, and to their surprise, hardly anyone comes as the music starts. The two girls decide to take matters into their own and ask the conductor to play a song for them to sing. The result is clear, people all over the park flocks to hear the talented young singers, thus ensuring the orchestra's existence.
Of course, the only attraction of the short film is the inspired singing by the two stars who are wonderful in their rendition. Ms. Durbin's operatic voice blends well with Ms. Garland's natural one creating a lovely duet.
Don't miss it whenever it shows on TCM!
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